GHS Class of 1976 holds re­union

The Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Ar­lene Ed­monds For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

The bi­cen­ten­nial class of Ger­man­town High School proves that 60 just may be the new 40.

This was cer­tainly the case when dozens of mem­bers of the Class of 1976 came to­gether to cel­e­brate their col­lec­tive 60th birth­days. They de­cided to do this at the Marco Polo Restau­rant at 8080 Old York Road in Elkins Park, which was cen­trally lo­cated for the alumni who live in through­out North­west Philadel­phia and the ad­ja­cent sub­ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties.

Among those no­tice­ably ab­sent from the cel­e­bra­tion was state Rep. Stephen Kin­sey, D-201, of Ger­man­town, who was on the com­mit­tee for many of the bi­cen­ten­nial class’s pre­vi­ous re­unions. Kin­sey was un­able to make the au­tumn cel­e­bra­tion be­cause he had to at­tend a fam­ily fu­neral.

For Ge­orge Oliver, a dea­con at the Enon Taber­na­cle Bap­tist Church, the re­union brought back many mem­o­ries. He said the thing he re­mem­bers most is learn­ing about African-Amer­i­can his­tory at the school. He sin­gled out the late Dr. Ed­ward Robin­son, the un­cle of the late state Rep. David P. Richard­son, who gave his­tory lec­tures at the school that was lo­cated at Ger­man­town Av­enue and Haines Street.

“I also re­mem­ber Mr. Hicks, who had all th­ese books about African-Amer­i­can his­tory,” Oliver said. “We didn’t just have books, but we had many who lived through some of the his­toric mo­ments. Now it is ex­cit­ing to come here and see your class­mates who you can still rec­og­nize after all th­ese years. We can talk about re­mem­ber­ing the things Mr. Hicks said.”

“This is ex­cit­ing and re­ju­ve­nat­ing,” said Dar­lene Rober­son, a plan­ning com­mit­tee mem­ber. “We had such a great time in 1976 be­cause it was the bi­cen­ten­nial year. How of­ten do you get to­gether with a his­toric high school class? We had many events be­cause we were a close class, and I think be­ing the bi­cen­ten­nial class had some­thing to do with it.”

Dar­lene Rober­son was quick to point out that many who came out of Ger­man­town High School have done well. She said some owned their own en­ter­prises. Oth­ers went on to col­lege and grad­u­ated, which led them to in­ter­est­ing pro­fes­sional lives.

This in­cluded Mike Mur­rell, who was the class pres­i­dent of Ger­man­town High’s Class of ‘76.

“It’s an ex­treme bless­ing to be here,” Mur­rell said. “I have to thank God that so many are here who are happy and healthy. Some of us didn’t make it to 60.

A few could not make it. Yet when you look around, this is still a good show­ing for a class that grad­u­ated 1,200 stu­dents from Ger­man­town. This is his­toric, and that is why I feel blessed and grate­ful.”

Mur­rell said his only dis­ap­point­ment is the clo­sure of Ger­man­town High School in 2013 as it was on the brink of turn­ing 100. He and oth­ers said they were look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the school’s 100th birth­day.

“It’s sad that some thought that the school that paved the way for so many of us was just ex­pend­able,” Mur­rell said.

Alum­nus Alan Sin­gle­tary gave ku­dos to the plan­ning com­mit­tee. He said they have been dili­gent in mak­ing sure that his grad­u­at­ing class reg­u­larly came to­gether.

“Ev­ery­one here has a story, but what we all share is that ca­ma­raderie. This [gath­er­ing] just brings back so many good mem­o­ries,” Sin­gle­tary said.

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