By SUMYA MOHIUDDINFrom Homecoming Luncheon, posted by TheBlue AndGold on 10/24/2013 (20 items)
The tradition of the Homecoming Luncheon began after the school hosted a 150th anniversary party of Malden High School in 2007. The alumni of MHS have a chance to reunite and overall, the luncheon “encourages people to stay connected with each other,” vice-president of the Alumni Association, Diane Lind, explained.
A theme of music and art inspired the decorations of the cafeteria: musical notes and student art work from previous years were on display for everyone to see. The Homecoming Luncheon was possible because of Patricia Kelly, a member of the Board of Directors of the MHS Alumni Association. “This was her third time doing it, and [they] all think she did a great job,” complimented Lind. The guests sat with old friends and teachers to catch up on the past year. Speeches were given by the President of the Alumni Association, George Holland, class of 1955, Lind, Principal Dana Brown, and Mayor Gary Christenson; performances were made by the choir and two play production members, senior Ramy Riviere and junior Sebastian Patino; alumni also had the chance to win a prize in the raffle.
The afternoon ended with the unveiling of a black-and-white portrait of Brown, a gift from the Class of 2013. Graduates Audrey Bardales and Matthew Nunes presented the gift to the audience and Brown, who were almost surprised.
Christenson explained how the luncheon is a “reminder of where we have been,” and it is important to celebrate “[Malden’s] strong past.” This was heavily reflected during the unveiling of Brown’s portrait, which marked his eleventh year as principal after he graduated in 1977. Ward 5 District member Barbara Walsh Murphy, class of 1970, finds the luncheon a great way to “cement relationships.” However, not only are people exciting every year, it is impressive to see the other aspects of the Alumni Association.
They work to preserve traditions and keep archives of what used to be. Newer generations are heavily involved in the process because they will one day take over. Lind became a permanent member of the association after Brown asked her to become a part of it, and realized the significance of what she can potentially do. Since then, she has enjoyed helping students through scholarships and more concealed items, such as winter jackets or eyeglasses.
Currently, the association is a part of a “Name Your Seat” campaign, where alumni can buy a plaque for $100 and name a seat in the auditorium. More than 430 seats have been sold so far, which allowed the association to to give out five $1000 scholarships in the previous year.
Marshall Soderblom, class of 1933, who also happens to be the oldest participant of the luncheon, bought seven plaques to show his support. He remembers MHS being a “wonderful place,” and he remembers all his teachers. After graduating from the school, he worked with “Uncle Sam” in a naval shipyard for 35 years, and then “enjoyed 41 years of retirement.” After all this time, Soderblom remembers the time he did not finish memorizing a poem in German, and he had detention until he learned it, which became his most prominent memory.
Like all other things, the associations face minor setbacks. Lind wishes younger alumni were involved, but they may not have enough time to stay involved because they may be still finishing their education, working, or living far away. She wants the luncheon to be “comforting” to the alumni so they would want to return every year, and the 100 people that came on Oct. 20, 2013 proved that the association was well on its way to achieve its goals.