Return to Minutes Index



Minutes of the Morocco High Alumni Banquet May 25, 2013



The 65th annual Morocco High School banquet was held in the Morocco

School gymnasium Saturday May 25th, 2013.


The Morocco Alumni Association held their Annual Banquet at the Morocco Gymnasium.  There were 161 alumni and guests attending the banquet served by Devon’s Catering of Rensselaer.  Since the Morocco gym is now air conditioned, we were all very comfortable to visit with former classmates and friends at the “Old Gold and Black” social hour preceding the banquet.


President Janet Barnett Armstrong `63 welcomed everyone back to the gym where we graduated so many years ago.  She talked about Monday, Memorial Day and what it means to us.  She read a poem “Decoration Day” by James Whitcomb Riley and then had all of the men and women who had served in the U.S. Armed Forces stand.  They were honored with a round of applause.


The “Joy Sounds” led all of us in the “Pledge of Allegiance” and also the “National Anthem”.  Since Mr. Jack Snell `51 passed away earlier this year and usually gave the invocation preceding the banquet, we wanted to remember him with a song “The Prayer Perfect”, sung by former MHS Choir & Vocal Ensemble.  He will always be fondly remembered at our Morocco High School and had touched so many lives.  He will be truly missed.


The “Joy Sounds” entertained us with a “Country” theme this year while everyone was enjoying our delicious banquet dinner.  They were great as usual and everyone enjoyed their music!


The MHS Alumni Association business meeting for 2013 was called to order by President Janet Barnett Armstrong `63.  The Secretary/Treasurer Connie Ackors Sell `63 reported that she had been notified of additional MHS alumni who had passed away recently and they were:    Steve Reyes `62, Jane Miller Deardurff `61, Marian Johnson Coatstick `55, and Jack Snell `51.  Connie also reported that the balance on hand May 25, 2013 was $6454.23 and the expenses were $2595.44.


Connie reported that the 2013 minutes, written by Recording Secretary, JoAlice Warne Belt `65 were posted on the alumni web-site.   Please feel free to read them and if there are any additions or corrections, please make that known by e-mail.


Connie also reported that an “Old Gold & Black” paper, copy of 1925 was given to her and if anyone would like to read this paper, it will be at the Morocco Library.    She also found out that through Louise Ickman Chambers’ (Class of 1933) son, as he paid for her dues, that Louise and Gartha Hanger Clark (Class of 1933) were the only two living alumni in that class.


The web-site report was given by David DeKoker by which he stated that our web-site had 570 hits a day, which is about 47% more than the past years.  Our web-site had 25,389 hits for the whole year which is very exciting!  We encouraged everyone to access the web-site and also to notify Connie Ackors Sell or the web-master David DeKoker, if someone has passed away.  Connie does not know if the address is incorrect or if the person is deceased when she gets an invitation back in the mail.


The President Janet Barnett Armstrong introduced Dan Blaney to talk to us about the Ruth Corbin Scholarship Fund.  He said there was $3000.00 in the account now, but we always need more donations to keep our scholarship fund going which is maintained by the Newton Community Foundation.  The baskets were passed around for the free will donation and $601.00 was collected.  Connie already had donations of $222.00 which makes a total of $823.00 that will be turned over to the Foundation.  We want to thank everyone for their donations.


The slate of officers for the 2014 MHS Alumni Association was presented by President Janet Barnett Armstrong:  President, John Hess `64; Vice-President, Woody Hammel `65; Secretary/Treasurer, Connie Ackors Sell `63; Recording/Secretary, JoAlice Warne Belt `65; and Historian, Judy Cupp Schultz `58.


Vice-President John Hess took the reins and introduced the two alumni who were honored as the oldest members in attendance.  They were:  Betty Hagen Kessler, Class of 1935 and Florence Mashino Storey, Class of 1935.  They both received flowers and a great applause.  Others that were honored for the classes graduating in the 30’s and also received flowers were:  Hettie Bailey Abbott, Class of 1938; Ruth Blann Warrick, Class of 1938; Barbara Hanger Clarkson, Class of 1938; and Ed Camblin, Class of 1939. Vice- President, John Hess aslo honored Mr. & Mrs. Ed Camblin, who were celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary.  What a celebration!

There were no members from the classes of 1943 or 1948 attending.


