GALIEN — The Blue & White Ceilidh (held Saturday, Aug. 24, at Galien American Legion Post 344) has been bringing Gaels back together for a decade.
Wyman Miller, a teacher at Galien, said he urged some of his former students including Peggy Przybylinksi Scurlock and Danielle Vigansky Ernsberger (both Class of 1995) to start up an all-class reunion.
“If they didn’t do this there are probably 1,200-1,500 people that would not have reconnected,” he said.
Scurlock said the first two Blue & White reunions were held at the school. Ceilidhs (historically a raucous party held by Gael warrens on the eve of battle) have been held at the legion since.
Emily Hein Koziel, a member of the district’s last traditional graduating class (2004) and another original organizer of the annual gathering, brought her month-old son Louis John to this year’s reunion.
“Even though Galien is no longer, around he’s part Gael,” she said.
Marsha Janota of Madison, Wisconsin (salutatorian of the Class of 1969), said she took a bus and a train and a car to the event. her first.
“We all look so much different … but it’s great to see everybody.”
Shirley Chapel Toth (also Class of 1969) said it was the first Blue & White Ceilidh she’s been to even though she lives “just across the state line” in New Carlisle.
Janota and Toth said many of them went from kindergarten through senior year in the same two-story brick building that still stands.
A 50th anniversary reunion for the Class of 1969 took place the night before at the Buchanan Legion Post.
Vicky Pfauth of Three Oaks was a teacher and high school principal in Galien from 1966 to 1995:
“It’s nice to see the people that they’ve become,” she said of her former students.
Maureen Klingerman said her mom (Lou James) was “one of the wardens” (a teacher) at Galien before she got a job somewhere else after her freshman year.
“I had five kids in Galien, so I went to River Valley because it made it better for all of us,” James said.
David Vigansky said he went to the Galien Schools through the sixth grade, then Lakeshore and Ewing Trout Creek in the UP before getting his GED in 1981 while serving in the military.
“I call this my hometown,” he said, recalling a third-place finish in a tractor pull that was part of a local summer festival.
“A lot of memories here.”