08/31/08 — Norwayne alumni celebrate 36th reunion

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Norwayne alumni celebrate 36th reunion

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 31, 2008 10:53 AM

FREMONT -- Revelers dared cloudy skies Saturday to enjoy a part of the Norwayne Alumni & Friends gathering that has become a feature -- a parade.

Hundreds either rode in the caravan or lined the streets on the eastern edge of the town to a triumphant finish downtown. The weekend's festivities continued with a banquet Saturday night and church services today.

The 36th annual event drew people back home, to the place where they became young men and women. They came from as far away as New Jersey and New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, giving them a chance to see once-familiar faces grown old and to renew friendships that had faded.

"Fellowship and love, camaraderie, togetherness, all of that," said Freddie Smith of the Class of 1965, with classmate Dorothy Fleming Brown chiming in, as they taped a banner proclaiming their graduation year to the front of their car. "We come here every year."

"Every year you see someone you haven't seen since you graduated," said Thelma Hill Adams, Class of '62, from Baltimore.

"It's something I look forward to every year," said Henry Lewis of the Class of 1956. He has returned to the area after spending nearly half a century in New York.

"This is a good day for Fremont," said Mayor Devone Jones, a member of the Class of 1960, the same as his wife, Geraldine.

Events began Friday night with a social gathering at which treats were priced at 1960 levels.

The parade started at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and wound its way into downtown. The afternoon was filled with good food and music.

Saturday night's banquet was held at the Dillard-Goldsboro Alumni Cultural Center in Goldsboro, followed by a homecoming dance.

Worship services today were to held at the Norwayne Alumni Building on Branch Street, with and evening services featuring gospel music at St. James Church of Christ -- Disciples of Christ.

The focus of the alumni is not only to maintain a link to a beloved past, but also to ensure a better future, they said, pointing to the reunion's theme, "Touching Lives as We Grow. An emphasis is placed on the organization's scholarship program, which gives deserving youths a chance to succeed.