Never Forgotten: Fifth Ward High School

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

RESERVE — Fifth Ward High School graduates recently celebrated their school and accomplishments at Our Lady of Grace’s Gymnasium.

More than 300 students and guests were in attendance from classes of 1950 through 1969. Organizers said this was the first mass reunion since the school closed in 1969.

Some of the guests included former teachers and staff: Alberta Henderson, Beverly Harris, Sidney Sanders, Ruby Toney, Laureen Burl, Betty Clement, Dionne Lapeyrolerie, Ethelene Nicholson, Gloria Duhe, Geraldine Smith and Joyce Harris.

Alumni included were former St. John Parish Assessor Whitney Joseph, councilmen Larry Snyder and Lennix Madere and representatives from many occupations including the military.

Planning committee members are seen.

Evelyn Stemley served as the Mistress of Ceremonies, with the invocation by Rev. Willie Smith and the Pledge from Snyder.

Organizers said the evening’s highlight was an oral history of the school presented by former teacher Alberta Henderson.

Madere and Roy Fobb (Class of 1952) gave reflections.

There was a moment of silence to remember deceased students and teachers. Retired Judge Sylvia Taylor thanked and recognized all the teachers in attendance. Awards were presented by Jacqueline Forest, a former Principal of Fifth Ward Elementary and another former principal, Stephanie Waters, was also recognized.

There was a display table with a roll call of all the classes by year conducted by Ronald Dorris and Elois Joseph.

Memorabilia from the school was on display, including drums from the school band belonging to Robert Taylor Sr. and Jerry Washington; a school jacket that was worn by Peter James; a shoe box made in the industrial arts shop by Madere, an entertainment center containing a television and stereo system made in the industrial arts shop by Robert Taylor Sr.; and a record album recorded by the 1969 Concert Band titled “In a Soul Musical” by Adrian Watkins, the band director.

The evening ended with Shirley Anderson, Class of 1957, thanking everyone in attendance and recognizing the committee that coordinated the event.