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Last reunions at Toronto High School

October 7, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

To the editor:

The 1962 and 1967 graduates of Toronto High School stepped back in history on Aug. 18. After months of planning by a committee composed of members from both classes, a joint reunion was held in the high school building that opened 86 years ago. The first class graduated in 1925. Toronto High School maintains class pictures from that first year through the class of 2012, minus a few that have been lost or destroyed. All these pictures will be rehung in the new Toronto Junior/Senior High scheduled to open in August.

Classmates and guests from both classes mingled and shared memories. Several class members had not returned to Toronto High School in the 45 or 50 years since their graduation.

Classmates were encouraged to dress as they did in the 1960s. One former majorette entered the gym with a baton and accompanying music. Both classes posed for pictures. Extra pictures, such as classmates who started grade school together at St. Francis, were taken.

After opening remarks, the classes joined together in the beautifully decorated cafeteria that everyone remembered as being much bigger. In fact, people remembered higher ceilings, bigger classrooms, a longer gym and wider hallways.

No, their memories were not accurate representations. They were memories of 14-18 -year-old students. The disc jockey played music of the late 1950s to the early 1960s. An aura of the past was present.

Throughout the evening, there were group tours of the school, and "students" remembered when they were in a room or had a certain teacher. They looked at wall photos again of graduates such as Bob Urich. Individuals shot pictures, and memories were rekindled. At 10 p.m. people said, "Do we have to leave?"

People noted at the end of the evening how lucky students of today will be to attend a new building.

The two classes held separate mixers and separate picnics. The event re-established many friendships and many fond memories and discussions of "back then."

A time of the past ended as these will be the last class reunions held at the current building. Toronto High School is scheduled to be razed after the 2012-13 school year. A park and a parking lot for the new school will take its place. Memories will live on, but new ones will be created by new classes. The final reunion was a walk into the past - comments appearing on social media sites indicated what a great time was had by 112 people.

History stopped and memories flowed as the two classes reminisced of their teen years. "To Toronto High, a song we sing." Yes, we sang the alma mater. The Class of 1967 is already planning for its 50th to be held in 2017 in an air conditioned facility for the "golden oldies."

Times pass, people who died were honored, but memories of being back at Toronto High School again will last a lifetime. Red Knights of the classes of 1962 and 1967 will remember a "Knight" of the past.

Fred Burns


Toronto City Schools

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