By DON STINE
Graduates from Ocean Township and Asbury Park high schools are joining forces to celebrate their 50th reunion next month- a reunion with an interesting history.
Ocean Township, which was a sending district to Asbury Park, opened its new high school in 1966 but with no senior class, which remained in Asbury Park. Ocean Township’s Class of 1967 is the first graduating class in the history of the school but memories of their old Asbury Park classmates live on.
So, to renew those memories and see old friends, the two graduating classes are joining forces to have a joint 50th anniversary celebration on Sat., Aug. 12.
“It’s great and it’s historic. People are very enthused and very happy and it should be a fun time- a great time. There were no seniors at the Ocean Township High School so the class of 1967 was the first to graduate,” said Andy Skokos, an Asbury Park graduate who is helping organize the reunion.
“We were all split up when Ocean Township pulled out so we are having our reunions together. The joint reunion shows the connection we all have. It’s a connection that has never been forgotten between the two classes. It’s like there are friends forever and we stay in contact,” he said.
The reunion dinner will be held at the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune from 6 to 11 pm. The dinner is sold out with 157 people attending. A special happy hour event with be held for close friends and classmates at McGillicuddy’s Lakeside Taphouse in Loch Arbour on Fri., Aug. 11 from 4 to 7 pm.
The reunion was planned over the past year and former classmates are coming from as far away as Oregon.
Skokos, with help from his wife Susan, is handling his half of the reunion and Ocean Township graduate Richard Long and others are handling their classmates’ participation.
Long attended Asbury Park High School for two years before going to Ocean Township and being in the first graduating class. He is currently a Township Councilman.
“I think this will be a great opportunity to see a number of people I haven’t seen in many, many years. I think this reunion is probably the best-attended one we have had. Some people are coming for the first time and that is a good thing,” he said.
“In a sense, it’s historic because there are not many high schools that have joint reunions. This is a different wrinkle in the scheme of things and it’s really terrific,” he said.