Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 20, 2013

HIGGS: Still in high school

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The following school years, 1925-26, summer school was initiated, the senior play “Zaraqueta” was a roaring success and the students planted ivy, rather than a tree, on Junior-Senior Day. The Usher Squad began in 1926 and on May 1 an old-fashioned May Day celebration was introduced, including a May Pole, choosing a May Queen from the senior girls, Robin Hood and his Merry Men, archers, chimney sweeps, garland girls and the whole nine yards. Later the next year, Miss Emma Hulen, the vice-principal, helped establish the school store. The senior play was “Intimate Strangers.”

During the year 1929-30 the yearbook was born. No longer associated with the Chronicle, the school newspaper, it took on the name “the Niagarian.” It was dedicated to Lyndon H. Strough, the new principal and to Miss Mabel E. Eshelman the first advisor of the NFHS senior publication. The time-honored sports of football, basketball and baseball dominated the following school year with recent additions of swimming and tennis added to the mix. Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pinafore” was performed that year.

The 1931-32 school-years had 1,671 students attending NFHS; the largest registration ever recorded in a Niagara Falls school. The first Alumni Day was held on Dec. 23 featuring a Christmas Assembly, a basketball game between the alumni and the high school squad and a dance held by the Block N Club. The oldest alumnus was

A. Gow Brownell. Wing Collar Day replaced Junior-Senior Day, taking place the day before Easter Vacation and April 1 became the annual student celebration. For the first time, the “Niagarian” had a hard cover and a Greek theme was chosen for the yearbook. All unnecessary expenses were cut — this was the Great Depression after all.

Moving ahead the Athletic Advisory Committee was formed in 1933 and the board of education mandated that secondary school students were to be in continuous session from the time they entered in the morning until the time they left in the afternoon. This meant that no secondary school student would be allowed to leave the building to go to lunch. Let’s bring that back. During 1934, Newcomb Prozeller, who was the mantle orator, bestowed the Mantle of Red and Gray upon the president of the junior class. The Wing Collar Day issue of the Chronicle was printed in red on gray paper.

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