DCTS, Central Davie reunion held

Published 10:49 am Thursday, June 27, 2019

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By Dr. Regina Graham

For the Enterprise

Davie County Training School and Central Davie High School held their 31st annual reunion at Triple J Manor House in Mocksville on Friday, June 14 and Saturday June 15.

The reunion kicked off with a Soul Train theme on Friday night hosted by the class of 1969. The class of 1969 includes Phyllis Bowman Bohannon, Dennis Carter, Robert Campbell, Louise Chunn Hudson, John Henry Chambers, James Weldon Dalton, Bishop Terry Dalton, Lester Evans, Kathie Foster, Dorothy Frost, John Frost, Doris Gaither Jimmerson, Bruce Hancock, William Hall, Phyllis Hosch, Eddie Johnson, Linda Ijames, George Lewis, Geraldine Lewis Goolsby, Ralph Revels, Samuel Rose, Arthur Scott, Robert Stokes, Muriel Studevent, Marvin Sullivan, Annie Turner Thompson, Hubert West, Flora Wilkes Hancock, and Patricia Wiseman Sullivan.

The party consisted of food, fellowship, and dancing.

The weekend celebration continued Saturday night with a formal banquet at the same location.  Louise Chunn Hudson (class of 69) served as mistress of ceremony for 90 attendees, which included school alumni and their families.

The Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” was followed by dinner catered by Anida Farmer.

A special part of the reunion is to remember alumni who have passed away. Annie Turner Thompson and Muriel Studevent (both class of ‘69), lit candles in memory of deceased graduates.

Everlena Garrett, (class of ‘41), was presented with flowers for being the oldest surviving graduate who attended. Her daughter, Alice Brown, made remarks on her mother’s behalf.

Five members of the class of 1949 were recognized: Alberta McEachern, Hubert West, Camilla Holman, Cleo Palmer and Thelma Carpenter. Honoring the older alumni is a tradition that began in 2008, and the class of 1950 will be recognized next year.

Clyde Scott (class of ‘57), chair of the scholarship committee, presented the DCTS/CDHS Scholarship to two high school graduates who are descendants of the school alumni.

Travis Barker is the son of Timothy and Karen Barker and grandson of Annell Barker (class of ‘60).  He is a sophomore at UNC-Charlotte and received $500 as a second year recipient. Since he was unable to attend, the scholarship was received by his grandmother.

Jessica Mayfield is daughter of Bryon and Yvette Mayfield and the granddaughter of Priscilla Williams (class of ‘67).  She received $1,000 and plans to attend UNC-Charlotte. The class of 1969 presented the reunion with a gift of $500 for the scholarship fund.

Robert Campbell (class of ‘69) introduced his classmate and keynote speaker, Bishop Terry Dalton (class of ‘69), who gave a message about being thankful for life each day, and the importance of being kind and greeting people with a smile.

Dalton impressed the audience with his recitation of a poem he learned at Central Davie. Dalton recalled that students participated in daily devotion and prayer, and The Bird with the Broken Pinion was a poem he recited for devotion in 9th grade.

The Bird with the

Broken Pinion

By Hezekiah Butterworth

I walked in the woodland meadows,

Where sweet the thrushes sing,

And found on a bed of mosses,

A bird with a broken wing;

I healed its wing, and each morning

It sang its old sweet strain,

But the bird with the broken pinion,

Never soared as high again,

Never soared as high again.

I found a young life broken

By sin’s seductive art,

And, touched with a Christlike pity,

I took him to my heart;

He lived with a nobler purpose,

And struggled not in vain,

But the life that sin had stricken,

Never soared as high again,

Never soared as high again.

But the bird with the broken pinion

Kept another from the snare,

The life that sin had stricken,

Raised another from despair;

Each loss has its own compensation,

There’s healing for each pain,

But the bird with the broken pinion

Never soared as high again,

Never soared as high again.

Dalton encouraged the audience to aim high with their dreams, and encourage students in their families to do so also. Continuing a love for poetry that started in school, Dalton has written poetry through the years and he recited a poem he wrote titled “The Old Shade Tree.”

Working in the middle of a field,

On a hot and muggy day,

Sweat pouring from my brow,

No breeze to cool my way.

Just over the hill I could see,

An old shade tree.

Heat pounding against my head,

No clouds to cover me,

Slowly climbing the hill with dread,

Toward that battered tree.

Closer, and closer I would get,

The better I could see,

A spot where weary souls have sat,

Under the shelter of the tree.

No longer troubled by the heat,

Being hid from the sun,

Finally making it over the hill,

I knew my day was done.

Now in the heat of the day,

And troubles there will be,

No breeze, or clouds to cool your way,

Look for the old shade tree.

He gave the analogy that a tree provides shade and people should be like trees by providing help to those in need.  He asked people to look for the old shade tree, implying that we should look for opportunities to provide shelter. Dalton was followed by Julius Suiter, a former teacher, whose sense of humor and anecdotal remarks never fail to entertain.

Willie Studevent, president of the reunion, gave closing remarks and encouraged everyone to attend the reunion next year, which will be hosted by the class of 1970.  DJ Gray and Gray pumped up the dance floor with The Electric Slide, which has always been a popular song that many alumni enjoy, and it usually gets people out of their seats and onto the dance floor.

In 2016 a memorial highlighting the history of DCTS/CDHS was placed at 160 Campbell Road, the school’s original location, and currently the location of Central Davie Academy.  The monument is located beside of the school’s original flagpole, which was a meeting place for students after school.

Meeting after school at the flagpole began in 1942, when the graduating class purchased a flag and flagpole as a gift to the school.  Historical records indicate that Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears Corp., opened a school for blacks sometime in the 1920s.  From 1939-1962, the school was named Davie County Training School.  The name changed to Central Davie High School until 1968 when schools integrated and all students began attending the current Davie High School.

Dr. Regina Graham has taken pictures, written articles, and assisted her mother, Dorothy Graham (class of ‘53) with registration and other miscellaneous tasks for the reunion for over 20 years.  Anyone interested in seeing or purchasing this year’s reunion photo book can contact Graham at Graham Funeral Home.