St. Mary’s High School Reunion

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50thReunion_103114AA half-century after graduation, 113 members of the St. Mary’s Manhasset High School Class of 1964 met for a reunion evening at the Strathmore Vanderbilt Country Club in Manhasset on Saturday Oct. 4.

While the country club itself brought back happy memories from childhood for many of the attendees, this evening the focus was on their high school years, with the school colors decorating the dining room—punctuated by gold symbolizing the golden reunion year.

There were gold glitter pumpkins and yellow mums in profusion provided by Jeri Prus Dreitein, and school colored blue and white balloons on each table to match the jelly beans found at the entrance to the club. Faces and events from long-ago were made present and alive with Juel Kern’s slide show displaying photos of classmates, clubs, and special events.
Joanne Donnelly Archer emceed the evening’s program, adding liveliness and laughs. The Trio: Kathy Sillaway Ulrich, Mary Lou Ross Irvine, and Diane Wands Zurfluh sang “My School.” a take-off of The Temptations’ “My Girl,” with original lyrics by Kathy Sillaway Ulrich. Leslie McGuire Orofino, who sings Cabaret professionally, interpreted a medley of old and loved classics from Cole Porter tunes to “Love Potion Number 9.”

Awards were presented to the person who traveled the farthest: Patty Furness Clark, from Portland, OR, the person closest to home: Bob Lopez of Manhasset, who is still living in his childhood home; the classmate who still looks the same: Diane Amoruso Smith, and the classmate with the most unusual occupation: Kathy Petrie Heskin, Ph.D., a professor of Theology in Chicago.

The committee, which spent two years planning the reunion events, and tracking down far-flung classmates, presented a gift with their love and gratitude to Mary Anne Hamilton Howard, who acted as Chairperson for the celebration. Mary Anne, a Culinary Arts student, also gifted her Class a fondant enrobed tiered cake with French Buttercream filling, decorated with handmade autumn flowers and a large “50” topping the creation.

Earlier in the day, 53 alumnae of the Girls’ High School shared a beautiful catered lunch at the school, chaired by Judith Baiocchi Bacher and Gail O’Conner Bushey. Tours of the building were led by Mrs. Grace Cavallo, President of The Schools of St Mary and Kristin Lynch-Graham Director of Development. The former graduates were impressed with the present day endeavors of its Alma Mater’s accomplished faculty and student population.
On Sunday, a Mass at St. Mary’s Church was celebrated in remembrance of the deceased members of the class, and in gratitude for the teachers and staff who enriched their high school years, and for the life-long friendships begun in those long-ago years.

The adulation and praise for the event went well beyond anyone’s expectations, so much so that the Committee members have agreed to hold reunions every 5 years at the request of all in attendance. And so the story of the Class of 1964 will continue.

Additional Committee members were: Janet Rugato Lehecke; Linda Maschenic Morris; Mary Elaine Norton Morris; Patricia Keating Zalar; Patricia Zedalis; Diane Gray O’Donnell; Maureen Cox Borkowski; Jayne Scimeca Robinson and Clare O’Callaghan.

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

1 COMMENT

  1. Could you please help me locate Judith Baiocchi Bacher, a friend of mine from St. Mary’s in Roslyn? If you’re loath to share her information, would you please send her my email address below. My thanks!
    Karen O’Neill Lacey

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