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Bateman anniversary celebrates alumni

Robert Bateman Secondary is holding a big 20th anniversary party on Saturday, and you're invited.

In the 20 years since Robert Bateman Secondary opened, graduates have gone on to work at NASA, at marine biology research stations in Florida, and have been leading sports teams to victory in Abbotsford and beyond.

This Saturday, Sept. 28, alumni and the community are invited to stroll through the halls once more to celebrate the school's 20th anniversary.

It isn't surprising that many of Bateman Secondary's graduates have gone on to scientific or environmental careers, given the school's beginnings.

Bateman Secondary hasn't changed much in 20 years.Legendary artist and environmentalist Robert Bateman designed the school himself to reflect a concern for the self, society, the environment, and sustainability.

Bateman, who was an art and geography teacher back in Ontario, was driven to teach the value of preserving nature.

One example of this is the waterfall feature in the building, which the artist personally created and installed. According to school documents, Bateman said he didn't want anything "rinky-dinky."

Rock formations on Sumas Mountain served as inspiration. Vegetation, logs and stumps in the waterfall came from specific sites in the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island.

The school will be open to tours on Saturday. Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., the school will pay tribute to its athletic heroes with an alumni basketball game and rugby game. There will also be a BBQ and a children's centre.

The "Where are they now?" exercise with a large map of where alumni have ended up is one activity that vice-principal Linda Pollastretti is looking forward to.

Bateman and former principal Steve Carlton"It's exciting to see past grads come back, and see where they've been. Where in the world are our Bateman grads?" she said.

Saturday evening, from 7 p.m. to midnight, the anniversary party will continue with an adults-only dance and silent auction in support of the school's outdoor education classroom. Tickets are $20 each or $30 for a couple.

A VIP assembly on Friday, Sept. 27, will include a video montage of the school's history.

More info about Bateman's 20th anniversary is at: