OUR Retirement years approach. Shorter lives, health concerns and advancing age are realities.
We invite you to attend the Las Vegas reunion - an EPIC game changer event for our generation of ISLANDERS .... and here's 10 good reasons why:
1. Bringing Closure - Appreciation for our Islander legacy and atonement for our past shortcomings. Life goes full circle.
2. Being decisive. Life is a fleeting moment - here today, gone tomorrow. Seize the moment.
3. More FUN! 700 plus projected - more classmates, more schoolmates, more surprises over a long 3 day weekend.
4. Multiple Reunions within the reunion - Siblings, relatives, neighborhood - an extended ISLANDER and Family Guam reunion, just like our village fiestas.
5. Answers, answers, answers - The what, when, where, who, where and how finally revealed, or was it?
6. In house and world class production - alumni created entertainment - only Islanders, among the nationwide few, can do this.
7. Already planning a vacation? - Make it Vegas and be among Islanders - exclusive packages for alumni and highly affordable.
8. No regrets and guaranteed fun... a proven track record in San Diego 2016 and San Francisco 2014. You've heard and seen the reviews, right?
9. More life resources ... by renewing old and creating new relationships that will enrich us into our senior years.
10. Making it REAL - press the flesh and give them bear hugs! Go beyond Facebook and text messages. Be there in person.
In closing, let's collectively erase these reasons NOT to go - being fat, wrinkled, old, bald, disabled, unpopular, etc - these do NOT matter. If it does, you have more than a year to prepare.
"NOT A FD GRAD, and proud of it!"
I am a proud 1965 graduate of (John F. Kennedy High School) in Tumon. I was actually in the first graduating class of JFK — its name was changed by the Guam Legislature during my junior year when President Kennedy was assassinated. I opposed the changing of the name because even at that young age, I knew there would be hundreds of schools named JFK but none named Tumon.
Nevertheless, I am proud of being an Islander and that I attended a public high school. I still wish it was Tumon. My class ring had a “T” on it, not a “K.” I think my high school girlfriend had it last, so it’s probably in a landfill or pawn shop.
Over the years, many people asked me what year I graduated from Father Duenas (Memorial School). I proudly respond that not only did I attend public school, I didn’t even try to attend Duenas. I wanted to be clear that JFK was my preference over Duenas from the beginning.
I know that many attended Duenas for religious reasons and for the quality of its educational experience. I am also mindful that the elite nature of the school has created a spirit of elitism, which frankly irritates me. Whenever I hear about FD graduates gathering for their golf tournaments and basketball contests and travel to the Philippines for father-son bonding, I hear boasting about their status in Guam society. Maybe it is envy and I should just ignore it. Perhaps the Friar camaraderie and connection to the school should be emulated and not critiqued.
Whether it’s snobbery, connections or just good old-fashioned networking, there is some mystique attached to being a Duenas man. When we want to find out where the children of the makers and shakers (or wannabes) go to high school, we check into Duenas if the child is a male.
Of those elected governor, we have one graduate from Tumon (Joe Ada), three who graduated in the U.S. (Paul Calvo, Eddie Calvo and Carl Gutierrez), two who didn’t graduate at all and one from Duenas. Of the announced candidates for governor next year, only one is a Friar (Frank Aguon). Felix Camacho graduated from Father Duenas. I will leave it to your judgment whether these gentlemen are products of the island’s elite.
The ones who didn’t have a diploma were Ricardo Bordallo and Carlos Camacho. They were caught up in an event called World War II. Both did go to college and Carlos Camacho eventually received a doctor of dental surgery. Camacho wasn’t only the first elected governor, he was the most educated.
Duenas does have one advantage over JFK. It is named after someone we can all relate to in Guam and, unlike JFK, I am sure there will never be another FD anywhere. Father Duenas is a Chamorro historical figure we can all be proud of. The school name is uniquely Guam.
It has one glaring disadvantage which may have accounted for my decision to go to Tumon — there are no girls.
Robert Underwood is president of the University of Guam and Guam’s former delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
An all volunteer and DIVERSE group of alumni from classes 70 thru 83 (some former class officers) who joyfully rediscovered themselves in part through social media. We stress the DIVERSITY aspect of our planning process - in effort and result - as we reach out to ALL subgroups that were in every corridor of our campus.
