Monday, September 21, 2009

The Snowbirdie Golf Tournament

In a past life, I attended Assumption High School in Windsor, Ontario. I didn't know it while growing up in the 80's, but my career was destined to unfold in parallel with the careers of many of my peers.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to reminisce with many personalities and faces that I hadn't seen in 27 years! Although the Snowbirdie Golf Tournament was held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a tragic accident, the day was filled with laughter, story-telling, and genuine camaraderie.

On September 3, 1989, I was spending Labour Day preparing to begin my third year teaching in London, Ontario, when the news from Toronto highlighted a story about Canada's Snowbirds aerobatic flying team. In a tragic accident, one of the Snowbird pilots was unable to eject after a mid-air collision sent two Tutor jets into Lake Ontario. The pilot who died in the accident, was Shane Antaya, a classmate from Assumption, whose exploits are now celebrated by once youthful men, in golf attire.

Interestingly, I've now discovered that many of my closest friends from high school, have gone on to careers in the field of education. I've reconnected with classmates who are once again my colleagues: a high school vice principal; an art teacher; a psych consultant; and a kinesiology professor.

The Snowbirdie Golf Tournament has now taken place 19 times, and although it has taken me two decades to discover this event, my experience in reconnecting with my sports-loving classmates has left me wanting for more. This is one event that is sure to be on my summer golf calendar for years to come.
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