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Class of 1955 Memories
 
 
 

Class of 1955 Memories - Milford High School


Submitted by Barbara Gaunya Bourdeau

We entered Milford High School in September 1951 full of teenage anticipation and nervousness, all while a war was waging in far-away Korea. This was the year when U.S. President Harry S. Truman relieved from military command the popular General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, for making public policy statements contradicting the president.  

There was much anticipation throughout the MHS student body on one topic in particular. Some of us with older siblings and friends were aware of their long wait for the finish of the newly constructed high school building - which was renamed the Parsons Complex after MHS closed in 1983.

In was the Fall of 1951 and everyone cheered the fact that overcrowded classrooms and half-day sessions would no longer exist!  Other classmates tended to take brand-new building for granted.  

However, by June 1955 we had learned of our good fortune to have spent meaningful hours in a beautiful, modern, and progressive educational environment.

Therefore we dedicated the 1955 class book in gratitude to City Fathers, the Board of Education, and our Parent Taxpayers regarding their foresight to provide what was once a dream and made it a reality.

The Class of 1955 is and forever will take pride in being known as the first class to have spent four complete years attending the NEW Milford High School beginning in the Fall of 1951. 

Our yearbook theme, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, is indeed a significant reflection of this experience.

SCHOOL LEADERS IN 1951

Mr. Joseph Foran, Superintendent of Schools

Mr. Frederic Gorham, MHS Principal

Miss Margaret O’Conner, Assistant Principal and Director of Guidance

... who assisted our adjustment to Wonderland.

Mr. Herbert French, Principal

Mrs. Dorothy Hamilton, Vice Principal

Mr. Richard Herman, Vice Principal

... would replaced their forebears at retirement.

*   *       

THE FIGHTING LITTLES, our junior play, and OUR MISS BROOKS the following year further bonded classmates by bringing aspiring actors and actresses together in zany rehearsals, tense moments, and exquisite performances under the direction of Civianne Rubin and Denny Menold.

Junior Prom (An Evening in Paris) featured a huge “home constructed” version of the Eiffel Tower under the leadership of classmate Tex Fogleberg.

The town of Milford, under the direction of classmate Frank Kittredge, was denuded of all freshly growing flowers -- all somehow making their way to decorate the MHS gym.

Queen Bea Coe and King Charlie Hutchet reigned over some bevy princesses: Mickie Campagna, Pat O’Rielly, Claire Hultman, Pat Robinson, and Audrey Kilbourne. 

Senior Advisors, Mr. Mohyde, Miss Smith, Mr. Wilkins, Mrs. Ribak, Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Chilinski, Mr. Tremmel, Mrs. Beale, and Mr. Nolan not only dedicated their lives to classroom instruction but also spent hours after school hours guiding us down intricate paths and to wise decisions.

Bea Coe, Bob Dix, Carl Watt, Richard Peckham, Boris Von York, Paul Mack, and Charlie Hutchet represented us at Connecticut Laural and Nutmet, Girls’ and Boys’ State conference.

Bob Chapell, Jack Van Raaphorst, John Maryak represented our band while Gail  Moriarity, Arlene Bates, Betsy Lidman and Ben McCormick represented the MHS 55 chorus at the Fall 1954 All State Music Festival in Hartford. At this writing, Bob continued to play his sax professionally in Stuart, Florida.

How can we ever forget MHS concert band leading us in singing MHS Alma Mater at every Friday morning assembly during our four years in those comfortably upholstered auditorium seats. 

And who does not remember “The Seven Jacks” band that played at our school dances? I hear tell years later from Bob Chapell that they earned $7 for each gig.  

The 1954-55 Athletic Council was composed of 10 males and 0 female members. The Sports Club under the influence of Miss Tickey was able to reserve the MHS gym at intervals for practice, and the schedule included a Girls Volley Ball Sports Day at the Arnold College Gym each year.

Fortunately, Milford’s Park and Rec Committee led by John and Lorretta Della Russo filled the gap.  They organized and supervised girl and boy athletic leagues in basketball, softball, and hardball for many years.

In our senior year, Doris Haselman led the Baton Squad and Carol Usinger was captain of the Cheerleaders.  Bill Phalen and Paul Mack were our football captains.

Under the excellent leadership of captain Walt Pilkowicz and coach Roy Lund, the “55” Basketball team will long be remembered as one of MHS’ best.

Bill Byers captained the bowling team.  Mr. Cox coached the golf team while Paul Mack and Walt Pilkowicz led the baseball team for Coach Lund.  

Senior Prom (Ebb Tide), final exams, Class Night, Banquet and Graduation finalized a busy spring schedule. Soon summer was upon us - high school was over, leaving each of us with varied thoughts of possible futures!!