Commencement of Cliffside High School 1927
Cliffside, May 30—“This is the last graduating class from Cliffside High School,” said Mr. B. P. Caldwell tonight at the Commencement to the audience of twelve hundred, and turning toward the twenty seniors who were seated on the stage, continued, “You will be the last graduates of Cliffside High School; hereafter officially this school will be known as the Charles H. Haynes School. At a meeting of all the students recently it was voted unanimously to change the name of the school; neither Mr. Haynes nor the Superintendent were consulted. I consider it an honor, a well deserved honor,” and Mr. Caldwell, the Superintendent, turned and bowed to Mr. Charles H. Haynes, who with the other two members of the school board, Mr. G. K. Moore and Mr. R. B. Watkins, were seated on the stage as was the speaker of the evening, Mr. Clyde A. Erwin, County Superintendent of Education. There was a spontaneous outburst of applause.
Exercises Began Friday.
The exercises marking the Commencement of Cliffside High School, now the Charles H. Haynes High School, began Friday evening and were concluded tonight with the presentation by Mr. Caldwell of diplomas to the graduating class, the awards of perfect attendance certificates, the announcements of the gold medal winners and the giving of them as well as the certificates of seventh grade promotions. The baccalaurate sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. E. N. Orr, of Gastonia, Sunday night was an excellent one and so was the address by Mr. Erwin this evening. The graduates are Charles D. Carpenter, President of the class, Bessie Harrill, vice president, Aileene Gold, secretary and treasurer, Nelle Virginia Kendrick, Ethel Lorena Kirby, Amy Louise Lemmons, Paul Jones Nanney, Nelle Padgett, Dawsey Thomas, James Berry Rhinehardt, Robert Dwight Winn, Robert Baxter Beason, Flora Beason, Erma Moore, Robert Hamrick, Louise Beason, Ollie Mae Bridges, Rosa Mae Haynes, Roberta Hamrick, Ola Mae Hamrick, Daisy B. Hamrick, Gifton Jolley and Zeb Winn.
The Commencement exercises began at eight o’clock Friday night with the declamation and reading contests for the R. D. Wilson and Maurice Hendrick gold medals. The judges were Mrs. Walter Haynes, Mr. H. M. Owens, and Mr. F. S. Hall, the Principal of Avondale School. The auditorium, which seats over twelve hundred, was almost filled to capacity. After the school band played a selection or two James Jolley gave “Sergeant Prentiss’ First Plea” and “The Soul of the Violin” was next recited by Thelma Whittaker. After Gladys Jolley had give “The Modern Cain” the audience heard “Mrs. Smart Learns to Skate” by Inez Fisher. Blynn Robinson next recited “The War Inevitable” and then Eckles Hamrick gave “Lincoln, the Man of the People.” “Mother” was the choice of Wesley McCurry and R. K. Ledbetter chose “Discipline of Life and Character.” It was followed by “A Few Bars in the Key of G” by Glenn Kiser and next Nell Davis rendered “On the Other Train.” Melba McCurry recited “The Missionary and His Wife” and Zon Robinson “The Death of Robespierre.” The judges retired and their decisions were placed in a sealed envelope, the announcement of the winners to be made on Monday night. After music by the band the audience dispersed.
Exercises Saturday Night.
At eight o’clock Saturday night the Class Day program was given in the auditorium before a capacity audience. The Chief Marshals, Miss Ferne Pruette and Howard Hawkins, with their assistants, Rachel Hill, Rosalind Pruette, Charles Frye and Jack Rudisell, were efficient and courteous and handled the constant stream of people arriving successfully. The stage setting was very effective; a partition had been built at the rear and in it were three doors, the one on the right and left were at the stage level and the center doorway was several feet above the boards; a short flight of steps led down from it. Behind this center door was draped a pink curtain; on either side of the steps were tall floor lamps with pink shads and by the feet of the stairway were two wickerwork stands with vases of lovely flowers. In either corner of the stage were easels with pictures. Scattered about were various kinds of settees, chairs and footstools and at the right and left of the proscenium were large vases of Spring flowers. The lighting was very good.
“The Renowned Artist.”
Miss Aileene Gold was the “renowned artist” who was collecting all types of pictures and in this gallery, or perhaps studio would be a more apt term, she found, with the aid of a fairy, all her classmates of ’27. The first to appear was Dawsey Thomas, who made a lovely picture as a Spanish lady dressed becomingly with a fine figured, green silk shawl and a large red decoration in her dark hair. She stood motionless, framed in the center doorway until the good fairy, Bernice Pritchard, came and waved here golden wand. A pretty fairy was little Miss Pritchard dressed all in white, with silver wings and a chaplet upon her hair. Descending the steps the Spanish girl, Dawsey Thomas, began to speak and after she had her say she took her seat beside Aileene Gold. Then one by one appeared the other members of the graduating class, all charmingly dressed to fit the characters they portrayed.