John Wendling from Tennesee spoke for the class of 1953.  There were four classmates that attended the alumni.  One being John and the other three were:  Janet Deardurff Lindahl from Morocco; Mitzi Lock Etchison from Arizona; and Sue Andis from Ft. Wayne, IN.   John said that you are never too old to do certain things in life.  He joined the Senior Olympics last year, which was his first year.  He has gone to several meets in Denver and Tennesee and has done very well there winning medals.  He will be going in July to the National in Ohio and hopes to do well there also.  You might get older, but never too old!


Sharon Potts Pommer spoke for the class of 1958.  They had 48 students graduate; 11 from Lake Village, 3 from Enos, 3 from Ade, and 31 from Morocco.  They have eleven classmates that are deceased.  She said that they had so many kids in their class, Mr. Cronk didn’t know what to do with them all.  They had two classes of 35 each.  She spoke of the good memories with band, chorus, basketball & football games.  The teachers would help them with fund raisers so they could save money for their senior trip.  It was fun because you could wear blue jeans then.  She remembers dancing in the old gym at noon which was so much fun and everyone wearing their gold corduroy skirts and pants with painting on them.  We had such good times in Morocco with a lot of good memories.  Sharon said that she wished that we had given out name tags at the alumni because there were so many people she did not recognize.


Dan Blaney spoke for the class of 1963.  They had 21 classmates and 13 spouses that met at the Scott-Lucas house in the afternoon on Saturday to renew old friendships.  We had classmates come from Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Idaho and Illinois.  On Friday evening we had a bonfire at the home of Rick & Gloria Garmong which was so much fun.  We have lost eleven of our classmates which are: Pat Borth; Mike Gulley; Betty Lowe; John Lynn; Dean Robinson; Larry Miller; Jim Jones; Terry Jackson; Jim Keifer; Bill Brown; and Charles Burnside.  When we were at the Scott-Lucas house, we read all of our classmates names that we had lost and then rang the bell eleven times in memory of all of them.  It was a very emotional time for all of us.  Five of our classmates have put together a class book with pictures and family information.   It was so good to see and hear from so many classmates even if they could not come.  We want to thank MHS, our teachers and our parents for everything they did for us through the years.  Jean Thompson and Margaret Merchant were our Senior Class Sponsors.


Cheryl Merchant Newall spoke for the class of 1968.  There were five classmates who attended today and they are myself, Cheryl Merchant Newall, Judy Merchant Washburn, Toni Baroni, Randy Barnett and Jena Anderson.   Cheryl states that her two sisters had graduated from Morocco High School, but she didn’t get to.  Her class was here at MHS for three years and then had to go the last year at North Newton.  There were 38 students our junior year and 69 students that graduated from North Newton.  She remembers while at MHS having the Harlem Globe Trotters come and a big wrestling professional team come which was a lot of fun.  She misses her friends and loves Morocco.


The Vice-President John Hess then asked all former cheerleaders to step forward and lead us in the school song.  Cheerleaders were:  Judy Warne Armstrong `58, Gloria Holderby Garmong `63, Jena Anderson `68, Marilois Carter Anderson `44, Jill Anderson Hammel `67, Betty Hagen Kessler `35, JoAlice Warne Belt `65, and Carol Potts Waring `63.

Motion was made to adjourn and seconded.  Passed.


The day before the Alumni is when the preparations begin for our Saturday banquet.  Soon after school on Friday, the North Newton 10th graders and their sponsor Mr. Jim Speck, transported tables from NN.  They have a great crew that sets up the tables and chairs in the gym.  Without them we would be seated on the bleachers.  A big thank you to these young people, Mr. Speck and the NN School Corporation.  At this time, the table coverings are placed and decorations are added.  Many hands make this an easy task.  This year those who arrived and worked diligently were:  Connie Sell, Mary Gulley, Janet Armstrong, Dennis and Shirley Deardurff, Mike and Karen McClatchey, John Hess, and JoAlice Belt.


After the banquet and the guests have left, is when the gym has to be cleared and ready for school on Monday.  A big thank you to the young people who came in, folded up all the tables and chairs, and carried grade school tables and chairs to the storage area.  The tables from the high school are picked up early Monday morning and returned to the high school by members of the 10th grade class.


Again, a “thank you” to all who helped with the 2013 MHS Alumni.

-- JoAlice Belt, MHS Recording/Secretary



Top of Page


Return to Minutes Index