Thompson School planning reunion

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 1, 2008

NATCHEZ — It has been 38 years since the Sadie V. Thompson School closed, and plans are under way for an era reunion for the school’s classes of 1954 through 1972.

The dates of this year’s reunion are July 3 through July 6, and the local reunion committee expects approximately 600 people to attend, reunion committee chair Eva Dunkley said.

“We are closing in on 400 people now, and it’s only the beginning of June,” Dunkley said.

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Though the school closed in 1970, the reunion, which takes place every two years, allows everyone who attended the school — including those who would have been the classes of 1971 and 1972 — to attend.

This year, the reunion will include a tour of some of the major antebellum homes and places of black historic significance such as the Forks of the Road and the William Johnson house, committee member Wilbur Johnson said.

“A lot of the folks who were born and raised here in Natchez have never been in an antebellum home or been on a tour of the city,” Johnson said. “This will be a good opportunity for those people to do that.”

The “get acquainted” portion of the reunion will be July 3 at the Natchez Community Center, and will have Mardi Gras theme, Get Acquainted Chair Evelyn Hutchins said.

“Some of the committee members from out of town have not experienced Mardi Gras, and so we decided on that theme,” Hutchins said.

On July 4, the reunion will have a parade from the school at 3 p.m. The following day, the reunion will have a semi-formal ball at the Natchez Convention Center.

On July 7, the reunion will have a church service at Pilgrim Baptist Church and a Hawaiian luau at the Natchez Convention Center.

The reunion should bring a significant amount of revenue to the city, Hutchins said.

For the 2006 reunion, the committee spent in excess of $33,000, Dunkley said.

The committee meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the old Sadie V. Thompson school location.

For more information, contact Dunkley at 601-446-7603.