Centipedes reuniting 50 years after receiving diplomas

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Campbell graduate, to speak at banquet

BY JAMES HARPER
DAYTONA TIMES

High school graduates of today don’t have the same camaraderie as the graduates of segregated schools.

130418_dt_community01That’s the belief of Campbell High School grad Hortense Geter who will be welcoming her classmates back to Daytona Beach on April 19, 50 years after they graduated from what was then a segregated all-Black high school.

Geter was among 94 graduates of Campbell Senior High school’s Class of 1963. At that time, Blacks and Whites went to separate schools.

School named after race car driver
Campbell was the all-Black high school located at what is now called the John H. Dickerson Center in Daytona Beach. On May 27, 1941, Daytona Beach High School became Campbell Street High School.

Both the school and street (now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) were named after Sir Malcolm Campbell, a British race car driver who, in 1935 set a record driving 276 mph on the beach of Daytona Beach, when stock car racing was held on the beach. This was 24 years before the first Daytona 500 at its present location on International Speedway Boulevard.

Because of segregation, Geter said her classmates are a lot closer to one another compared to today’s graduates from area high schools.

One of the downfalls of integration, Geter said is the demolition and or closing of many of the all-Black schools. Teachers, administrators and students were transferred to the schools attended by Whites only.

“Our schools went away. (Black) principals became assistant principals. Our reunion is a way for us to remember and hang onto the past,” said Geter.

Reunion dinner, banquet planned
Geter will first reunite with her classmates April 19 during a dinner at the home of Attorney Reginald Moore, also a 1963 graduate.

Moore is the son of former Bethune-Cookman College President Richard V. Moore.

A banquet also is scheduled on April 20 at the Daytona Resort and Conference Center, 2700 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. Alumni of classes from 1939 to 1970, when the high school was segregated, will be honored.

Geter said of the 94 in her graduating class, 34 have died.

“Reunions are important because it gives those of us alive an opportunity to fellowship, reminisce about the past and recognize those of us who have become successful,” said Geter, a retired Southern Bell engineer.

From Campbell to Congress
The keynote speaker for the banquet will be U.S. Rep. David Scott, an alumnus of the Class of 1963.

Scott is serving his sixth term as U.S. representative for the 13th Congressional District of Georgia.

He sits on a number of influential committees, including the House Financial Services Committee, House Agricultural Committee, and NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Scott is married to the former Alfredia Aaron and they have two adult children.

Following a 6 p.m. reception, dinner will begin at 7 p.m. The cost is $50 per person or $450 for a table of 10.

“We want all Centipedes (class members), administrators, teachers, family, and friends to support this event,” Geter said.

For more information about activities or to purchase tickets, call 386-307-0619.

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