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Hurst High School reunion draws hundreds

| Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, 6:36 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Hurst High School Alumni Reunion Committee includes (from left) Thelma Hutter Heide (Class of 1944); twins Jean Schlingman Rowe and Jane Schlingman Thomas (Class of 1945); Edna Nemeth Taylor (Class of 1950); Glenys Cunningham Waters (Class of 1947); Doris Johnson Peterson (Class of 1944); and Ruth Ann “Dolly” Newill Queer (Class of 1961).

Since 1908, proud graduates of Mt. Pleasant Township could call Hurst High School in Norvelt their alma mater. The hallways were filled with high school students through its final graduation year in 1965.

For several decades, past graduates of the high school have gathered for an afternoon of laughter and reminiscing, as they participated in the Hurst High School Alumni Reunion, which now takes place every other year.

“My uncles Simon and Henry Fisher started this when they decided they wanted to have a reunion for the class that was celebrating their 50th reunion,” event chair Glenys Cunningham Waters said of the reunion that is marking its 17th year as a biennial event. “Every time, we add two more classes.”

The event is a huge draw for the former students, many of whom travel great distances to attend.

“We have someone who comes from Texas and someone coming from the state of Washington,” Waters said. “We really have people who come from all over the country.”

The event was held Saturday afternoon at Roosevelt Hall in Norvelt, filled with the 350 expected reunion attendees.

“I really enjoy seeing everyone and coming to this reunion,” alumni and reunion committee member Thelma Hutter Heide said. “It's nice to see everyone and talk to everyone.”

The reunion committee meets on a regular basis to plan the event. Waters said that they have changed the format over the years.

“We used to plan entertainment,” Waters said. “We would have entertainment going on throughout the day, but we realized that no one was paying attention to them. Everyone just wanted to walk around and talk, so we don't have the entertainment anymore.”

The event did, however, feature a slide show of images taken from the old Hurst yearbooks.

“We don't have people bring memorabilia or anything like that,” Waters said. “I think that people come here to reminisce and have fun.”

The next reunion will be in 2015, when the graduating classes of 1964 and 1965 will be invited.

“Those were the final years for graduation classes from Hurst before they went to the new high school,” Waters said. “That should be a big event.”

During the reunion, stories were told of the Hurst Hurricanes, and laughter was shared as many saw faces of friends they once shared time with on a daily basis as they walked the halls of the old high school.

“This is a really, really nice day,” Hurst alumna and reunion committee member Ruth Ann “Dolly” Newill Queer said. “I was so glad when it was finally my turn to be able to come. I couldn't wait until my class celebrated their fifth reunion so we could be included in this. We now see new faces every reunion along with some old faces, and we always look forward to seeing who comes.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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