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July 10, 2012 > Washington High grads celebrate 70th reunion

Washington High grads celebrate 70th reunion

By Alvena Leal

The class of 1942 was known as the Pearl Harbor class; World War II changed the lives of those graduates. Monday, the 8th of December, students were stunned, the Japanese students were crying and they could not look at any of us. They were soon moved to camps far away.

Several students signed up for various branches of the Armed Forces to serve their country. Four members of the class did not make it back after the war. They were Edward Bettencourt, Lawrence Johnson, Wesley Merrill, and Willis Myrick. Class sizes became smaller and a lot of activities were cancelled. It was a very scary time with nightly blackouts and an air raid now and then.

Sunday afternoon, June 7, 1942, we had a simple graduation without the students that had gone to war and the Japanese students that were in camps.

This class has faithfully gotten together since our 15th reunion and continued every five years after that. Since our 50th, it was decided to get together every year for a picnic lunch at Lake Elizabeth. Alvena Homen has kept up the roster and sends out flyers for the get-togethers. We started with 153 classmates and now, at this time, have 43 on our mailing list. Alvena also has kept pictures and news clippings in an album that is shown at all the events.

This year, on June 7, 18 classmates and 12 guests gathered at Papillion Restaurant on Mission Boulevard for reminiscing and a great lunch. Mel Nunes brought a beautiful, delicious cake to share with everyone, and Ben Leal led the group in a couple of school songs. We plan to get together on September 13 for our annual picnic at Lake Elizabeth.

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