Class of 1961 ~ "In Memoriam" ~ 2001 Project
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"We Remember ... "
Class generosity floors terrace at River Garden
By TOM MARSHALL
BRATTLEBORO -- The '61 Colonels always had spirit.
But when the Brattleboro Union High School class gets together next week for its 40th reunion, classmates will leave a little something extra for the town -- an 800-square-foot mahogany terrace.
Installed at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden, with sweeping views of the Connecticut River, the deck will commemorate the 15 classmates who have passed on since graduation day.
"It's a labor of love," said class president William Bedard. "We were a close class, and we've stayed together for 40 years."
At $8,000, the donation has far exceeded the usual class gift, he said. Previously, the class had given money for scholarships, but with a proliferation of such funds, they wanted to do something special.
So Bedard casually asked Nelle Hanig, executive director of Building a Better Brattleboro, whether she could use any help with the organization's new public atrium. She casually mentioned the planned deck, and the price.
Class to dedicate River Garden deck
Editor of the Reformer: (June 15, 2001 - 40 years EXACTLY to the date of our Graduation)
The Brattleboro Union High School Class of 1961 will soon be celebrating our 40th year out of high school.
Some of our classmates are no longer with us to share in this joyous occasion. In their honor and memory the class has chosen an ambitious project -- the funding and construction of the Garden Terrace at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden.
The River Garden was developed in honor of Sen. Robert Gibson. One of the newest additions to Main Street, it is a glass enclosed area overlooking the Connecticut River. It is our pleasure as a class to have been able to to fund the addition of an outdoor deck as a tribute to those classmates who are no longer with us. It is a beautiful terrace that will last many years, providing the citizens of the area (and the class of 1961) a peaceful place to meet.
On Friday, June 15, we will be gathering to dedicate this terrace. We would like to extend an invitation to the families of the following classmates: Eleanor Bartlett, Larry Cooke, Howard Eddy, Barbara Edwards, William Franklin, Ralph Grimes, Sandra Heald, Robert Herrick, Robert Howe, William Kirchberg, R. Crosby Loomis, Jeanette Plante, John Stanley, Jan Ulmer and Audry Waite. We sincerely hope you will accept this invitation to join us from 7 to 10 p.m. at the River Garden Terrace for this occasion. We look forward to seeing you there.
Class of 1961
"BABB used up whatever funds we had to construct the building," she said. "Without this generous contribution, I don't know how we would have managed to build the terrace."
The death last year of class vice president Larry Cooke, a former BABB director, spurred thoughts of a memorial, Bedard said. But they soon realized it would be more fitting to remember all of their fallen classmates together.
"My class is that kind of group. We have been very close," he added. "We just figured this would be a nice way to give something back to the community."
The terrace was quiet Wednesday. Leaves rustled in the late-spring breeze, and traffic sounds made less of an impression than the honk of geese on the river. The memories of '61, or any other year, may grow well there.
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