About the Colony

Centennial reunion event planned for Atascadero High grads

Special to The TribuneFebruary 18, 2013 

In June 1921, five local girls made history. They were the first to receive diplomas as graduates of Margarita Black Union High School. They were Catherine Austin, Lucille Brownson, Alice Dulitz, Mildred Weeks and Mildred Hathaway. They didn’t attend classes in the high school because it wasn’t finished yet. They attended classes in the original Grammar School building, the upper floors of the City Administration Building and even the Federated Church, just below high school hill.

Alice Dulitz was Colony Days Queen in 1983 and remained a very loyal Greyhound right up to her death.

The graduation ceremony was held in the auditorium of the church, which also served as a community center for the young Colony. The first class (19 seniors) graduated from the new high school in June 1922.

The original school building is scheduled to be razed in the near future. Its landmark clock tower was knocked down in 1951 at the same time the clay tiles were removed and a flat roof put in place, turning it into a big ugly box with windows.

What hasn’t changed is that students who graduate together like to get together periodically and remember “the old days.” I was reluctant to go to my 50th high school reunion and so very glad that my wife persuaded me to do so.

I heard from a former student of mine recently, Susan Sommers, announcing that a special centennial reunion event is being planned for those who graduated between 1960 and 1980. She said the joint reunion is now scheduled for the Saturday after Labor Day, Sept. 7, at Atascadero Lake Park.

The immediate task at hand is to find where everyone is. Susan said a number of graduates from specific years are heading up the job of getting addresses from all those past Greyhounds. So far, helping Susan are Linda Benfield, Linda Norton Hamilton, Renae Ward Sullivan, Kathleen Curtis Ames, Maria Filipponi, Janet Mulder Anderson, Judy Ricks, Keri Wilkins McNerlin, Tam and Pam Savage, Marcia Estrada, Judi Harmon Weatherwax. Randy McDaniel, Pat Lewis, Carla Perkins, Wayne Cooper, Tom and Bobbi Jermin and Ken Wilhoit.

Their first working meeting will be Thursday at the home of Tom O’Malley. In fact, Susan says the group will meet the third Thursday of each month until the reunion in September.

To find out about this Thursday’s meeting, contact Susan at 434-2884.

Lon Allan's column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades. Reach him at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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