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2016 Minutes of the MHS Alumni Banquet



The 68th annual Morocco High School banquet was held in the Morocco

School gymnasium Saturday May 28th, 2016.


The Morocco High School Alumni Association Banquet was held Saturday May 28th , in the Morocco School Gymnasium,


The “Old Gold and Black” social hour began at 5:00 p.m.  Once again  the guests were entertained by Matt Kalits, magician.  Secretary/Treasurer Connie Ackors Sell ‘63 welcomed 162 Alumni and Guests back to the gymnasium where many events occurred during our school days and since.  So many memories of band concerts, class plays, basketball games, pep rallies, sock hops, Jr/Sr. Prom, P.E. class, and  Graduation Day.  Yeah, we felt like adults!  Lining up outside the gym, then marching in to the tune “Pomp and Circumstance”, maybe a tear or two when we heard the band play “The Halls of Ivy”.  Little did we realize that “Commencement”  means to begin,  And so it has been a lifetime of learning, and tonight we returned  again to remember friends and educators who encouraged us at MHS.


The 2016 Alumni meeting began with President, Tim Geller ‘66, asking all who has served in the US Armed Forces to stand.  This included two WWII veterans, Warren Johnson and Eldon Purdy, Class of 44. In gratitude for all who have served, the veterans were thanked with a round of applause. President Geller then led the assembled group in the “Pledge of Allegiance”. 


President Geller introduced Vice-President Roger LaCosse ’67 and Linda and thanked them for their help in preparing for this years alumni meeting.   Also a thank-you to Connie Ackors Sell ‘63 and Dave for their continued efforts that make the alumni a success.  A big thank-you to the students from North Newton and their sponsor, Julie Decker, for transporting tables from the high school and  then setting the tables and chairs up.  Also thanks to the two young ladies and three young lads, who with Mrs. Karen Williams, Methodist youth sponsor, assisted those who needed help with their plates and drinks.   Also President Geller thanked the crew of Witherington catering in Rensselaer.


President Geller introduced  Hattie Bailey Abbott, Class of 1938.  Hattie was presented with a flowering plant for being the oldest alum in attendance.  Hattie was accompanied by her nephew, Don Parrish of Brook.


President Geller then called upon the spokesman for each Honored Class to say a few words.


Class of 1941: none present. The class of 1941 graduated with 30 members.  One member, Audrey Potts Grant, resides in Watseka, Illinois..


Class of 1946: Spokesman was Arthur Augustine. He thanked all who have contributed to the success of the MHS Alumni Association for so many years. It is always enjoyable to return and visit with former classmates.  Those celebrating their 70th alumni year with Arthur, were Alberta DeVelde Guiliani of Arizona, Frances Taylor Hayworth-Zerkle, Rex Hagen, Michael Manes of Indiana.


Class of 1951:  Speaker for the class was Rita Styck Barnard of California. Rita stated that it has been an enjoyable time coming back to Morocco.  The class members who were able to attend  the afternoon gathering at the American Legion and those at the banquet are; Robert Goddard of Morocco, Tom Clark of Nebraska, Bill Heyer of North Carolina, Don Watt of Rensselaer, Rosemary DeGroot Armstrong of Remington, Joan Porter Carlson of Morocco and Rita of California.


Class of 1956:  Jack Storey was the speaker for his class. The class graduated with 58 members and there are 12 members present tonight to celebrate their 60th alumni.  Jack introduced classmates, Larry Bingham, John Kessler, Martha Clark White, Eugene Hendryx, Arema Henderson Hinkle, Joe Manes, Lester Klein, Diana McCord Scheurich, Jeremy Treado, Gloria Bigger Denton, and Percy Styck.


John Kessler took the microphone and said a few words about the ‘56 MHS Class project to honor  “Coach James Lods“.  He then introduced Lester Klein. Lester spoke about the success of Morocco Football and the 1955 MHS FB Team that won 6-man and 11-man conference championships under Coach Lods.  “This had never been done in Indiana history”. He  gave tribute to Lods who took a chance on him after he  graduated from St. Joe College.


John Kessler then explained that they are raising funds to improve the basketball court at the Sam Rice Field in the west end of town. The Beaver Township Trustee will name it the “Lods Court“.  This is to honor Jim Lods who coached the Morocco High School Beavers to their last Basketball Sectional Championship.


The class has raised some funds and are asking for more donations.  Those wishing to donate can contact a member of the 1956 Class or mail it to the DeMotte State Bank at Morocco.


Class of 1961: Ted Hayes spoke for the Class of 1961, The class graduated with 53 members, 15 of the class members were from Lake Village, 8 were from Ade and remainder of the class were from Beaver and McClellan township.


Those present for their 55th alumni were Ted Hayes of Knox, Bonnie Boyd Wagner of Brookston, Dan Vanderwall of Arizona. Herb Barnett of Tennessee, and John Warring of Kankakee, Illinois.


Ted recalled that the Class of ‘61 was fortunate to have had Mr. Jesse Owens speak at their Graduation,. The man who made history winning 4 Gold Medals at the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany. Ted shared a few humorous memories from his school days, by telling of a time when he called a young lady in the class for a date 4 times in one evening  and the last time was at midnight.  Her mother answered the phone and informed him that she was not home. He was crushed. 


