Cougars, Tigers recall 'the old days'
By Matt Caulder
Published in News on May 25, 2014 1:50 AM
Members of the Dillard High School Class of 1964 wave to spectators while riding on a float down Center Street during the Dillard Goldsboro Alumni and Friends parade Saturday. The group is celebrating its 50-year reunion.
Miss Goldsboro High School 2014 Waverlea Brown, 15, waves to the crowd during the annual parade.
Members of the Goldsboro High School Marching Band prepare for their turn on the parade route.
School spirit was not in short supply this year.
The tradition of class participation by the Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni and Friends continued at the alumni weekend this year as the Class of 2009 entered the parade for the first time this year on Saturday.
The newcomers joined classes dating back through the decades to the 1950s as the graduates celebrated their time at Dillard and Goldsboro high schools.
The class celebrated its five-year reunion this year and decided this was the time to throw its hat in the ring.
"We decided to start in the parade this year," Meoka Edwards said. "Just wait until our 10th year. It will be even better and bigger."
Ronesh Newkirk said that the class might continue to participate each year to act as role models for the newly minted Goldsboro High alumni.
"We are expected to keep the tradition going," she said. "We may go every year to show the younger classes how to do it."
Miss Goldsboro High School was getting her first taste of the royal life at the parade as well, after winning the title earlier this month.
Waverlea Brown, 15, rode on the seatback of a convertible up Center Street in her first public appearance Saturday.
"I'm not really nervous because I have done this with the pageants," she said. "I am kind of used to being in front of crowds."
Sandra Butler, Goldsboro Class of 1978, began joining in on the parades in 1983 and hasn't missed a year yet.
"Some start the next year but we started after five," she said. "The mighty Class of '78. We celebrated 35 years last year."
Every year the reunion draws 75 to 100 members of the Class of 1978, Ms. Butler said.
Fellow classmate Janet Moss said that their class is looking forward to riding in the parade next year.
"The parades go in rotations, this year is fives and nines," she said. "Next year is fours and eights and it will be our turn. We'll get the float all built and come strong and get the fun ready."
Marching by the Dillard Middle School and Goldsboro High School bands provided entertainment for the spectators as well as impromptu dancing from many of the parade participants themselves.
Jamila Deboise, a 1995 Goldsboro graduate, came up from Fayetteville to spend the weekend with her family.
"It's tradition," she said. "My mother and grandmother went here. I come up every year for the weekend. My mom still stays here, so I come up and see her and friends."
Larry Evans travels up from Forsyth, Ga., each year to support the alumni organization, although he is not a Dillard/Goldsboro graduate.
"This is a very good organization, and we have a sister organization in Georgia, the Hubbard High School Alumni Association," Evans said. "I travel up here every year to support all the activities. Last night we gave a $250 scholarship at the social. We support them and they come down and support us."
Evans said that he keeps coming back year after year because of the support the group lends to education, as well as to preserve African American history in the area.
Participating in the parade this year was the Royal Pride Car Club, a Chrysler 300 club operating out of Goldsboro.
About 10 Chryslers and one stretch Chrysler limousine rolled down Center Street Saturday.
The club was participating in the weekend events, as well as raising money for various causes.
Club president Jeffrey Rudolph said he formed the club three years ago as a social club that gives back to the surrounding area.
"I'm prior military. I was in the Army for six years, and I wanted to form something to give back," Rudolph said. "We contact different charities and organizations and they send us promo items that we use to set up booths. We give half the proceeds to the charities and keep the rest as club funds."
As to why a Chrysler 300 club, Rudolph said the cars are just classy and he hopes to have the Royals grow into the largest Chrysler club in the state.
Wanetta Montgomery is one of the club's road captains, an officer who keeps the club in line while traveling in events.
"My kids love it and we get to come out to events like this and help people," she said. "It's a good thing to be in."
But the parade and the picnics and parties Saturday were not the end of the celebration.
The Friends will hold worship services across Goldsboro at 11 a.m. today including one at H.V. Brown Hall where the Rev. Norris Thomas will deliver the message, as well as the Class of 1954 service at New Stoney Hill and the Class of 1972 service at Eastern Chapel Church.
From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the archives room will be open for perusing.
At 3 p.m., the Class of 1955 fellowship will take place in the Class of 55 room at the Neat A. Stitt Building.
Alumni picnics will begin at 2 p.m. with the members of the Class of 1972 celebrating their 60th birthday together at the 60th Birthday Dinner/Dance beginning at 6 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Country Club.