Rosenwald/Eula D. Britton reunion held
Every two years alumni members of Rayville Colored/Rayville Rosenwald/Eula D. Britton High School from around the county convene for a reunion of all classes.
The event took place at the Alumni Center in Rayville June 29 through July 1 with the theme “Keep the Light Shining.”
The Alumni Center is the old gymnasium, built in 1952, which is the only remaining building after the school closed in 1970. The “Gym” has been transformed over the years into a community center and exhibit hall depicting the outstanding legacy of the school, through pictures and profiles, honoring the teachers and administrators who laid the foundation for the success of the school and the many graduates from 1939-1970.
The latest exhibit to be added is a display of African American businesses that thrived in Rayville prior to integration. The exhibit was spearheaded and installed by the class of 1960, under the leadership of Quincy Mason of Reistertown, MD and Samuel Donald of Tallahassee, FL. The exhibit was dedicated to their classmate, the late Leroy Collins, who was a key member of the class of 1960 that transformed “The Gym” into an exhibition hall of the school’s legacy.
Annie Ruth Stewart-Staten, class of 1966, facilitated a trip down memory lane focused on the first football team which was organized in 1967. Several of the original team members were present to share their memories, including Larry Williams and Charlie Lee, class of 1967; Nelson Woods, class of 1968; Charles Robinson and Robert Curry class of 1969.
The banquet keynote speaker was Ola Washington Bunnitt, class of 1951, who provided the audience with a thought-provoking message that not only inspired but challenged and encouraged alumni members to keep reaching for greater success and pushing the next generation forward.
Former sports greats and a new generation of talented young people received awards. Awards were presented to: Bobby “Chick” Ricks, class of 1959 – Grambling State University Sports Hall of Fame; James “June” Turner, class of 1962 – Jackson State University Sports Hall of Fame, Edgar Jones, Rayville High class of 2003 – NFL Career Achievement Award, Damon West, Rayville High class of 1993 – Coach of the year, AA State Championship and Jonathan Wallace, Rayville High class of 2013 – Career Achievement Award.
The reunion weekend culminated with an Ecumenical Service, facilitated by Rev. James McFarland, class of 1969, featuring Minister Marge Roberts, class of 1970, who delivered a powerful, soul-stirring spiritual message. The president of the Rayville Rosenwald/Eula D. Britton Alumni Association is Elaine Elder-Coleman, class of 1967.