The Harlan Alumni Association will be hosting the annual school reunion on Sept. 4-5, with many events and activities scheduled.
On Friday, HAA and The Portal will host “Party at The Portal” for alumni and friends. A dinner buffet will be served from 6-9 p.m., and includes pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, salad and soft drinks. The cost is $10 per person, and reservations must be made prior to the event on the restaurant’s website, www.theharlanportal.com.
Many events are planned for Saturday, starting with the Alumni Breakfast at the Harlan Station from 8-10 a.m. This event is free of charge for alumni and guests, and reservations are not required.
At 10 a.m., Harlan Independent School District Superintendent C.D. Morton will host a tour of the school campus and facilities. Those who wish to attend are asked to meet Morton in front of the high school.
This year, the Harlan Boys Choir will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a reunion in conjunction with HAA events. Choir alumni are encouraged to attend a rehearsal on Saturday 10 a.m. at Harlan Baptist Church to prepare music for their reunion concert. Harlan Musettes alumnae who wish to perform with the choir on several musical selections are asked to join the rehearsal at 11:30 a.m.
A luncheon for choir alumni will be held at noon in the fellowship hall of Harlan United Methodist Church. The reunion concert will begin at 3 p.m. at Harlan Baptist Church. The public is invited, and there is no charge for admission.
Saturday’s events will conclude with the annual Dragon Party at the Harlan Center from 7 p.m. to midnight. The party begins with a brief program, including the Hall of Fame Induction, music by Harlan Boys Choir alumni, presentations by HISD Superintendent C.D. Morton and HHS Principal Britt Lawson and closing remarks by outgoing HAA President Lisa Abraham.
Many HHS alumni will recall the fun of Friday nights at the “Jam Factory,” a dance party held at the school for many years following football games. HAA will host a Jam Factory this year from 9 p.m. to midnight in one section of Harlan Center.
There is no cost to attend the Dragon Party, and reservations are not required. All HHS alumni, friends and current and former faculty and staff members are invited.
This year’s Hall of Fame inductee is Wesley “Buddy” Ward, HHS class of 1952. He was class president during each of his four years in high school, and a standout athlete in basketball, baseball and football. He attended Georgia Teachers College (which is now Georgia Southern University) on a basketball scholarship, where he majored in math, lettered in basketball all four years and played second base on the baseball team for two years.
His teaching and coaching career began in 1956, and included 40 years at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. He also earned a master’s degree from Jacksonville University. Ward began his officiating career in 1965 as a high school football referee in Florida, and went on to the college and professional level, officiating games in the Southern Independent Association, Big East Conference, the United States Professional Football League and the Arena Football League.
Ward cites 1991 as a memorable year for him, as he worked both the Gator Bowl and the Army-Navy game. It was also the year that he began his tenure with the Big East officiating crew. His officiating career also included administrative work with the NFL for an eight-year time period, during which he frequently worked at the league’s office on Park Avenue in New York City.
Now semi-retired from officiating, Ward enjoys playing golf and spending time with his eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He and his wife, Bette, reside in Jacksonville, Florida.
For additional information about reunion events, email [email protected], visit the Harlan Alumni Association page on Facebook or contact HAA President Lisa Abraham at 606-573-1322.