CHHS Class of 1961 donates and dedicates new benches to Charles Henderson High School

Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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On Monday, May 6, 2024 a group of classmates gathered on the front steps of Charles Henderson High School.

These classmates go way back… all the way back to 1961. The purpose of their gathering was to dedicate their donation of the latest addition to the Charles Henderson High School Campus – 2 beautiful, brand new benches. These benches now proudly flanking the front of the CHHS office were donated by the Class of 1961 using memorial funds raised by class members over the years.

They decided to do something useful and beneficial for the school. Mack Scott, Vice President of the Class of 1961 addressed the group with prayer and heartfelt presentation speech to dedicate the benches. In his speech, Mr. Scott recognized the 1961 Class of CHHS as the very first graduating class from the (then) brand new Charles Henderson High School. Their class was the “First to Wear the Ring”, meaning their class ring was the first one to ever feature the title “Charles Henderson High School”. Up until the class of 1961, Troy’s local public high school was named “Troy High School”. (Troy High School was located where the new Troy Public Library stands today on Elm Street.)

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Mack Scott went on to remark that this group of 134 classmates from the Class of 1961 had outstanding members who went on to do great things in this community and world. Many were school teachers, several serving Troy City Schools for decades. The class of 1961 had class members who went on to have careers as attorneys, doctors, dentists, engineers, medical technicians. The group spoke admirably of those who faithfully served in the military from their class. There were successful businessmen and businesswomen in retail, administration, insurance, and real estate. Nurses, County officials, and an engineer for the NASA program were included in that listing. Not to mention the longest standing Mayor of the City of Troy, Mayor Jimmy Lunsford was a proud member of the Class of 1961.

This group certainly made their mark as the first class to “Wear the Ring”. They were not afraid of hard work at an early age. Proving that, one class member stated that there was a group of about six guys that worked for Henderson Black & Grocery their Junior and Senior years at CHHS after school for $ .75 an hour. They all laughed saying that Henderson Black & Grocery just couldn’t have made it if it hadn’t been for those young men back then.

As the group gathered on the steps, they continued reminiscing about past experiences. Herb Huner commented that at the time of the school’s inauguration, there were only 3 buildings on campus and that they used to have Physical Education classes outside in the the pasture behind the school. He chuckled that they used to play volleyball between the terraces.

Current Principal, Lise Fayson was in attendance and she thanked the Class of 1961 for their generosity. Fayson expressed that the school was very grateful for these wonderful gifts and she appreciated everyone in attendance for the dedication of the benches.

In closing, the Class of 1961 unanimously agreed that they hoped their donated benches would usefully serve the students well for many years to come. The Class of 1961 wishes that those two benches will be enjoyed by all and hopefully serve as a reminder that “We were the best, We had fun, we are the class of ’61”.