2. What track record and experience does the committee have?
The planning teams includes returning members of the 2014 and 2016 teams that successfully executed the Mega Reunions in San Francisco and San Diego. With great feedback circulated through social media and a calling for an even greater event in Las Vegas - we are expecting 700 plus to attend.
3. I loved Guam but was shy before, didn't know anybody then and now, can somebody help?
Some bravely went to the 2014 and 2016 Reunions with similar concerns and found those to be totally unwarranted. They ended up having the BEST time ever for a school event. There is much to celebrate among JFK alumni. New and renewed friendships are there to be made.
4. Why was Las Vegas chosen to host the 2018 Mega Reunion?
After the San Francisco and San Diego reunions, it was felt that Las Vegas would be the next logical location for many reasons including: The population of Guam transplants, military ties, travel affordability and vacation options, central location and most importantly, the presence of a local Las Vegas team to execute this project.
5. Who sanctions and sponsors these high school reunions?
Nobody sanctions and designs these events other than the organizers themselves who simply want to celebrate our ties to JFK and the GUAM experience. It is for the most part self-funded, all volunteer work.
6. The reunion sounds great. What can I do to help?
Your planners have set up the "INFRASTRUCTURE" to make this a success. We do not have any issues with current staffing. The biggest help you can do is to encourage fellow alumni to join us in Las Vegas.
7. I am from class 84 and I notice the reunion only has class reps from class 70 thru 83. Am I invited to go?
YES. The events are open to all and not just JFK graduates. You could have attended just 1 year and not graduated (i.e. military families). If you are from a class without a rep, consider being one and we can make you a point of contact. Just let us know and we'll help you gather your classmates under our organization framework.
8. High School is over. Besides, I'm old, fat, bald, disabled with memory and health issues. Whats in it for me?
Easy now. We're in this together. We respect personal decisions not to attend but we prefer to focus on the positives and benefits. Its been around 40 years and life goes full circle back to a transformative period - our high school years.
Lets take a moment to celebrate, discover, recharge and make new JFK friends. We ALL have our challenges as a result of life's aging process. At the very least, we can lament together and find ways to endure and prosper.
9. I can only attend one of the many events scheduled. Is that okay? Also, can I bring my spouse or family members?
YES and YES, we do not hold you to attending ALL the events although we are confident that you will find it worthwhile to attend as many events you can.
10. I am an out of towner and will need hotel accomodations. Can you suggest an alternative to Tuscany Suites?
Yes, the choice is yours. Visit website consolidators (Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline etc). In our opinion, their summertime rates are NOT much lower and that the overall drop off in value and convenience is significant. Besides, it will be more FUN if you stay at the very special rates we negotiated at the Tuscany Suites. We've booked 200 rooms and the vast majority will stay there.
Do You Remember Your Class Songs?
Tell us your class graduation and/or prom song (if any).
We shall look into having these performed "live" by our alumni entertainers -- BREEZIN's Ron and Francis, Lawrence, Louisa & Janice -- during our 2018 Las Vegas events.
Updated 04/02 - Thanks - just a few more needed (84' & 85')....
1970 - A Time For Us (Mancini)
1971 - We've Only Just Begun (Carpenters)
1972 - I'd Like To Teach The World...(Coca Cola)
1973 - Time In A Bottle (Croce); Pieces Of April (3 Dog Night); Sometimes (Carpenters)
1974 - Color My World (Chicago); Time In A Bottle (Croce)
1975 - Poems, Prayers & Promises (Denver), Yes Sir, That's My Baby (Bonnie & Clyde); Don't Let The Sun (Elton John)
1976 - The Times of Your Life (Anka)
1977 - The Way We Were (Streisand)
1978 - Always & Forever (Heatwave); We Will Never Pass This Way Again (Seals & Croft)
1979 - Too Much Heaven (Bee Gees); Reunited (Peaches & Herb)
1980 - Looking Through The Eyes of Love (M. Manchester); We've Only Just Begun (Carpenters)
1981 - Another Brick On The Wall (Pink Floyd)
1982 - We Did It Our Way (Laverne & Shirley)
1983 - It's Just Another New Year (Manilow)
1984 - ?
1985 - ?
1986 - In The Air Tonight (P. Collins)
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