Manila Class of 1953 holds reunion

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Fifty years seemed like only yesterday as members of the Manila Class of 1953 reminisced about the "good ole' days at MHS at a gathering on Friday night at the Manila Depot.

This was the first reunion for the class since the 1970's.

The 1953 reunion was planned in conjunction with the annual Manila Alumni Reunion on Saturday.

Class members and their spouses gathered at the Manila Depot for dinner and visiting.

James Bullard, a member of the Class of 1953, said he contacted as many of the classmates as he could locate. He said they wanted to invite classmates that had attend MHS during any of their high school years. Bullard created special name tags for classmates and their spouses adding a copy of their high school pictures. The group enjoyed a slide presentation of the of the alumni reunion 2001.

Classmates attending the reunion included Wallace Fowler of Jonesboro, James Bullard of North Little Rock, Joe Smith of Jonesboro; Becky Johnston Hill of Pocahontas, Paul Pearson of Pangburn, Billy Dean Lott of Paragould, Vandoran Fowler of DeSota, Mo., Imogene Evans Dobbins of Manila, Archie Weems of Gurdon, Marcella Downing Duggar of Pocahontas, James Rowlett of Russellville, Jean Williams Turner of Viola, and Jerry Lynn Wright Veach of Manila.

A memory picture board was displayed for the deceased classmates. The group took time to remember Alfred Webster, Yvonne Reed, Martha Donner (Shedd), Ova Dee Moyer, Anita Holt, Carl Tipton, Billy Davidson, Sammy Parker, Wayne Blake, Kenneth Butts, Betty Rouse-Carter (Walker) Glenda Giles (Cagle) and Frankie Fowler.

The group enjoyed reviewing copies of their graduation programs with Baccalaureate held on May 24, 1953 at Tipton Hall. Commencement was held at 8 p.m. May 28 at Manila High School.

Rev. S.B. Williford brought the sermon during the Baccalaureate service and Brother Guy D. Magee gave the benediction.

Carl Tipton, senior class president gave the farewell speech to classmates of 1953 during the commencement exercises. Faith White gave the Valedictorian address "What Is Our Tomorrow., and Norma Sue Horsley gave the Salutatorian address "Youth Seeks World Peace." Honor Student James Bourland gave the invocation, and honor students Beacher Lewis gave a talk "You than d the Atomic Age."

The Class Roll included Velma Barnett, James Bullard, Betty Brasher, Wayne Blake, Melba Chipman, Jimmy White, Rita Harris, Terry Ballard, Ova Dee Moyer, James Rowlett, Martha Donner, mary Springer, Waylen Jobe, Joann Chester, Marlyn Williams, Bettye Brinkley, James Bourland, Imogene Evans, Bily Davidson, Anita Holt, Norma Horsley, Beacher Lewis, Rebecca Johnston, Billy denton, Margaret McMahan, Sammy Parker, Betty Rosue, Billy Lott, Shirley Bourland, Faith Whtie, Paul Pearson, June Rittenhouse, Joe Smith, Bonnie Burrus, Carl Tipton, Betty Edmonston, Alfred Webster, Bonnie Brewer Harold Robertson, Jeannine Wright. The boys in service included Charles Garner and Harold Poe.

The class Motto was "Rest if you Must, but don't quit."

Class officers were Carl Tipton, president; Velma Barnett, vice president; Jeannine Wright, secretary-treasurer; Rebecca Johnston, historian; and Faith White, reporter.

The class flower, red and white carnations, was used in the decorations for the reunion.

Everyone enjoyed looking at old school pictures and the display of a "MHS Basketball Sweater."

The group enjoyed a copy of the '53 Class Bus Song that the group made up to pass the time while they were stranded when coming back from Memphis where they had attended the Ice Follies.

Members of the class couldn't remember exactly what tune they had put the words to but they did remember the bus breaking down and pushing the bus a few miles to the caf to wait for help. They also had a copy of the Manila School song.

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