Next came a pretty milkmaid and she was Bessie Harrill, the vice president of the class. Then Charlie Carpenter, the President of the class, came and he was a Professor, very dignified though much at ease. A Spanish troubadour, dressed in all his glory and carrying a guitar, followed and he was Berry Rhinehardt. After him came a sailor lad, Gifton Jolley, and then a Tennis Champion was framed, in the doorway; she carried a tennis racket and was Ola Hamrick. Next came a Surgeon dressed in his operating suit, he was Zeb Winn. He was followed by Flora Beason as a sophisticated maiden and after here came a welfare worker dressed “Bo-Peep.” She explained here costume by saying she had been telling her class the story and had dressed for the part. Nelle Kendrick with three young swains captive to her bow and arrow followed, the young men were Butler Pruette, O. Padgette and Howard Hawkins. Louise Lemmons was a Missionary to Japan and she was dressed in a red kimona, wore her hair Japanese style and had on sandals. Daisy Hamrick made a charming and colorful Gypsy lass and Baxter Beason appeared as a Hunter or collector of animals and birds. The gypsy girl would have made a better quarry for him.
An Opera Singer.
Nelle Padgett was a famous opera singer so when she appeared it was natural for her to sing a song and this she did with Miss Beulah Heaffner playing the accompaniment off stage. Ethel Kirby made a pretty trained nurse and following here came an attorney, Paul Nanney. Of course there had to be a school teacher and she was Ola Bridges. An attractive Cabaret Dancer followed and she was Rosa Mae Haynes. Then came the mascot of the graduating class, pretty little Sara Shuford. Now all the class were on the stage and after some conversation a boy and girl come on from the wings. They were dressed as a country boy and girl would be on the stage; the boy had on a blue shirt and blue overalls and big straw hat; the girl was in a pink gingham dress, fresh from the laundry and wore and attractive sunbonnet. They sand “School Days” and the seniors acted as the chorus. Then to the air of “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” the students, soon to be graduates, sand “Carry Me Back to Old C. H. S.”
Good Class History.
The class history followed; the freshman was told by Rosa Mae Haynes dressed as a young girl; the sophomore and junior parts by Aileene Gold and Dawsey Thomas, both dressed as Pierrettes and the senior portion was told by Bessie Harrill dressed in black cap and gown. After the song, “The School We Can’t Forget,” the fairy brought in a fairy wagonful of gifts. These were distributed by the sailor lad, Gifton Jolley, with appropriate remarks, many of them very clever. Each member of the class received a gift to show up his or her especial failing. A final song closed the excellent program. It had all been written and prepared by the senior class under the direction of Miss Sara Lou Jenkins. Miss Jenkins and the class deserve much credit as does Miss Heaffner for her excellent accompanying off stage in the songs and the pretty solo dance by dainty Agnes Padgett.
Baccalaureate Sermon Sunday.
After Mr. Charles H. Haynes, Chairman of the School Board, Superintendent B. P. Caldwell, Principal Monte Campbell, the Rev. Roscoe C. Smith, the Rev. M. W. Heckard and the rev. E. N. Orr, D. D., Pastor of the First A. R. P. Church of Gastonia, had taken their seats on the stage of the auditorium. Miss Beulah Heaffner played the opening bars of the processional, “Lead On, O King Eternal,” the graduating class of twenty-one were escorted from the rear of the hall down the right aisle to the places reserved for them, in the front three rows of seats, by Miss Ferne Pruette and Mr. Howard Hawkins, Chief marshals. The boys and girls sang with much expression the hymn as they slowly marched through the large audience which occupied practically every seat available. Then the invocation was delivered in an impressive manner by the Rev. Mr. Heckard.
“O Come, Let Us Sing.”
