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Minutes of the Morocco High Alumni Banquet May 28, 2011



The 63rd annual Morocco High School banquet was held in the Morocco

School gymnasium Saturday May 28, 2011.


The annual Morocco High School Alumni Association banquet was held in the Morocco school gymnasium Saturday May 28, 2011.


At 5 o’clock p.m. the 2011 Alumni Officers welcomed the two hundred MHS Grads and guests to the “Old Gold and Black” Social Hour. The refreshments were served by Carol Loveall NN.’69, while the “Joy Sounds” vocal duo provided entertainment.  Again this year, Morocco Grade School Principal, Karen Spencer, conducted a tour of the new grade school and the renovated “old” school building.


At the memorabilia display, several enjoyed looking at an album of the MHS Alumni obituaries and an album of the 2011 MHS Honored Class pictures.  Dan Blaney also displayed the framed MHS diplomas of Grandmothers, Frieda “Kennedy” Blaney, 1913, and Virginia “Kessler “ Spradling. Also of interest was a program from the 4th Annual MHS Alumni held in 1911 (items are also on display at the Scott-Lucas house).


A call to order was made by the 2011 MHS Alumni President, Herb Barnett, ’61.

He began by introducing his wife, Fran (of 45 years), Vice-President Dennis Deardurff, ’62 and  his wife Shirley “Storey”, ’63, Sec/Tres. Connie “Ackors”, ’63, and Co.Sec/ Historian Judith “Cupp”, ’58.


President Barnett presented Connie and Judy with a beautiful flowing plant, expressing thanks for their dedication. President Barnett explained that when the president lives in Tennessee and the vice-president lives in Kentucky, it is these two that make it possible that we are still putting on this show.


A thank you to all who helped with set-up, Mr. Jim Speck, NN sophomore class sponsor and his 9 student helpers (a super job done by this young group), Dennis and Roslyn Boyd, Dean Loveall, all officers and spouses.  The tear down of table and chairs are also done by four local lads and lasses and to those we say thanks.  Again a thank-you to the Country Gals for providing the delicious meal for the evening and the youth group who helped with serving.


On this Memorial Day week-end, President Barnett began with a tribute to all who have served in the Armed Forces.  Quoting from past history:  “In 1776, December, the Continental Army, under George Washington, had been chased out of Boston, chased out of New York, and spirits were low.  There was a Virginian named Thomas Payne who wrote a pamphlet Crisis and in it he wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and sunshine “patriot” will in this crisis shrink from the service to his country.  But he who stands by his country now deserves the love and thanks by every man and woman.”


With this in mind, President Barnett asked all those who served in WWll, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and all who have served under the U.S. Flag to rise.  Those standing were honored with a round of applause.


President Barnett informed those in attendance that in 2009 Congress passed a law stating that all who have served under the flag can give a hand salute to honor the flag. President Barnett lead the group (with the hand salute) in the “Pledge of Allegiance” followed by the Joy Sounds singing the “The Star Spangled Banner.”


At this time, President Barnett sought some demographics asking those who live in Newton County Indiana to stand, also those who live elsewhere in Indiana and those who were born in Indiana.  The Joy Sounds led the group in singing “Back Home Again In Indiana.”


The invocation was given by Mr. Jack Snell, ’51. 


President Barnett and Vice-President Deardurff directed all to the banquet tables, starting with the MHS Class of 1961, the Golden Year Class.


The 2011 MHS Alumni business meeting was called to order by President Barnett.


First order of old business was the secretaries report by Connie  “Ackors” Sell.  She stated that since the minutes are posted on the alumni web-site and also there are printed copies on each table she request a motion be made to accept as printed, instead of her reading them.  Jack Snell made the motion to accept as printed.  Motion passed.


The treasurer report by Connie stated that there was a balance of $3543.00 on June 30, 2010.  Also received this year with reservations is a total of $189.00 for the alumni scholarship fund.

