MHS Class of '48 holds breakfast reunions

By By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
April 3, 2002
Their conversations may include events of 50 years ago, five years ago or just last week. Their subjects are about anything and everything.
And the members of Meridian High School Class of 1948 do it when they meet for breakfast in every month that has a fifth Saturday just like they did last week on the second-to-last day of March.
Duke said the idea for the breakfast meetings began when her Meridian High class planned its 40-year class reunion in 1988. She said she and her friends have met at breakfast ever since.
All but two of the breakfast club participants graduated in 1948. The two who didn't are Lamar Smith, a member of the Class of 1947, and Martha Bailey Bancroft, from the Class of 1949.
Students made sacrifices
On Saturday, the group ate and talked about many things. E.C. Bancroft recalled the sacrifices his class made in the late 1940s, just after the end of World War II.
The school had graduation ceremonies in January, May and August of 1948 because of the staggered times that the men returned to school.
Bancroft and Duke described how the school's grades were arranged: Elementary school covered grades one through six, while junior high had grades seven through 10.
Meridian High included grades 11-14 two more than the 12 today. The 13th and 14th grades, Bancroft and Duke said, were similar to college level classes today at Meridian Community College.
By the time students graduated from high school back then, they said, they practically had an associate's degree.
Friends share news
Some breakfast club members eagerly shared the latest news in their lives.
Evelyn Glover talked about a recent trip to Puerto Vallarta. Vondelle Avera talked about a family wedding. And Alice Benson talked about taking her grandchildren to Disney World.
Whatever the topic, members said they enjoyed visiting with their longtime friends. In fact, they often get together at others times including an annual Christmas party and a fish fry in Quitman.
Group member Lavelle Woodrick even publishes a newsletter for the class called the "Geriatric Wildcat," listing information about what class members are doing.
Plans already are in the works for the class' 55-year reunion in fall 2003 15 years after the 40-year reunion that spurred the breakfast meetings.

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