From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

First Graduating Classes Hold

Joint Reunion – 1989

After forty some years the graduating classes of 1947, ’48 and ’49 from Harvey Regional High School came together in a joint reunion last Saturday. In 1947 the school graduated Grace (Essensa) Kennedy, Muriel (Grieve) Goodine, Bryce Lister (deceased) and Ethel (Grieve) Hamilton. The following year the Class of ’48 saw Dewitt Lister, Gloria (Jamieson) Mitchell, Elaine (Davis) Duckworth, Karl Little, Irma (Cunningham) Earl, Milton Moffitt, Frances (Wood) Little, Shirley (Wood) Nason, Murray Craig, Robert Henry, Paul Patterson, Wilma (McMullen) Donnelly and Lorne Sipprell receive their graduation certificates. In 1949 the graduating class was the only time in the school’s history, past or present, that saw an equal number of boys and girls graduate. They were: Glen Lockhard, Bill McLean, Arleen (Stockley) Mosher, Dorothy (Smith) Gillies, Alton Moffitt, Burke Swan, Gwen (Henry) Ralston, Arnold Coburn, Anna (Graham) Cronkhite, Sydney MacLean, Margaret Nason, Gerry (Foley) Meloche, Glenna (Smith) Phil lips, Blair Watson, Avens Craig, and Eleanor (Irvine) Essensa.

Turning out for the day’s event were twenty-five, plus spouses, of the original thirty-three graduates many of whom had not seen their fellow class mates since graduation.

The idea for holding such a combined gathering was first dis cussed several years ago but until now never came to fruition. How ever, last summer the subject once again surfaced and it was decided that just such a reunion should be planned for the summer of ’89. Prime movers in getting this classic event underway were Avens Craig, Anna Cronkhite, Arlene Mosher and Glenna Phillips, all from the class of ’49. With the assistance of several of the other two graduating classes former students and teachers were contacted, events were planned and Reunion ’89 began to take shape.

Arriving at the present Harvey High School the former students found themselves among not just fellow classmates but were joined by their Principal Jim Bedell, teachers Mary McKinney, James Kuphee and Warren Arm strong. Even the high school’s first bus driver, Edgar Dorcas came out of recent retirement to join in the celebration and nostalgia.

Following registration everyone enjoyed a brief get-together-get reacquainted time in which the conversations inevitably turned to “…what have you been up to?” “…do you remember?” “…where have you been?” However, keeping to a schedule was essential and Ed Christie (the high school’s co-ordinator for the day’s events) lead the past graduated on a grand tour of the present high school facilities. Noticing various areas of interest and pointing out the vast differences in the past and present, in phrases beginning with “…in our day,” those present displayed general admiration for the school. Having completed their tour, the group then moved out side for a tree planting ceremony. 

Each class undertook to plant a maple tree on the school’s property. The trees were a symbol to commemorate their reunion. Unfortunate Class of ’49 graduate Bill McLean, who had provided the trees, was hospitalized the day prior to the reunion and therefore was unable to attend. 

A long awaited event on the day’s agenda was the return to the site of their first high school and source of many memories Taylor Hall. It was here that these thirty-three students first em barked on their road to higher learning. In 1945, the classes of ’47 and ’48 recalled where, under the stern eye of the late Edna Smith, they arrived each day of the school year to take up residence at their desks in the basement. In the fall of 1946 these two senior classes moved to the main floor where Principal Jim Bedall be came their teacher. Now relegated to the projection room were the grade niners and future Class of ’49. As antiquated as these premises were they were tolerable be cause everyone knew that the new high school was under construction and plans called for the move to take place in the new year. In January, 1947, the thirty-three students in grades 9, 10 and 11 bid farewell to Taylor Hall and began attending classes in the new high school up the hill. Aside from pristine class rooms the new facility offered expanded programs.  The regular academic courses were now supplemented with Industrial and Home Economics programs, offering the students a broader range of training. With a gym, sports (principally basketball) now could also be included as part of the school’s extra-curricular activities. 

Having walked around the rooms of their past, the group left Taylor Hall and journeyed to the Harvey Lions Club where a banquet, prepared by the Lionesses, had been set up. Prior to the commencement of the meal Avens  Craig called for a moment of silence in memory of teacher Edna Smith, fellow classmate Bryce Lister and school bus driver Don Graham.

Following the meal several presentations were made. For each student and teacher there was an engraved spoon as a memento of the occasion. A ‘lucky chair’ and a ‘lucky cup’ draw was held with Grace Kennedy and Wilma Donnelly winning these prizes respectively. The door prize went to Gen (Mrs. Alton) Moffitt. 

Wilma Donnelly was also awarded the prize for the most children, being the mother of eleven. In the category of most grandchildren, Dewitt Lister was presented with the winning prize for his fourteen. Gerry Meloche who travelled from Windsor, Ontario beat out fellow grads from Fredericton, Sussex, Woodstock, Moncton, Toronto and Allentown, Pennsylvania to capture the prize awarded to the graduate who had travelled the farthest to attend the reunion.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook

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