Welcome to the 1958 50th Anniversary Post Reunion Page With Pictures.
The pictures will follow this synopsis of events written by Elias P. Kusulas
TOTTENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1958 HOLDS ITS 50TH REUNION
The Tottenville High School Class of 1958, held its 50th reunion celebration at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, New Brunswick, New Jersey, on September 12-14, 2008. Approximately 140 individuals registered for the various events over the weekend. The celebration started with a welcome reception on Friday evening. This gave everyone an opportunity to get reacquainted with former friends and classmates.
On display Friday and Saturday evening was an outstanding collection of photographs of our classmates, some going back as far as 1945 and kindergarten; reprints of Trumpet and newspaper articles from the 1950s, also memorabilia; and a large flat panel monitor on which a random collection of photos continuously flashed on the screen. The photo displays were a terrific hit with all of the guests. Thelma Gray Moe, assisted by her husband Russ, assembled the photos and created the wonderful and artfully displayed photos and other materials. Approximately 90 people were in attendance Friday evening.
On Saturday morning, a group of about 65 people assembled in Tottenville, first for fortification with coffee and pastry, and then it was off to visit and tour our former high school building, now Intermediate School 34. The building is in amazing condition and we were all delighted at how well it is being maintained. At the conclusion of the tour a photographer from the Staten Island Advance took a group photo at the main entrance of the building. Harold Matthes was the tour coordinator.
That evening we had a wonderful dinner dance attended by approximately 125 people. Eleanor Szasz and Betty Drabek Stroh served as the reception committee and Barbara Stinemire McDiarmid prepared the beautiful decorations. The festivities began with a welcome by Elias Kusulas, THS Class of 1958 president and reunion chairman.
Elias introduced two special guests. First was Joseph Fisler, former principal of Tottenville High School, who attended with his wife Bobbi, and 18 other members of the THS Class of 1959. After THS 1958 with 54 members present, THS 1959 was the next biggest group, followed by THS 1956, with seven present. There were another 18 THS alumni, from classes ranging from 1942 to 1973, participating in one or more events over the weekend. Also represented, from the NYC and NJ metro area, were Curtis HS, New Dorp HS, Port Richmond HS, Augustinian Academy, Brooklyn Technical HS, School of the Performing Arts, Perth Amboy HS, Bayonne HS and New Brunswick HS.
The next special guest introduced was Linda Hauck, director of the Tottenville Historical Society. Linda was accompanied by her husband, Gregory.
Elias then honored our late grade advisor, Bruno Mattei, who passed away recently at the age of 99 years old. A letter was read from Mr. Mattie’s son, Arthur, which was an emotional time for all THS 1958 classmates, as Señor Mattei was a beloved teacher by all of us.
Also honored was popular 58-2 register teacher, Renee Sklair. A letter from Miss Sklair was read.
Next, Elias recognized the accomplishments and contributions of the Class of 1958.
The honor of first mention went to our veterans, who have served in each of the five branches of the military service. Each of the five service songs was played and sung. Each veteran stood as his respective song was being played. This was followed by a group singing of God Bless America. It was an emotional and patriotic start to the evening’s events.
Next honored were fire fighters, police officers and all first responders. They were all asked to stand and be recognized. We were in the presence of heroes, as several in the room had been first responders on September 11, 2001.
Elias then honored our THS 1958 classmates and their many achievements and contributions: university professors; primary and secondary school teachers and educators; a distinguished science researcher and best selling text book author; nurses; those working in private enterprise; an ordained minister and lay religious volunteers; and then all moms, dads, grandparents and great grandparents.
Classmates were also honored for their many volunteer activities, in which they devoted their time, talent and treasure to those in need and to deserving social, cultural and educational organizations.
Elias introduced and thanked the members of the 50th reunion committee: John Brenner, Priscilla Hobson Brenner, Harold Matthes, Marion Taylor McClarin, Thelma Gray Moe, Barbara Stinemire McDiarmid, Charles Petersen, Betty Drabek Stroh and Eleanor Szasz.
Shelby Berger Jakoby then read a poem that she had composed in honor of the THS 1958 50th reunion. It was a huge hit and you can read it by clicking the following link:
After dinner, the program was turned over to Charles Petersen and Marion Taylor McClarin, for a continuation of fun & games, which had started on Friday evening and finished on Sunday morning. Charlie and Marion were terrific as stand up comics and they really should take their show on the road.
During the evening, 1950s music played and the dance floor was filled with youngsters from the 1950s. The dancing was interrupted only by the need to take various group photos under the capable direction of THS 1958 spouses, Russ Moe and Donald McClarin.
During the dinner dance it was announced that the photo displays, which took 12 easels filled with large poster boards, would be donated to the Tottenville Historical Society. The historical society plans to hold a public display of the photos in Tottenville.
At the Sunday morning send-off breakfast various prizes were awarded, by Charlie and Marion, the most coveted being the dance contest awards. John Brenner was the reigning champion, having been named as best male dancer in 1958. After 50 years he had to defend his title against a determined Charlie Petersen, who finished a close second place. John prevailed and was named best male dancer, while his wife Priscilla Hobson Brenner earned accolades as best female dancer. The best female dancer from 1958 was not in attendance to defend her title.
The reunion came to a close with remarks by Elias Kusulas, who once again thanked his committee and wished everyone God speed and safe travels home.
The attendees were reluctant to leave and many lingered for awhile longer saying their fond good byes and taking final photographs. It was a marvelous and memorable weekend.
Elias P. Kusulas
Sept. 17, 2008
Listed below are four seperate events of this reunion. A link will take you to the pictures for each event.
Day 1 - Friday Welcoming Reception
Day 2 - Saturday visit to HS
Day 2 - Saturday Dinner Dance
Day 3 - Sunday Send Off Breakfast