Dan Blaney was called upon to speak about the alumni scholarship fund.  He stressed the fact that if this is to continue, it has to be funded.  Pamphlets were provided explaining how the Newton County Community Foundation can provide a way for donors to create a source of assets that will fund this scholarship.  Mr. Blaney once again passed the buckets for donations (free will offering totaled $801.00).


President Barnett asked for a motion to clarify the name of the alumni scholarship, since it had been voted to pass through the Newton County Community Foundation.  Mr. John Kessler, ’56 stated that he had been on the committee at the time when the scholarship was established and it was to always be called the Morocco Alumni Ruth Corbin Memorial Scholarship.  Motion failed.


A remembrance from our grade school days was provided by Janet Barnett ’63 reciting “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley. 


President Barnett continued with the new business of election of officers. He stated that the slate of officers was not complete and asked for nominations from the floor for the office of Vice-President.  Shirley “Storey” Deardurff, ’63 nominated Janet “Barnett” Armstrong for the office of vice-president, Dan Blaney, ’63 moved that the nominations be closed.  Motion Passed.  The slate of officers for 2012 are President: Dennis Deardurff ‘62, Vice-President: Janet Armstrong ‘63, Sec/Tres: Connie Sell ‘63, Co.Sec./Historian: Judith Schultz ‘58.


At this time the Vice-President Dennis Deardurff introduced the 2011 MHS Alumni honored classes.


Class of 1931 and 1936:  None present.


Class of 1941: The class was represented by one member, Alice “Bingham” Nemecek of Morocco. The class of 1941 graduated with 30 members, there are now 3 members that are living.


Class of 1946: The spokesperson was Francis “Taylor” Hayworth-Zerkle . Francis paid tribute to the members of ’46 on their successful careers that each had chosen since leaving MHS.  She introduced the members present: Robert Chapman, Patricia “Conn” Chapman, Wilma “Blann” Swim, David Cox, Rex Hagen, Michael Manes and Beverly “Conn” Haynes. Members John Brunton and Jean “Jonkman” Bierman were able to join the group at the class reunion held earlier.  The class of 1946 graduated with 35 members and there are 19 members still living. 


Class of 1951: Mr. Jack Snell was the spokesman for the class.  Some of the happenings during their high school years was having a very unsuccessful football team, but then enjoyed success under Coach Goodnight their junior and senior year, being the undefeated champions of the Kankakee Valley Conference. 


And since they had such a successful season, they were treated to a meal at Phil Schmidt’s restaurant.  Each had ordered something different (all you could eat), then would reorder and trade plates so they could enjoy a different entree.  It was a time when the winners of a basketball and football game got to take home the “Tomahawk”.  As Jack remembered, the fellow that made the tomahawk was from DeMotte.  


1951 was the centennial year for Morocco and they became know as the centennial class.  It was a year with many activities.  The class traveled to Chicago for their senior trip and at that time, going to Chicago was a big adventure. 


Mr. Snell said on May 16, 1951, 34 members graduated from Morocco High School.  Sixty years later there are 19 surviving members and one member whom they have had no contact with since graduation.. 


Those who gathered to celebrate their 60th class reunion were: Jack Snell, Gordon Born, Thomas Clark, Rosemary “DeGroot” Armstong, Bill Heyer, Marilyn Ross Veslek, Joan “Porter” Carlson-White.     


Class of 1956: Speaker for the class was Jack Storey.  The 1956 class graduated with 58 members. 12 members are now deceased. The class had met in the afternoon at the Scott-Lucas House to celebrate their 55th year reunion.  Those present were: Gloria ‘Bigger” Denton, Martha “Clark” White, Diana “McCord” Scheurich, Arema “Henderson” Hinkle, Larry Bingham, Richard Neibert, John Kessler, Gene Hendryx, Lester Klein, Stanley Elgas, Dennis Speer, Jack Storey and Dale Wiseman.  


