While social media can get a bad wrap, the reunion hosted at the Westlands Soccer Club last weekend was an example of the positive connections people can form through Facebook.
The reunion allowed 200 people from the Living in Whyalla in the 70’s/80’s/90’s Facebook group to get together in real life and exchange tales of their time living in the steel city.
People from around Australia attended the reunion, as did Mark Cocks who traveled all the way from Yorkshire, in England, to be there on the night.
Local artist Graeme Stephenson provided musical entertainment while Colin and Sharon Todd provided the catering for free.
T-shirts were also created by group members Ian Bryers, Paul Mackey, Chris Mackey and Jared Cook to mark the occasion.
Stephen Gray, who formed the group with Kris Rollings, John Hall and Janie Whitefield, said the night was a great opportunity for him to reunite with former classmates.
“We were told it was one of the best nights the club had ever had,” he said.
“One of the highlights was having around 150 people up on the stage singing ‘We Are The Champions’.”
Mr Gray said the group had a very friendly atmosphere and acted as a form of social interaction for those who may be socially isolated.
“Bringing people together in a positive way gives you the best feeling,” he said.
Mr Gray said out of the 1600 people in the group there are around 100-150 members who are active every day.
“I really like social media, I look at our page every morning and talk to people there,” he said.
As the group’s popularity has grown, so has Mr Gray’s profile, with many recognising him on the street as the owner of the page.
“They say ‘good on you, you’ve got people talking and smiling’,” he said.