A long and winding road for upcoming Dartmouth High class reunions

Aug 16, 2022

Twice delayed, graduates from Dartmouth High’s class of 1970 and ‘71 are ready to finally celebrate their golden anniversaries.

Next month, the combined classes will meet for a night of fun and reminiscing at the Country Club of New Bedford, something alumni have been looking forward to for some time.

“It’s been a real labor of love,” said Dave Hastings, a graduate of the Class of 1970 and the chair of its reunion committee. 

According to Hastings, the class of ‘70 has quite the history of hosting reunions, noting that the class held its first in 1971, just one year after leaving Dartmouth High.

After the second reunion, a core group of the kids from ‘70 came together and planned reunions for every five years since.

“And we’ve never missed a five year reunion ever,” Hastings said.

That was, of course, until 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic shut down any plans for large gatherings. 

Hastings said he and his fellow alumni tried to wait another year to coincide with the class of 1971’s 50th celebration, but things were again canceled. 

With conditions more manageable, the committee decided that 2022 needs to be the year they can celebrate those golden anniversaries.

“If we keep delaying, it’s going to be the 55th!” he said.

Hastings added that it’s especially important to hold something following the death of the committee’s “anchor” Debbie Bowers last year.

“It really kind of drove home to us the tender age of this class,” he said. “These reunions become more and more important. It’s not like it’s the last time we’ll see each other, but for some folks it is.”

This year’s theme is “The Long and Winding Road,” a reference to the last official U.S. single released by the Beatles that same year from the album “Let It Be.”

Along with the timely reference to the long road to this reunion, Hastings said that he also has quite the personal connection with the song. He noted that while driving to his graduation ceremony back in 1970 he was trying to think of what he wanted to say in his speech, only for the Paul McCartney hit to come on the radio.

“I was bawling my eyes out, of course,” he said with a laugh.

This will not be the first time the class will hold a joint reunion with the class of ‘71, as the two joined forces at their most recent gathering in 2015. Hastings noted the decision was easy since the two had gone through so much together.

“We’ve mourned, we’ve celebrated, and we’ve grown together,” he said. “It’s nice to have a cohort that goes through life experiences together.”

Along with being able to reminisce about those glory years, the banquet will also feature music from a mostly reassembled Dartmouth High School Alumni Band, along with blues-rock band Craig Carter and the Hurricane.

According to Hastings, this will likely be the last of the reunions at the country club. He said as the alumni get older, it’s probably a good idea to downsize things to dinner at a local restaurant.

“But we’re still going to keep things alive,” he said. 

The upcoming reunions will occur on Sept. 24. Any members from the class of 1970 or 1971 interested in reserving a spot should contact Hastings at davidhastingsmba@outlook.com or by calling (617) 312-5146. 

Cost is $60 per person. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 30.

“They got to get them now,” Hastings said.