Charlton-Pollard High School Club 56 celebrates 60-year class reunion in 2016
By Dr. Claudette Francois Sweet
This summer, Charlton-Pollard High School Club 56 celebrated its 60th class reunion during the weekend of July 15-17 in Beaumont. The reunion included a reception Friday night hosted in the home of Class President Lorene Jones Malbrough. A C-P Spirit Blue and White brunch was held Saturday morning at the Golden Corral. The Legacy Banquet was held that evening at the Beaumont Club downtown and the grand finale was Sunday worship and an “Until We Meet Again Luncheon” at Greater Zion Baptist Church.
Charlton-Pollard High School history records that the class of 1956 listed 247 graduating seniors that year. Our class spirit and loyalty has continued for a span of 60 years. However, we have lost half of our classmates in death. These reunions have been held every five years beginning in 1976 with our late founder and classmate Dr. Kirkland Jones, who served on the staff of Lamar University in Beaumont.
A few classmates traveled from as far as California, Colorado and Alabama to celebrate memories of our youth. Willie “Little Man” Sheridan from California won the “Who Traveled The Longest Distance Award.” The First Timer’s Award was presented to Etta Bowser Howard, a “singing sister.”
The Saturday Night Alive Banquet at The Beaumont Club provided an opportunity to reflect upon our theme of “Keeping Our Legacy Alive” with that Bulldog spirit. Several classmates, including my best girl friend, Doris De Jean, a retired educator for over 30-plus years, told stories reflecting on “The Way We Were.” Doris and I attended Martin No. 2 Elementary School and Charlton-Pollard together. She recalled some exciting stories and situations regarding our football team’s school spirit, home economics classes with Mrs. Monroe (cooking) and Mrs. Smith (sewing) and Home Makers of America club trips to various towns and cities throughout the state of Texas.
Our legacy is being kept alive through generations of children, grandchildren and great-grand children becoming good, productive citizens, making positive contributions to this country and the world. Classmate and best friend Elois Harris Phillips, a retired educator, is keeping our legacy alive. She inspired and raised two attorneys, one medical doctor and an educator as a single mother in Beaumont. Classmate June Samuels Brailsford and husband, retired Lt. Gen. Marvin D. Brailsford, have been married for 55 years and are Legacy Builders with Prairie View A&M University. They were featured in the Prairie View March 2016 Newsletter of “The Living Legacy.”
The 65-year reunion in 2021 might seem a long way off, but the anticipation has already begun.
Dr. Claudette Francois Sweet is a 1956 graduate of Charlton-Pollard High School in Beaumont. Married to Pastor Robert Brown Sweet for 57-plus years, she has three adult children, nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She lives in Denver.