It’s rare for high-school class reunions to continue past 25 or 30 years, let alone a half-century. Schedules conflict, people become disinterested, memories fade away over time.
But the township high school has one graduating class that has stuck together for a long time – 55 years to be exact. Members of the Class of 1967 will meet the weekend of Oct. 1 for their reunion, and they couldn’t be any closer after five decades.
“A lot of us, over the years, have realized that family doesn’t necessarily have to be blood related,” said alum Gary Weart. “Many of us are family and Palmyra is home. Even though we’ve moved away, it’s always neat to come back.”
Weart is one of the movers and shakers behind the reunion and helps keep the class of fewer than 200 graduates continuously engaged. The reunion manages to draw a crowd every year.
“We just try to keep it going,” Weart said. “We’re just a special group of people and a lot of us have really worked hard to stay in touch.”
The slogan of the ‘67 class is Forever Pals, and as Weart put it regarding the class: “We’re not just Panthers, we’re Forever Pals.”
This year’s celebration will begin at the Palmyra-Cherry Hill East football match on Sept. 30, where all remaining members of the class – still more than 100 people – will be honored before the game. Those who don’t want to attend the game can also celebrate that Friday at Double Nickel Brewing in Pennsauken, where the class has a private room reserved.
The weekend’s big event will occur on Saturday, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Riverton Country Club in Cinnaminson. The reunion concludes late Sunday morning into early afternoon with a brunch in Riverton.
“I think we’re realizing how special these are now, because there are some of us who aren’t here now who were there five years ago, 10 years ago,” Weart noted. “…There’s still no substitute for getting together, giving each other a hug and remembering our 41 classmates that are no longer with us.
“There are a lot of memories there.”
For the 50th reunion, class members donated a plaque as a memento for the ‘67 graduates at the high school, where it will remain as long as the school does.