Any school’s senior prom is time to get all dressed up enjoy one of the last events of your senior year at High School. In 1962, Old Rochester Regional was no different …well maybe a little different than today. Gil Ferro and his Orchestra held our senior prom, the first for the new school, at the Marion Tennis Club on June 1, 1962 with music.
The theme of the prom was “Blue Hawaii”-most likely a reference to Elvis’ movie. Proms were held locally unlike today when they’re turned into a destination prom and in some cases, an all night event.
Judy Furnans, of Mattapoisett, was named the Queen of the Prom with her court consisting of Connie Hardy, Ruth Ann Tripp and Carole Woodcock. Kids were able to get their parent’s car for the night to pick up their dates. There were no stretch limos around to rent and what student had their own car?
Are receiving lines in existence anymore? Good manners back then required one. It was made up of the Superintendent, Principal and faculty members. How weird was it going through the receiving line and trying to act grown up in front of the principal?
Some classmates recall going to Ned’s Point Lighthouse after the prom to extend the night and have breakfast at a classmate’s house. Others went to the beach with a 6-pack for 4 people and had some left over. Drinking wasn’t a big thing. People just wanted to hang out. Quoting from the Standard Times in 1962, “Success of the prom set a fine precedent for future events of this type. For the seniors it was almost their most important activity, being second only to the formal graduation…”
Our graduation was held June 15, 1962 with 75 students eagerly waiting to receive their diplomas and get on with their lives. “Pomp and Circumstances” played as the students filed into the ORR auditorium. Ross Hopkins, our class president, welcomed everyone to the graduation; a vocal solo by Sandra Briggs preceded a piano solo by Peter Sawyer. As students received their diplomas from Dr. Benjamin Tilden, chairman of the Regional School Board, the female graduates were given bouquets of white carnations and the boys were given a single buttonhole flower. Filing off the stage at ORR, we were now officially the first graduating class of Old Rochester Regional High School: an honor that no other class can claim.