Published July 24, 2014
By Devin Corbitt, News Editor
The 2014 West Belton-Harris High School Homecoming Reunion saw a smaller crowd than normal, but that didn’t keep the laughter and good vibes from flowing throughout the Harris Community Center this weekend.
With just over 80 attendees, the former Harris High Schoolers spent Thursday through Sunday reminiscing about the fond memories they had of the school.
“This room (now used for Zumba) used to hold three classrooms and the school library, just this area,” Joan Daniels, Class of 1961, said. “And Mr. Moore, the bus driver, he sure could bake a good cake.”
Daniels and her cousin Diane Lockley are among the faithful attendees who return year after year to reunite with former classmates.
“I was an exchange student during the integration process to Belton Elementary School,” Lockley said. “I walked down those halls until the time when we got ready to integrate; then they took the two smartest boys, the two smartest girls to the other school, and then I started over there.”
The reunion weekend began with a Get-Acquainted night on Thursday, where attendees were able to pick up their t-shirts and packets. The next morning, a prayer breakfast set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
“She (Lockley) was the Mistress of Ceremonies,” Daniels said. “It was very spiritual, very, very, very spiritual. She was an excellent Mistress of Ceremonies.”
Saturday featured an inside picnic for lunch and a dance that evening, where attendees were taken back in time with music that harkened back to their high school days.
“The DJ is one of my very good friends growing up’s son, and I didn’t even know it,” Lockley said. “It was fun meeting him and knowing that that was Louise’s son.
The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with an afternoon worship and memorial service. Elder T.C. Collins delivered a sermon and led a tribute for all deceased former students.
“At that service, we remember all those who once were a part of Belton High who’ve gone on from one year to the next,” Lockley said. “We got an encouraging word from Elder T.C. Collins; we went to school with him, and he’s pastoring, all his brothers are pastors.”
But to those who return to their old stomping grounds, the reunion weekend is about more than just mourning old friends; it’s about celebrating the joys in their lives.
“I have fond memories here,” Lockley said. “The good thing about this particular meeting is you don’t get to just see your classmates; you get to see your sister’s classmates, your cousin’s classmates, people from all over. All my friends and relatives that are all over the nation all come from right here. It’s good to come home and see everybody.”
The next Homecoming Reunion will be held in the summer of 2016, when the class of 1966, the last class to graduate from West Belton-Harris High School, will celebrate their 50th graduation anniversary.