Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

history2Terry Konkle – President

Last Saturday, June 29, 2013 the twenty seventh annual meeting of the Golden “ R” group was held at Rockford High School. The senior class of 1963 became the newest members having reached their fiftieth year since graduating from RHS. During the day’s program activities Harold Clark , president of the class of 1962, welcomed the 1963 class and Joyce Morse Stinger, representing 1963 responded for them. The 1963 group was well represented at the afternoon affair with most also present at a separate reunion celebration at the Timbers Inn the same night. Many other students from other Rockford graduating classes prior to 1963 also attended the Golden “R” reunion, and they were having a great time meeting, greeting, taking and sharing photos and reminiscing.

Gene Berry (class of 1954) served as master of ceremonies as he has done for several years and was in fine form once again. He knows the group, and he keeps things moving along in good order. One change from previous years was some entertainment provided by “The Rockford Aces” a high school singing group. They did a great job as usual and the audience enjoyed their performance. Rockford school superintendent Michael Shibler updated everyone on what has happened recently with in the school system. He emphasized the importance of our graduates and spoke with pride about our history and our achievements.

Before Doctor Shibler spoke, I was given the opportunity to thank the group for their support of the Rockford Area Historical Society and especially for their help with the new museum project. I also invited any of the audience to come to the new museum on Saturday or Sunday afternoon to view our progress. Many (about fifty) did visit the new facility, and it was great that they did. Readers may not know that the first Golden “R” reunion, which was the idea of Lyle Bennett, a 1923 Rockford graduate and later a Rockford teacher and coach, was sponsored by the Rockford Area Historical Society. We are a part of Golden “R” history, and they are a part of historical society history.

Gene Berry introduced Marcus Powers, a 2013 RHS senior, who was the recipient of the Golden “R” scholarship. The young man thanked the group and told a bit about himself and his plans. He was a very impressive person. After recognition of alumni who were out of school sixty five years or more, of teachers, of families with many graduates, of the event committee and of veterans, the occasion ended, as always, with the audience singing “God Bless America” accompanied on the piano by Betty Harris Wonders (class of “58”). What a positive event!

It is time to consider the answer to the last “Nugget of Rockford History!” question. I asked for either one or both of the men who were the new superintendent and the new high school principal for the school year 1961-62. James Bale was the superintendent and Gene Arnold the principal. Bob Boyer, Bill Boyd, Ric Leroux, Nancy Simonis, Martin Vogel, Lee Paull, Bonnie (Boyd) Braman, Pam (Crawford) Robillard, Becky (Gill) Hostetter, Bob Bowman and Larry Glass all replied with at least one correct answer. My thanks to all for responding.

I will conclude with a new “Nugget” question. Pam Robillard suggested this one. “What was the name of the man who had a bakery on Courtland Street in a building approximately where part of Ward’s Barber Shop is today?” Please contact me with your answers at 616-866-0530 (deadline July 13). Also, let me know your comments, suggestions or corrections.


About Squire News
The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.

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