The Gonzales High School class of 1953 met for lunch and laughs at The Country Kitchen in Gonzales for their 65th reunion this month.

The Gonzales High School class of 1953 met for lunch and laughs at The Country Kitchen in Gonzales for their 65th reunion this month.

Of the 52 graduates, 26 have passed, 14 girls and 13 boys. The deceased classmates are Shirley Denham, Nina Broussard, Paula Gaudin, Lydia Wells, Leona Babin, Jeanie Villar, Billie Savario, Patsy Babin, Jeanette Gautreau, Elsie LeBlanc, Marlene Gautreau, Jewel Michael, Arlene Epstein, Laverne Babin, Bobby Kelleher, Albert James, Guy Gautreau, Leroy Bourque, Ray Stevens, Teddy Rushing, Jorda Young Sr., T-Boy Argrave, John Gautreau, Charles Pasqua, Charles Moore, Lyonell Dixon, and Cecil Nickens.

Deceased classmates that did not graduate on May 27, 1953 are Myrna Decoteau, Rosemary Achord, "Cookie" Hull, and Jimmy Brown.

Part of the ceremony included a reading of this class of 1929 valedictorian speech by Acklin A. Bourque Sr. Reporter Halen Doughty retyped the speech, since it was shared with the Weekly Citizen on looseleaf:

"Schoolmates, ladies, and gentlemen,

"It is with great pleasure that I present you and the school the memorial of the class of 1929. True this memorial is not a thing that can be used, not a thing that can be carried from place to place, and not a thing that can be enjoyed by only one individual or one group of individuals, but a thing of beauty for the benefit and pleasure of all.

"That is why this class chose to place a few beautiful shrubbery and evergreens about the school campus. We hope that this will inspire the future senior classes and that the program we have started shall be continued until completed. Now let us leave the present and swell in the future for a few minutes. Picture a primary class, tiny tots, their first week at school out at play on the campus - these are some of the many questions they asked their teachers. "Teacher," said a little blue eyed girl, "What is that tall, lanky tree growing near the steps?"

"All you children come near and I'll tell you about the Senior Class of 1929, who left as their memorial those beautiful plants. Each different one reminds us of each individual member of that class.

"Well honey, that tall lanky ligustrum is to remind us of the boy whom it is like - Henry Martin. Then that pretty gold-tipped arborvitae one is much like the gilded tongue of Betty Guedry, who always tried to use her tongue as a means of getting good grades from her teachers. That slow growing but ever sturdy hedge makes one think of Acklin Bourque - its behavior on the campus is perfection, Acklin being the only 100 percent student in behavior. Friends of Kelly and Dayton Young never look at the group of red lilies (red being the symbol of bravery, you know) without thinking of those brave boys who were often here are afraid of their own shadows.

"Somehow or other I never can look at the pine trees without thinking of the class as a whole - moaning about their grades and work and pining for the day when their senior year will be over.

"See those huge yellow canna lilies that look so much like butterflies - I can just close my eyes and see Vela Celina and Alfletla as they skipped around the school and campus as bright and gay as those brightly colored flowers.

"Let's take a walk around the building and look at the grove of willows, is that a restful place? They were planted in '29 by the seniors like Percy, Irma, and Hulon who always loved a restful place away from looks.

"There are four creeping vines when planted were unnoticed, but today are startling in their beauty. Those remind us of the sunset and simple way of Lou Ella Leola, Eulalie, and Estelle.

"To the teachers and friends of the class of '29, the plants remind us of individuals, but to you future graduating classes the shrubbery is a beautiful memorial. May you find as much pleasure in seeing it there as we derived by placing it there."

Acklin A. Bourque Sr.

Valedictorian, 1929

b. 3-9-98; d. 9-13-89