Much had changed when the Taree High class of 1977 (Year 10) and 1979 (Year 12) toured their old school as part of the 40 year reunion.
Former students rekindled old friendships and reminisced about school days over the long weekend.
The weekend festivities began with a tour of the school, where they found blackboards replaced with smart boards, demountables demolished in favour of permanent buildings, library books replaced with electronic reading and French and German replaced by the local native indigenous language.
Some things remained the same - that feeling of sitting in spaced seating in the school hall for exams, favourite seats in class and regular playground haunts.
About 70 students, five teachers and a handful of partners joined in the weekend celebrations, with Phil Wild winning the award for travelling the farthest distance to attend, from Perth.
The main event was an evening of fun and frivolity at Club Taree, where the room was decorated in black and gold.
Trevor Cupitt, former maths master and year advisor, brought out his mark book and asked for an explanation of absences by one student, while Mick McEntyre, former sportsmaster, recalled the sporting heroes of the year, including Mal Cochrane, Steve Mullen and the cricket team.
Don Nealon, Tony Gates and Judith Spash, former teachers were also in attendance.
"It has been 20 years since our last reunion, so it was a bit of a guessing game to recognise each other as we entered, but the room was soon full of warmth and peals of joy as we caught up," said Dale Bray (nee Mitchell), one of the organisers.
Penny Barrett (nee Nesbitt) and Tony Edwards, former school captains, were masters of ceremony and the effervescent Liz Vitali also assisted. "It was a fun night with dancing, recreating photos from our schooldays in the selfie booth and getting reacquainted."
Following the evening session, some gathered next morning for brunch overlooking the Manning River at Waterfront Pavillion, with lots of cries of not waiting another 20 years for the next get-together, acknowledging how Taree High, and especially certain teachers, had influenced their lives.