When the moon is not full, the stars shine more brightly. _ African proverb from Buganda.
The Class of 1970 from Gibbs High School recently held its 25th reunion. The week of activities and family outings also included the 1970 graduates from St. Petersburg High, Lakewood and Bishop Barry (now called St. Petersburg Catholic).
The class president, Alonzo Favors Sr., along with Thomas Whitlock, Cheryl Holliday and their committees, worked extremely hard to make the reunion one to remember.
Many of the members took great pride in the fact that they were the last all African-American class to graduate before court-ordered desegregation.
The last activity was a formal banquet held at the Days Inn Marina and Resort. It was a wonderful affair with great food and excellent entertainment. Former drama and speech teacher Anthony Thurston was absolutely marvelous with his quips and jibes as he introduced the speaker, Cecil B. Keene, principal of the 1970 class. Keene, though brief, made some poignant remarks as he addressed his former students. Still urging them to hold their heads high and keep their cool, he admonished them not to give up the fight for advancement while looking for positive solutions to the problems they face.
Some of the folks who attended the banquet were Watson Haynes, Mae Frances Lester and Beatrice Harvey, who are the class treasurers; Calvernetta McDonald-Wesley, chaplain; Julia Harper-Lattimore; Margie Collins-Senior; Cynthia Glenn; Joann Walker-Garrett; Melvin Lamar; Verbenia Wells; Wanda Reed-Williams, class secretary; and Joseph Lovette, Willie Joyce Hall, Joyce Jolliff, Veritta Scott, Wayne Tate, Linda Livingston-Mobley, Virgil Purvis, Edward Nesbitt, Greg Mitchell, Carol Dukes, Maureen Thomas, John Dowdell, T. C. Carter, Deno Drayton, Naomi Richardson, Keith Medaris, Eddie Scott, Ernest Reynolds, Thomas Albritton, Vanetta Parham-Davis, Charles Lane, Diane Bowers, Wilhemina Downie, Robert Starling, Althea Stewart, Wayne Green, Loletia Lawton, Robert Williams, Delores Byrd-George, Charlotte Fuller, Michael Bivens, Darryl Killins, Carol Brown-Myles, Larry Landers and Patricia Flounoy-King.
Toward the end of the evening, they held a solemn and touching candle-lighting ceremony to remember their deceased classmates. A former next-door neighbor of mine, Betty Livingston, was among them.
If I had to rate the evening on a scale of one to five, it would definitely get a five. Harambee!
The Crown of Success goes to Thelma Johnson Nolan of St. Petersburg, who received her doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University on Sunday afternoon. Nolan is one of the assistant principals at Largo High School.
The Cradle of Wisdom comes from the Ashanti: When a man is wealthy, he may wear an old cloth.