The chorus class of the school, Marie Jackson, Nelle Robertson, Nelle Padgett, Dawsey Thomas, Amore Robinson, Bessie Harrill, Lillian Smith, Lilly Atchley, Aileene Gold, Ferne Padgett, Randolph Martin, James Padgett, Howard Hawkins, Theron Jolley, Charles Frye and Avery Gillespie, then sang well the hymn, “O Come, Let Us Sing.” Reading from the Scriptures followed by the Rev. Mr. Smith. He selected the twelfth chapter, verses twelve to twenty-five inclusive, of the Gospel according to St. John. Mr. B. P. Caldwell next introduced the Rev. Dr. Orr and told how their fathers had attended the same theological seminaries and how he had grown up with Dr. Orr. Mr Caldwell recalled some instances in the life of the pastor from Gastonia and said he was one of the youngest preachers in the United States who had been ordained as a Doctor of divinity. Then he stated that Dr. Orr had preached in Pennsylvania, St. Louis and Denver. It was a very able introduction.
Rev. Dr. Orr Preaches.
After the Rev. Dr. Orr had expressed his pleasure in being present in Cliffside, a place he said he had always wished to see as he had heard so much about it, he told a story or two and then gave his text: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bring forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his live in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal.” (St. John 12, 24 and 25.) A strange answer, perhaps, said Dr. Orr, to the Greeks who had come to see Christ. Then the pastor went on to explain it and stated that it was one of the great principles of Christianity All life that is worth while must be paid for by toil, by sacrifice and by death. There were really no bargains in life; what was an apparent bargain was something that had been paid for by some one else and what was the purchaser’s good fortune was some one’s misfortune. He illustrated this statement aptly by citing many examples.
Valley Of The Nile.
“Take the Valley of the Nile, it is the most fertile valley in the world, the richness of the soil that grows the long staple cotton which is sought by the whole world comes from the Abyssinian Mountains; from their slopes the rain washes the rich soil down to the Valley of the Nile. Thus the richness is paid for by the mountains. It is the same with everything in life,” said Dr. Orr, “everything must be paid for and it is by toil, by prayer and sacrifice that worth while things are done.” The he went on to tell that in the future the scientists hoped to be able to tell the number of brain cells which would be necessary for a man to master a foreign language or to make a fortune. “Nothing,” declared Dr. Orr, “is more true in the spiritual life than this principle of the Galilean” and again he repeated his text. Then he told how Christ while on the Cross was taunted and told to save Himself but He too was subject to this great law and could not.
Illustrates Sermon With Wheat.
Picking up a jar full of wheat Dr. Orr exhibited it and said there were just three things which could be done with the wheat. First, it could be stored. It might be put into a bin which had been made weather proof but in time it would lose weight. It was a fact, he said, that wheat three years old weighed less and made less flour than wheat a year old. The second thing which could be done was to grind the wheat into flour. The third and last was to plant it so that it might die and dying bring forth a hundred grains of wheat. Dr. Orr drew lessons from the three possibilities and applied them to life. He urged the graduating class to make the most of their life, to forget themselves and “to live useful lives,” “It does not matter where you may live,” he said, “perhaps here in Cliffside or elsewhere, forget yourself in the great, broad service of God and others and then your name will live, live to be respected and known when you are dead.” It was an excellent sermon and listened to most attentively by the entire audience. After the close of his message Dr. Orr gave a short prayer and then the High School Quartet, Howard Hawkins, James Padgett, Charles Frye and Theron Jolley, sang the hymn, “Praise Ye the Father.” The final Benediction was given by Dr. Orr.
The audience gathered early Monday night and by the hour for the exercises to begin only a few seats in the balcony were left. Seated on the flower bedecked stage were Mr. Charles H, Haynes, chairman of the school board, Messrs. G. K. Moore, and R. B. Watkins, members of the Board, Superintendent B. P Caldwell and Clyde A. Erwin. Entering from the rear first came twenty classmates bearing two daisy chains and singing the school song to the air, “Andantino,” by Lemore. They formed a lane as they reached the foot of the aisle and through it passed the twenty boys and girls who were to receive diplomas. Charles D. Carpenter and Bessie Harrill led the procession of seniors and after them came the pretty little mascot, Bernice Pritchard. They took their places on the stage and then the Invocation was given by the Rev. Roscoe C. smith. A short address by Charles D. Carpenter followed. He likened a man trying to build a house with materials as one trying to succeed in life without an education.
Chorus Class Sings.
A song, “De Old Plantation,” was sung by the chorus class and then Bessie Harrill gave the Valedictory. She thanked the teachers for all they had done and expressed the regret of her classmates at leaving the school which had become so dear to them. “Sunset,” a pretty song, followed, and the introduction of Mr. Erwin was next. Mr. Caldwell said: “I am going to speak the shortest speech of introduction ever spoken from this platform. Here is our Mr. Erwin.” Applause followed and after Mr. Erwin had acknowledged the greeting and expressed his pleasure at being present he told several amusing stories. Then he stated that in this age there was too much disposition to think of the material side of life. He praised the County and told of it industries and resources but he stated in his opinion the greatest resources were the boys and girls of the County. Citing some statistics he said there were 1486 in the penitentiary; there was only one college graduate among them, only 30 who had ever been at college and but very few high school graduates. 891 of the prisoners were unable to read or write. It was a brilliant address worthy of the applause bestowed.
