Class of ’53 to meet for breakfast

Published 8:39 am Friday, February 18, 2011

Got word this week from Lemuel “Bill” Copeland from Laurelton, N.Y., that the Nansemond County Training School Class of 1953 will meet for breakfast at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Station 1 Restaurant in Hunterdale.

Periodically, the men from the class of the now defunct school in Holland come together from across the country for breakfast at a local restaurant. In those days, many black public schools in the South were named training schools.

This class consisted of 22 members, who were, with one exception, all classmates in the same school building since beginning grammar school in 1942. Fifteen were boys and seven were girls.

They all lived within probably a five-mile radius of each other and belonged to three of the churches in the Holland community.

Some of the graduates, in addition to Lemuel, included Herman Baker, Alexander Blizzard, Edward Boone, Enoch Copeland, Linwood Dillard, James Dillard, Helleon Holland, Max Jenkins, Durman Nelson Jones, Arthur Gilmer Parker, William Simmons, Roxanna Walton Artis, Delores Darden, Wilhelmenia Valentine Parker, Thelma Warder Picott, Mary Gatling Young and the late Mary Evans Baily, Zettie McLauren Cross, Willis Weaver Walden, Levi Williams and Luther White.

Donald Johnson also attends the breakfast. He was a member of the class before his family moved to New Jersey.

• The Hicksford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently recognized fifth- and sixth-grade essay winners from Southampton Academy.

Michael Smith took first among the fifth-graders followed by Scott Pittman in second, Mitchell Owen in third and Hunter Britt in fourth.

Sixth-grade winners were Emery Weist in first, Allison Matthews in second, Caroline Nicholson in third and Mason Pope, fourth.

The contest focused on “The Memoirs of Paul Revere.” The students’ teachers are Jennifer Whitley and Rachel Pope.

The Collegian, which is the University of Richmond’s student newspaper, recently had a write-up about the school’s 17 newest football players, including Franklin High School senior Justin Grant.

Spider Head Coach Latrell Scott said Grant “very well could be one of the best athletes we have.”

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Bronco also was referred to as “very versatile,” playing both receiver and defensive back. Grant also returned kicks and punts in high school.

GWEN ALBERS is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her email address is