Monette High School Class of 1964 donates to museum
Classmates from the Monette High School graduating class of 1964 presented a check for $200 and two photos to the Buffalo Island Museum on Sunday, March 11.
“Our class wanted to give something back to the community that has meant so much to us,” said 1964 classmate Linda Morris. “We have always loved the museum and thought this would be the best place for a lasting remembrance.”
“We have lost 10 of our classmates from the Class of 1964,” said classmate Mena Jenkins. “They are Sharon Darr Brooks, Randall Chipman, Dennis Crisco, Otis Guiltner Jr., Troy Guiltner, Floyd Hargrove, Dickie Howell, Sharon Cason Poole, Kathy Taylor and Johnny Williams.”
MHS Classmate Bob Blankenship presented a check for $200 to Buffalo Island Museum Chairman Jamie Rolland.
“This gift is very appreciated,” Rolland said. “Donations and grants allow us to keep our museum open to the public without an entrance fee. Our only fundraiser is the Meat and Bake Sale, held annually, on the Saturday before Father’s Day.”
“We had a big 50th class anniversary celebration in 2014, here in Monette,” Blankenship said. “We had leftover funds from that event and wanted to do something meaningful with them. We have a particular interest in the museum and what they are doing to preserve our local history. Each time we have an all-class MHS reunion classmates come down to the visit the museum. Our next all-class reunion will be Sept. 1 this year.”
Classmate Sandy Steel Sloan designed a Monette High School flag that hung in the northeast corner of the old school gym for years, before it was torn down to construct the administration building. For the 50th class anniversary, classmate Janet Yates Raper painted a green Buffalo, which was the school's former mascot. After the celebration Raper donated the painting to the museum.
“Our class stays in contact regularly,” Jenkins said. “We always enjoy each other’s company. The female class members call themselves “The Buffalo Gals” and we eat out together quarterly.”
The classmates also presented framed photos of their 1963-1964 MHS class composite, and a composite of the 10 deceased class members, for display at the museum.
Mayor Qualls said memorials like this create a lot of interest when visitors come to town. “Home folks just love to stop by and reflect on their days growing up here, and the memories the displays bring back. We hope more people will invest in the work being done at the museum so we can continue to add to and expand its collection and use.”
The museum reduces its opening hours during the colder months but has remained on call when visitors request a tour. Next month regular opening hours will include Friday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m.
“We are working with the Buffalo Island Central EAST class and their facilitator Jill Sanders to develop an interactive tour of the museum with the use of an iPad grant they received," Rolland said. “Visitors and students will be able to tour the museum and get detailed information about exhibits with the use of the iPad.
“Our Mmseum committee will meet next month to make plans for the year. We are looking to the future in hopes of eventually gaining access to genealogy sites, which will increase visitors' use of the museum. We have had several requests for genealogy information.”
Roland and Qualls expressed their appreciation to the Class of 1964 for their contribution and gifts through the years.