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Class of ’69 reunion features P.S. Jones tour

From the Washington High School Class of ’69 Reunion Committee

These days the halls of old P.S. Jones High School rest silent. But on Nov. 30, students — or more accurately, former students — will bring these halls to life for a Memory Lane Tour. The tour is one activity scheduled by the Washington High School Class of ’69 as part of its 50th class reunion.

Fifty years ago, Washington High School graduated its first fully integrated class. At 300-plus students, it was the largest class to ever graduate from the school. Most of the black students of that class had spent 11 years matriculating on the grounds of Washington Elementary and P.S. Jones High School. The old high school has seen many transitions since then.

Changing from P.S. Jones Junior High School to P.S. Jones Middle School to the Ed Tech Center, it has now been retired as a student-education facility. In light of its great service to the community and as a show of unity in a class quickly brought together in turbulent times, the combined class will take a narrated tour of the school and have a memorial tribute to deceased members of the class at the P. S. Jones Museum on site. P.S. Jones III, a descendant of Peter Simon Jones, for whom the school is named, will join the students for the tour and tribute. The tribute will be officiated by classmates Rev. Dr. Judy Yates Siker and Rev. William F. Whitehead. The tour begins at 11 a.m.

After the memorial tribute, the PamJackets, the proud graduates of Washington High School who were “raised” at P.S. Jones, will make a special presentation to the school’s Alumni Association.

The full roster of reunion events begins Friday with a 6 p.m. Mix and Mingle and video of high school memories at the Turnage Theatre, followed by the 11 a.m. Saturday P.S. Jones tour and Tribute and concludes with a 6:30 p.m. Saturday cocktail hour dinner and dance at the Washington Yacht & Country Club with classmates, former teachers and other guests in attendance.

“We’re excited as a class to come together for this 50th reunion. The committee has worked hard to make this a special celebration,” said Alice Mills-Sadler, head of the sub-committee for the Memory Lane Tour. “It’s been a near-perfect merging of ideas.”

Classmates who have not yet registered to take part in the Turnage movie night and the country club dinner (the P.S. Jones Tour is free), should contact Ruth Paul Schmitt at 252-946-8934 or mail a check payable to her to P.O. Box 2838, Washington, NC 27889.