He also remembered  the ‘56 class slogan “Greatest Guys, Slickest Chicks, we’re the Class of 56“. and gave credit to the one who had penned that jingle, (no one confirmed or denied ) that they were the one.


Class of 1966:  Oscar Reyes spoke for his class who graduated with 59 members.  The 50th year celebration began at the American Legion in the afternoon and he thanked those who had helped with the “Mardi Gras” decorations. Their Senior Trip was to New Orleans and this was a reminder of what a good time they had had . Something said about “Let the Good Times Roll”.  He also made note of the fact that this was the last senior trip for MHS. 


Oscar introduced a former classmate Kerry Jones, Kerry had left Morocco after his junior year, and was glad to join the class on the 50th year reunion.  Other classmates celebrating were, Michaleen Balka Basham, Janet Blann Ohren, Joe Castongia, Joe Clarkson, Henry Dick, Gladys Hall, David Loveall, Glen Martz, Richard Parker, Mike Plaster, Estella Banister Purdy, Alfred Purdy, Laurie Pike Vaught, Karen Ross, Sheryl Samuelson Wirt, Hale Sargent, Cathy Smart Oakes, Terry Vinkovich, Jerry Wagner, Victoria Vinkovich Cassens, and Tim Geller..


The banquet began with the invocation given by Bonnie Barnett Storey ‘57. Alumni and guests were directed to the banquet tables by President Geller.


Business Meeting:

President Geller announced that  Recording Secretary, Jo Alice Warne Belt ‘65, could not attend this evening, but the 2015 MHS Alumni minutes are on the web-site. If there are any additions or corrections please make them known to JoAlice.


The treasurers report: Secretary./Treasurer Connie Ackors Sell ‘63  reported that the balance on December 31, 2015 was $4515.74.

Total donations in 2015 for the Ruth Corbin Scholarship was $1057.00.

This year  $432 has been received and (bucket collection) tonight of $413 is a total of $845 for 2016.

Larry Schanlaub added that  2016 winner will  be announced at the Awards program this next week.


Connie announced that again we had to secure the services of another caterer (last one went out of business) and that the cost went up. The paper products and drinks were not included so thanks to the officers (Pres. and V-Pres.) who helped with that.


Treasurers report was approved as read.


President Geller continued with the order of business, stating there is a  need to increase the price for the Alumni ticket.  He would like to entertain a motion from the floor. After some discussion, Janet Barnett’63 made a motion to increase each ticket price to $25.00 . John Hess ‘64 seconded the motion.  Motion Passed.


The slate of officers for the 2017 MHS Alumni Association, was presented by President Tim Geller ‘66.

For President, Roger LaCosse ‘67; Sec/Tres, Connie Ackors Sell ‘63; Recording Sec., JoAlice Warne Belt ‘65;  Historian, Judy Cupp Schultz ‘58.  President Geller reported that he was unable to find anyone to fill the office of Vice-President . He stated if there are no volunteers, there will not be a 2018 Alumni.  After a few seconds of  silence, Carol Potts Warring ‘63, graciously raised her hand and volunteered to be the Vice-President for the year 2017.  Motion made to accept the completed slate of Officers for 2017.  Motion passed, and a loud round of applause followed from all.


President Geller presented Sec/Tres., Connie Ackors Sell ‘63 and Historian , Judy Cupp Schultz ‘58 with a flowering plant and thanked them for their continuous support of the Alumni Association. He also spoke about the Morocco High School Alumni web-site and thanked Dave DeKoker ‘63, webmaster.


Historian Judy Cupp Schultz ‘58 made a plea for MHS pictures, stating the fact we are all getting older and the time is getting short to record these photos of MHS for history.  There are still sport pictures that were not included in the book that Ronald Rush had compiled.  If you have school photos of class plays, sport teams, band photo’s, FFA etc. please identify, scan and send to Dave DeKoker by clicking on any of the “webmaster” links on the www.moroccohighschoolalumni.org website.


Also Judy made it known that Beth Bassett (Morocco native) and Janet Miller of Kentland, members of the Newton County Historical Society, have been involved with the efforts to publish the history of each township in Newton County.  Lake township is the next and last one to be compiled.  I would like to encourage all who have lived in Lake township or have family from there, to start collecting and writing their family history also look for grade school pictures,  family photos and articles of interest. (including obituaries).  This project takes an effort from many volunteers, but I encourage all to get involved, you will not be disappointed. Plan a visit to the Newton County Historical Center in Kentland and view the books that have been published. This will provide an idea of what can be done. (Historical center is next to the jail.)


Once again before closing, President Geller called on the MHS Cheerleaders to step up and lead us in the school song.  Cheerleaders were,: Linda Mashino Gibson ‘57, Carol Potts Warring ‘64, Carolyn Holley Geller ‘67

Cathy Smart Oakes ‘66.


Motion was made to adjourn and seconded.  Motion passed and meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Judy Cupp Schultz ‘58

Acting Recording Secretary



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