Friends and school mates altogether, sing aloud our hymn of praise.
Raise aloft our high school banner, emblem of our golden days.
Other schools may cheer the cimson,
or to blue allegiance hold,
O'er to us from Summit Hill will wave
the Brown and the Gold.
There is and always will be something special about those "golden days." So when members of the Class of 1960 of the former Summit Hill High School sat down together months ago to plan their "golden" anniversary, returning to the hilltop community was the priority not to be sidestepped.
Limited in where they could celebrate - in fact, the town, until recently, did not have a facility to hold such a reunion - the class members faced a dilemma, until the borough's new community center became available, and opened.
"Tommy (Wehr) kind of was our leader, and he was pretty adamant that when this day came, it (the reunion) should be held here in Summit Hill," said Philip Shelton, a member of the committee. "This is pretty much the first event to be held here (in the community center, a facility built as part of the fire company headquarters on Ludlow Street in the center of town). We're just glad we have such a place like this. We like the fact that we can be in Summit Hill and also showcase the new facility," Shelton said.
Wehr, of Orwigsburg but long a leader in Summit Hill Historical Society preservation and promotion, said Saturday night's social event was a special event for he and the 41 members of the Class of 1960 and their spouses and/or guests. "I'm Summit Hill, through and through, and always will be. So when Phil and I first discussed a reunion for our golden anniversary, we said to each other that we wanted it to be in Summit Hill."
Meanwhile, the long-awaited center and fire company were under construction, while classmates hoped all along it would become available to them. "Things fell in place," Wehr said. "It's a great place, something great to have."
Preparatory matters required attention from Shelton and others allowing the Hillers to cheer the Brown and Gold with pride for the evening. "This is wonderful," noted Jeanne (Breiner) Vitek, class treasurer from Northampton. She said, "I don't back too often, but this is certainly wonderful. I was raised in Stoney Lonesome, and to come back and see the town, the museum (the historical society's museum on East Ludlow Street) and this facility is just great. This is very, very nice. The committee members worked hard to get this done.
The class members began their evening with a wine and cheese social at the museum, followed by a "meet and greet" at the center, where classmates hugged each other, some after not having seen each other for decades. The last class get-together was on the 30th anniversary when the reunion was held in 1990. "Not only haven't some class members seen each in a long time, but some haven't seen each other in many, many years, and, in some cases, since high school," Shelton noted.
A caterer hired for the event served the crowd dinner, after which time class members were introduced and awards and special gifts were presented, followed by entertainment and dancing.
In addition to Vitek, other class officers included Carole (Long) Redwine, president, James "Butch" Ferrari, vice president, and Judy (Snyder) Gordon, secretary.
The class originally had 43 members, two of which (Catherine Cregele and Michael Golis) are deceased.
Class members traveling the farthest to the reunion included Patsy (Derby) Balogach of Florida and Redwine, who lives in Ohio.
In addition to Shelton and Wehr, members of the committee that organized the reunion included Tom Barber, Carol (Pavlick) Arndt, Peggy (Derby) Davidyock, Gordon, Pamela (Paton) Middleton, Clarice Morgan, William Stolz, Stanley Szczecina and Vitek.
Wehr, meanwhile, underscored the importance of get-together, saying, "The class was made up of some who attended the parochial schools in town as well as the junior high school, and when they got to high school, they all integrated very well. They were close and everybody got along good. That was typical of all Summit Hill High School classes. To this day, it makes me, and I am sure all of us, very, very proud to be Summit Hill High School graduates."
And for the evening, everythying was just "golden" in Summit Hill.