Wareham High School Class of 1948 celebrates 70th reunion

Sep 20, 2018

Seven decades after graduating from Wareham High School, Candida Tavares still remembers the lyrics to her class song. However, she wanted some help hitting the right notes before a recent performance. 

“I know the words, but I don’t have the voice,” she said. “Let’s all sing it together.” 

With that encouragement, her close friends and former classmates formed an impromptu choir during the group’s 70th high school reunion held Thursday, Sept. 20. An uncommonly close group, members of the Class of 1948 have remained in touch since graduation. Back then, the high school was housed inside what is now the Multi-Service Center.

Those friendships were on display at Vel’s Restaurant, where 16 classmates and a handful of their spouses and children gathered to celebrate. After lunch, they caught up with each other, looked at high school memorabilia and reminisced about growing up in Wareham.

Bill Davis, a former football player, said he had no use for the bus.

“I hitchhiked to school,” said Davis. “The lady that worked for the telephone company took me every day. If I missed her, I had to walk.”

Jean Sherman Finnegan spoke about the close bond the classmates share, which has been nurtured by six people: Claire and Colin Gordon (who are celebrating 68 years of marriage), Peggy and Calvin Hitchcock, Janice Daviau and Herbert Barrett.

“Being a close class doesn’t just happen,” said Finnegan. “It has been truly a wonderful and unusual effort on the part of these six classmates.”

In fact, the class has been gathering at least once a month starting in 2008 at Vel’s for lunch, adding up to some 375 “reunions” since then, said Finnegan.

Helping bring everyone together is Claire, who, among other things, never forgets a birthday.

“They know when a classmate is in the hospital or a nursing home or has passed away,” said Finnegan.

In total, there were 65 original members of the Class of 1948. While 16 attended Thursday’s reunion, 15 couldn’t make it. However, all were fondly remembered during the class song, written by class member Grace Perry, who passed away in 2005.

“Our high school days will soon be gone,” they sang. “You will remain in our memories.”