John B. Bond School grads hold reunion

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, July 24, 2018

LEWISTON-WOODVILLE – The eighteenth bi-annual John B. Bond School Reunion was held June 22-24 at the 1770 Catherine’s Restaurant in Ahoskie. This year marked 34 years since the inception of the John B. Bond School Reunions.

On Friday evening, former students, faculty, staff and friends gathered at Catherine’s Restaurant for an evening of reminiscing, laughter, fun, sharing, and dining on delicious food. Thank God for a beautiful and awesome experience – just as it was for the first reunion in 1984 at the Ahoskie Inn and the former John B. Bond School in Lewiston.

Annie Thompson Wiggins presented the toastmistress, Daisy Cherry Maggett, a resident of Seat Pleasant, MD, and retired from the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs. After an opening statement by “Miss Daisy,” the invocation was given by Norman M. Cherry, Sr. in the absence of Carrie Ruffin Crowe. Ollie Peele Bond gave the welcome and greetings – reflecting on the decades of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s – the years John B. Bond School was in operation.

George Powell and James E. Williams offered the memoriam tributes for deceased members with a moment of silent prayer and the lighting of the candle that burned throughout the evening.

Charles L. Smith, Bertie County retired educator, rendered several selections representing the decades and the occasion.

The reunion speaker, Attorney Teresa Artis Neal, Council for Global Activities at Trans World Radio and Adjunct Professor at Campbell Law School, was introduced by her mother, Margaret White Artis. Mrs. Artis is a resident of Greensboro and a former teacher of John B. Bond School.

Atty. Neal gave an informative and inspiring message – reflecting on the success and achievements of the students who attended John B. Bond School – in spite of the obstacles that confronted them. She accentuated the school’s mascot the “Hornet” and stated – “What it means to be a Hornet.” She received applause and a standing ovation.

The blessing of the food was offered by William “Bobby” Melton; afterward the group enjoyed a healthy, tasty, colorful and delicious meal prepared and served by the caterer – Southern Delight.

The Salute to the John B. Bond School faculty was given by Jean White Cherry. Fifty-eight plus teachers taught at the school from 1941-63. Present for this occasion were Margaret White Artis, Ollie Peele Bond, Ethel Foye Jarmon, and Coleen Peele McGlone.

Eddie L. Watson recognized visitors and staff; Norman M. Cherry, Sr. presented the 22 graduating classes of John B. Bond School. Fifteen of the 22 classes were present for the eighteenth reunion. A round of applause was given for each class presented.

After announcements by Constance White Richardson and the singing of The School Song, Reverend Clifton Freeman gave the benediction. An evening of great fellowship, food, and love with thanksgiving to God ended the Reunion Banquet Dinner.

The worship service, business meeting, seafood luncheon, and fun night were the activities for Saturday.

Reverend Raymond Lassiter, Jr. served as worship leader and Jarrell Sessoms, organist and songster. After the invocation by Rev. Lassiter and scripture Eccel 3 “A time for everything” read by Coleen Peele McGlone, John L. Freeman gave prayer.

Phyllis Ballance Sexton presented the messenger, the Reverend Clifton E. Freeman, pastor of Providence Inspirational Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD. Rev. Freeman gave a very fitting message from First Corinthians 13 – “God’s Enduring Love.” Nettie Copeland Bazemore rendered a solo – “I Am Blessed” and Ira Cherry gave the closing prayer for the worship service.

The business session was conducted by Jean White Cherry. Highlight of the business session was the scholarship report given by Constance White Richardson. The 2017-2018 scholar recipients receiving $500 each are Aniya Williams and Qua Shawn D. Arnold. Aniya is attending the University of North Carolina in Greensboro; Qua Shawn is a student at A&T University in Greensboro. Qua Shawn relayed thanks to the reunion family; Aniya, who was present at the meeting, gave moving words of thanks and appreciation to the reunion family for the scholarship.

Saturday night – “Fun Night” – Norman Cherry, Sr. served as Talent Master. Providing music for the evening – “DJ Hollywood” with selections from the “Old School,” “goldies & oldies” and others. Line dancing seems to have dominated the floor along with “bus stop,” “Twistin,” and others. Comedian “Bubba” from Rocky Mount entertained the group with “swing dancing” and several hilarious jokes and storytelling. Oh, what a night!

A wonderful, awesome, and great reunion. As voiced by many – “the best one ever!” To God be the Glory!

On Sunday members of the reunion family attended worship service at the church of their choice.

Thanks to the Steering Committee: Constance W. Richardson, Chairperson, Norman M. Cherry, Co-chairman. Coleen P. McGlone, Coordinator, Ollie P. Bond, Phyllis B. Sexton, Nettie C. Bazemore, William Ballance, Henry N. Cherry, Carrie Ruffin Crowe, Henry J. Freeman, George C. Lee, Pauline Melton, Esther Wilkins Norman, James Pugh, Cassie Bazemore Swimpson.

Serving as host and hostess: DiAnne Bazemore, Gloria C. Lee, Maxine O. Smith, Bernice W. Edwards, George C. Lee, and William Ballance. Photographer for the reunion – Henry N. Cherry. Decorations – Esther W. Norman and Nettie C. Bazemore. Caterer – Southern Delight.

Persons attending the reunion: Laura Artis, Margaret Artis, William Ballance, William F. Bazemore, Nettie Bazemore, Lloyd Bess, Verlena Blackmon, Ollie Bond, Irene Bush, Robert Carter, Elouise Cherry, Henry and Clara Cherry, Ira Cherry & wife, Jean Cherry, Norman & Jean Cherry, Roy & Josephine Cherry, Bernice Edwards, Barbara Harris, George Foreman, Rev. Clifton Freeman, Tommy Gilliam, Barbara & James Jackson, Robert Keemer, Thelma Keys, Bettie Lassiter, Audrey M. Lee, George Lee, Gloria Lee, James & Linda Lee, Robert Lee, Thorton Little, Coleen McGlone, Mary M. McKnight, Daisy C. Maggett, Pauline Melton, William Melton, Cleveland Mitchell, Earl Mitchell, Gaynelle Mitchell, Joseph Mitchell, Esther Norman, Dorothy Peterson, James Peterson, Lana Petteway, Bettie J. Powell, George Powell, John E. Powell, James Pugh, Constance W. & Johnnie Richardson, Melva Sanders, Phyllis Sexton, Charles & Maxine Smith, Cassie Swimpson, Nellie Tabron, Ella F. Thompson & daughter, John Thompson, Martha Thompson, Eddie Watson, Ernestine Wesson, Annie Wiggins, Ernest Williams, Carla Allen, James E. Williams, Marion Peele, Shirley M. Williams, Teresa A. Neal, Ethel B. Foye Jarmon, John Freeman, Rev. Raymond Lassiter & Cynthia Lassiter, Nelson Smallwood, Eva Hendricks & friend.