Class of 1961: The spokesman was Herbie Barnett.  He told the audience about the last couple of weeks of school for the ’61 class being very busy. The senior trip was to Washington D.C. and New York City.  When they returned it was prom week-end, then graduation day. Soon after graduation, the ’61 class were welcomed as members of the MHS Alumni Association   Herb then spoke about the man who gave the commencement address 50 year ago.  He was born James Cleveland Owens, in 1913 at Oakville, Alabama, and his family called him J.C.  When he was nine years of age, his family moved to Ohio.  On his first day of school, a teacher understood him to say his name was Jesse, and from that time on he was known as Jesse Owens. He attended high school in Ohio and later set records while a student at Ohio State University, with records set in the Western Conference (later Big Ten) in track.


Jesse Owens participated in the 1936 Olympic games held in Berlin, Germany and won 4 Gold Medals, (the 100 meter, 200 meter, long jump, and the 400 meter relay). And the rest is history.


Herb told that he was in Berlin in 1984 and took a trip to the stadium.  There he saw the name of Jesse Owens engraved in the 1936 Champion plinth.


Pat “Williamson” Reyes confirmed that her father Robert Williamson (MHS in 1933) ran track when he was a student at Purdue against Jesse Owens of Ohio State.  It is believed that is was Robert Williamson, who was instrumental in acquiring Mr. Owens as the 1961 Commencement Speaker at MHS.


Speaker Barnett said the Class of 1961 has been a great supporter of the MHS alumni with 6 members of the class serving as president of the organization; those being Jerry Brown (now deceased), Walter Zelivetz, John Warring, Dennis Boyd, Ted Hayes and himself.


The Class of 1961 graduated with 53 members and there are now 14 members who are deceased. A reunion was held in the afternoon at the Greenfield’s Restaurant. Those attending were: Darlene “Spurgeon” Truby, Walter Zelivetz, Sharon “Abraham” Brown, Herb  Barnett, Gail “Bertram”, Linda “Deardurff” Small, Rita “Emmrich” Agent, Ted Hayes, Lane Hotchkiss, Ronnie Madison, Walter Michaels, Ina “Sapp” Tedford, Linda “Shirer” Lindgren, Dan Vanderwall, John Warring, Dennis Boyd, Roslyn “Merchant” Boyd, Ron Wilson, Keith Nuest and Dave Henderson.


Class of 1966: The spokesman was senior class president Jerry Wagner.  Jerry said he is always glad to be back in this gym where the Class of ’61 enjoyed their four years at MHS.  The football team during those years had been very successful, winning a Championship and was runner-up in the playoffs for two years.  As he remembered, the class had a lot of fun and did a lot of studying during their high school years. (This brought a bit of laughter from the class.)


The ’66 class had gathered at the home of Tim and Carolyn Geller earlier in the afternoon for their 45th class reunion, those present were: Henry Dick, Linda “McClatchey” Flack, Alfred Purdy, Estella “Banister” Purdy, Oscar Reyes, Karen Ross, Cathy “Smart” Oaks and Tim Geller.  Jerry Wagner joined the group at the alumni banquet.


Vice-President Dennis Deardurff then took this time to present a rose to Alice “Bingham“ Nemecek, class of ’41.  She was the oldest member in attendance from the 2011 honored classes.  Dennis also presented single roses to the oldest alumnus in attendance, Florence “Mashino” Storey, ’35 as well as the next oldest, Betty “Hagen” Kessler, ’35.


As is tradition, Vice-President Deardurff asked all MHS former cheerleaders to come forward and lead in singing the MHS School song.  Those were: Carol “Potts” ’63  -  Nancy “Cox” ’57  -  Linda “Mashino” ’57 -  Linda “Shirer” ’61” -  Darlene “Spurgeon” ’61 -  Carolyn “Holly” ’67 -  Cathy “Smart”  ’66 -  Betty “Hagen” ’35 -  Marilois “Carter” ’44 -  Wilma “Blann” ’46 –

Betty “Heath” ’47 -  Bobbie “Carter” ’50.


Motion made to adjourn the 2011 MHS meeting: Motion passed


- - Respectfully submitted by co/sec. j. schultz


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