Diplomas are Presented.
Before Mr. Caldwell presented the diplomas he made a short but excellent speech to the graduating class and to the fathers and mothers present in the large audience. He explained that cooperation was necessary to produce good results, the school could not do it alone, the parents had to help. After giving the diplomas, Mr. Caldwell read the list of the pupils who had perfect attendance records for the year, also the names of the boys and girls who made the made the best efforts in work and behavior, and in the upper grades the names of the students who attained the highest scholastic rank. He read the names of the boys and girls who would receive seventh grade certificates and he awarded certificates for perfect spelling to Irene Splawn and Beatrice Wise. Two gold medals for perfect attendance for five years were given to George thompson and Catherine Anne Hawkins.
The B. D. Wilson gold medal was won by Eckles Hamrick; the Maurice Hendrick gold medal went to Mavoureen Lemmons; the Mrs. R. B. Watkins gold medal to the boy who did his very best during the entire year was carried off by Eckles Hamrick. The Mrs. Walter Haynes gold medal for the best girl student in the grammar school was won by Myrtle Greene; the Mrs. B. P. Caldwell gold medal for the best boy student in the grammar school was awarded to Herman Greene and the Bible, given by Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Watkins, was awarded to Emma Ray Robinson as being the best all around scholar in the high school.
The boys who had won distinction for their best efforts in work and behavior during the year were George Hawkins, Allen Scruggs, Roy Cochrane, Albert Bridges, Verland Ledford, Francis Fowler, Herman Greene, Erskine Packard, Ralph Connor, Robert Bridges, Robert Lee Packard and Eugene Packard. The pupils who obtained the highest scholastic standing were Hannah Lou Pruette, Lola Jolley, Jettie Robinson, Gerard Davidson and Myrtle Greene.
Perfect Attendance Certificates.
Mary Eunice Harris, John Pershing Compton, Joe Foch Compton, Billy Horton, Jesse Womack, Edward Tate, Jesse Bridges, Charlie Stevens, Buster Hawkins, Joe Lytle, Joe Aldridge, Nellie Crow, Mary Lou Bridges, Louise Carpenter, Joe Dedmon, Glenn Hawkins, Joe Stevens, Paul Tate, Francis Compton, Clyde Cochrane, J. D. Martin, Macie Lee Ramsey, Maurice Splawn, Eloise Ramsey, Lois Davidson, Etheleen Keeter, Fred Crow, Rush Harris, Lee Houser, James Moore, J. W. Stevens, John Womack, Wytle Bridges, Edna Compton, Novella Splawn, Yates Houser, B. T. Price, Paul Jackson, Gertrude Ramsey, Lila Hawkins, Elizabeth Bridges.
Evelyn Martin, Lula Phillips, Ruby Murray, Ruby Harris, Billie Heckard, James Robbs, W. P. Winn, Lois Carpenter, Lucile Gold, Margaret Martin, Mae Stevens, Ethel Lee Hawkins, Louise Moore, Florence Blanton, Margaret Emory, Helen Green, Helen Goforth, Berenice Packard, Agnes Packard, Harriet Rhinehardt, Muriel Scruggs, Lois Womack, Gladys Stevens, Gerard Davidson, G. C. Fisher, James Moorehead, Dwi Ramsey, Myrtle Greene, Adelaide Hawkins, Cecil Heckard, Rosa Hill, Jessie Jackson, George Dedmon, Max Pruette, Donald Tate, Elbert Causby, Hattie Lee Goforth and Erma Moore.
Seventh Grade Promotions.
The following seventh grade pupils received certificates of promotion: Edna Blanton, Adelaide Hawkins, Delilah Bridges, Cecil Heckard, George Dedmon, Rosa Hill, Jessie Jackson, O. Fisher, Myrtle Green, Jack Jonas, Norris Lawing, Victor Martin, Frank Mashlin, Irma McSwain, Max Pruette, Eunice Simmons, Dorothy Rudisill, Donald Tate, Thelma Thompson and V. Morgan.
The Benediction was pronounced by the Rev. Mr. M. W. Heckard and the exercises were ended.
This item was printed in The Sun on May 30, 1927.