A group of former youngsters returned to their old stomping grounds for a high school class reunion last week.

The former pupils of South Otago High School’s class of 1953 came together to the Rosebank Lodge for a meal and a catch-up for their third and last reunion.

It was 70 years since the group had left the high school and chatter, hugs and laughter filled the restaurant as they shared memories, updates and funny moments of their school days.

Organiser Alma Blaikie said this was the third and final time they would be meeting.

‘‘We came together in 2003 for our first reunion, then we all came together again in 2013, and now 2023 is our final year to catch up all at one place,’’ she said.

She said many from the reunion list had died, and their numbers had dwindled to around 20 or so, all of whom made it to the luncheon.

One attendee said they were around for the building of the old Balclutha War Memorial Hall in 1955, and seeing the new hub being built was ‘‘fascinating’’.

‘‘It’s been lovely to see everyone now and reminisce on our younger days at the school — especially those who were naughty,’’ Mrs Blaikie said.

Old classmates from Tapanui, Timaru, Mosgiel and further afield travelled over for the reunion.

‘‘A lot of us have been in touch over the years thanks to technology, and many of us have remained great friends,’’ she said.

When asked if others should host high school reunions like the one she had organised, Mrs Blaikie said: ‘‘Why not? It’s been great catching up decade after decade with people.’’