Kalkadoon State High School alumni to reunite in Mount Isa

KALKADOON HIGH: Any former students are welcome to attend celebrations on Saturday from 1.45pm at Spinifex Senior Campus. Photo: supplied

KALKADOON HIGH: Any former students are welcome to attend celebrations on Saturday from 1.45pm at Spinifex Senior Campus. Photo: supplied

Kalkadoon State High School (KSHS) may be no longer, but a group of former students is reuniting the first year intake for its 40th anniversary.

In 1977, around 200 Grade 8 students enrolled in Kalkadoon State High School, where Spinifex State College’s Senior campus now resides. 

First year student Paul Shorthouse is organising a reunion of sorts this weekend to coincide with rodeo week – the invitation is open to any former Kalkadoon High School students.

KALKADOON HIGH: Former student, Brett Peterson, is restoring the school's old and very grand archway sign for the 40 year celebration this weekend. Photo: Esther MacIntyre

KALKADOON HIGH: Former student, Brett Peterson, is restoring the school's old and very grand archway sign for the 40 year celebration this weekend. Photo: Esther MacIntyre

Mr Shorthouse said this will be the first time back to Mount Isa for many students.

“It’s sort of a homecoming for them as well as a celebration for the school,” he said.

The celebration begins with a golf day on Friday, followed by a walk-through at the school on Saturday from 1.45pm.

Photos and memorabilia will be on display for former students to reminisce on.

One exciting piece of salvaged memorabilia is the old archway entry sign to ‘KALKADOON S.H.S’, which Brett Peterson, former deputy Mayor and KSHS student, is restoring as we speak.

The sign will be repainted and on display at The Overlander on Saturday afternoon, after the school visit.

Mr Peterson was looking forward to being reunited with old school friends.

“We had a reunion at 20 years, which was incredible to see what some of the students had achieved in that time. That’s another part I’m looking forward to this year.

“Some of them are retired already, and all the best to them. That won’t happen to me, I love working too much.”

One former student travels the world as a philanthropist, fitting wells, said Brett.

“We seriously are spread across the world,” Mr Peterson said.

“It’s incredible where a bunch of kids from Mount Isa have ended up.”

“It’s pretty rare that you get to catch up with a group of kids you went to school with,” Mr Peterson said.

Initially Mr Shorthouse and Mr Peterson hoped to have the old school sign installed somewhere on Spinifex State College grounds.

The cost of upkeep has deterred senior management, but there are hopes the archway will find a home in Mount Isa.

“I’d like to see something somewhere eventually, as a remembrance of Kalkadoon and the students that went there,” Mr Peterson said.

Many alumni will be flying or driving into Mount Isa this week, with some having arrived on Monday.

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