Manatee High School reunion for alumni from the 40’s.

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Manatee High School reunion for alumni from the 40’s.

Manatee High School's 1940's alumni.

Manatee High School's 1940's alumni.

Manatee High School's 1940's alumni.

Manatee High School's 1940's alumni.

Camryn Souders, Staff Reporter

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By Camryn Souders, Staff Reporter

On Sep. 6, 2018, the Manatee High School Alumni Association held a luncheon for Manatee High graduates from the 40’s at Pier 22 in Bradenton, Florida.

Alumni from many years attended to help celebrate. Graduates ranging from the class of 1940 to the class of 2006 attended. During the event, the class of 1943 celebrated their 75th reunion with only two representatives for the class. Yearbooks, photos, and trophies were set out, old friends were reconnected, and current MHS principal, David Underhill, spoke of how life at Manatee is today.

At the luncheon, awards were given out for life achievements. The oldest alumni graduated in 1940 and is 96. The farthest traveling alumni is from the class of 1947 and traveled from Hayesville, North Carolina. The alumni with the most grandchildren is from the class of 1948 and has 60 grandchildren. The alumni married the longest is from the class of 1944 and has been married 75 years.

Betty Lane Barczak, left, and Flossie Bailey Dolan, right, celebrate their 75th reunion with the class of ’43

A yearbook from 1946 reads, “Bradenton High School in no way escaped the complexities of total war. Now at last, the war has ended. A peace-loving nation can once more turn its thoughts to peace. Many former graduates of this school have made the supreme sacrifice. We sincerely pray God that such sacrifice will not be necessary again.”

For students nearly 80 years ago, they faced different challenges than we do today. They went to school during or right after World War II and watched peers serve in the military, with many being killed in action. Many of the men who lived ended up coming back and graduating with later classes, since they missed their own graduation.

Despite the seriousness of the time, they enjoyed all the same things we do today. They participated in sports like football, baseball, basketball, track, and boxing. On display was a 1945 football program that was four pages and costed 10 cents. Manatee was the state champion for boys basketball in 1942. The marching band was still stirring up school spirit at every football game. They also had jamborees, which were similar to beauty pageants. All these activities brought the student body together and made them proud to be hurricanes.

A big part of school was clubs. Nearly every student was in at least one club. They had service clubs called the Girls’ Reserve and the Key Club, which we still have today. Academic clubs like the Lanier English Club, the History Club, the Library club, and the Future Teachers of America Club played a big role in scholastic standings.

The reunion was organized to give the graduates a chance to remember their time in high school. They’re in their late 80’s and 90’s and hadn’t had a reunion in many years.

 

About the Writer
Camryn Souders, Staff Reporter

Camryn "Cammy" Souders is a junior at Manatee High, but will be graduating this school year. She plans to become a neonatal nurse. She loves God, art,...

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