Warren Central’s first class to host 50th reunion

Published 9:48 am Monday, April 4, 2016

The first graduating class of Warren Central High School is gearing up to see each other once again and reminisce on the year they left their own schools and came together to create the home of the Vikings.

“It met a little bit of resistance,” member of class of 1966 Oscar Barnes said about students leaving Culkin, Redwood and Jett high schools to form the new Warren Central. “It was, at first, not very well received, but once we got there and got in place, then we started building up that friendship and that camaraderie and certainly started getting that school spirit going. Fifty years later it’s going strong.”

It’s been half a century since three small county high schools consolidated into one school that opened its doors in 1965 and continues to educate students today. After 50 years, graduates like Barnes set out to find all of their former classmates through countless phone calls and Internet searches.

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“Using things we didn’t do 50 years ago,” Barnes said of Google searches.

Organizers were not able to get in contact with only about 20 members of the class.

“We’re gong to do the best we can with the ones we’ve got and I think have a good time,” Barnes said.

He said the class of 1966 celebrated a 10 and 20-year reunion, but after that, the class fell out of touch as a group.

“We kind of got into a lull there and we knew we wanted to do the 50th, this being the first class,” Barnes said.

Awards will be given out at the reunion banquet for the person with the most grandchildren and for the person traveling the farthest, among others. He said classmates are coming from Idaho, Texas, Georgia and Florida.

“We’ve got them coming from different directions to see who has changed the most,” Barnes said.

He said the planning committee has also organized a tribute to the 22 classmates who have passed away and for those who served in the military.

“We are going to honor the veterans. When we graduated Vietnam was going hot and heavy and we had a number of veterans that went to Vietnam and were in the military. We’re certainly proud of them,” Barnes said adding he is a veteran too.

Six of the class’ teachers have been invited to the reunion including superintendent and coach Donald Oakes, who will make a presentation, and history teacher Gordon Cotton.

The reunion weekend is planned for Friday, April 29, through Saturday, April 30. The reunion kicks off with a golf outing Friday, April 29, at Clear Creek Golf Course and a barbecue that night at Mike and Barbara Hill’s house.

The morning of Saturday, April 30, the class will meet up at the school to walk the halls and sit in the courtyard of their alma mater. The banquet will be held later that night at Roca Restaurant and Bar.

The next planning meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, April 11, at Goldie’s Trail Bar-B-Que.

“We’re having a pretty good time just meeting every three or four weeks with the committee and getting to know each other,” Barnes said. “It’s been good to get back in touch with them.”