Belmont’s Reid High alumni plan year of reunion events
A native of Belmont, Charles Reid is one of the grandchildren of Reid High founding principal, the late Charles Jesse Bynum Reid, and his wife, Maude Herndon Reid. He is also chairperson of the Charles Jesse Bynum Reid Foundation.
By Charles Reid
Posted Sep 11, 2015 at 6:06 PMUpdated Sep 11, 2015 at 6:08 PM.
What might be involved in planning for a 50th grand reunion? One simple response is “a lot of planning.”
In 1966, Reid High School closed to allow for further school integration. The first graduating class of the school was in 1932. Coming up, in 2016, it will be 50 years since Reid High – called “Reid School” since it encompassed grades one thru 12 – was to end its many years of education giving to the black children of Belmont, Cramerton, Gastonia (Neely’s Grove and Bradford Heights communities), Lowell, Mount Holly, Spencer Mountain, and other predominately black communities next to the South Carolina border. It is interesting to note that, even if you were in the first grade of Reid School, when asked what school you attended many would say “Reid High.”
A 50th Grand Reunion is set for Sept. 2-3, 2016 in Belmont, hometown of Reid High. The thought of a reunion had been on the drawing board of the Charles Jesse Bynum (CJB) Reid Foundation for some time. The foundation is named after the founding principal of Reid School, known to many as “Professor Reid.”
This vision for the reunion was presented to the Reid School alumni in our first joint meeting held this summer. As we met, we soon recognized that there was just too much we wanted to see happen in one reunion weekend. Everyone was reminded that “we’re not as young as we use to be” so, we decided to stretch things out over the course of 2016.
So, what are the other possibilities for 2016, the remembering year of Reid High School? Well, what about a time to come together in January, 2016 and have a panel discussion led by Reid School historians and others under the heading “Reid High: The Significance of Our Legacy.” Sounds good!
What about a CJB Reid Oratorical Contest sponsored by the foundation. Good idea!
And, what about an actual “May Day Pole Wrapping” like we used to have on campus? Good thinking!
Oh, and let’s plan to have a 50th memorial book of our school history and pictures of the school buildings – also pictures of the former administrators, faculty, secretaries, cafeteria workers, and custodians. All this could lead up to the grand weekend of, Sept. 2-3, 2016. We’re on track!
So what about the big grand weekend? We could have a welcoming hospitality time that Friday evening, in a large, accommodating location, and ask everyone to dress Hawaiian style – Hawaiian shirts, dresses and lei. Of course there would have to be some good music, line dancing, and, perhaps, some card playing. On that Saturday morning there could be a Grand Reid High Parade starting at Davis Park in Belmont, where we shared use of the former Davis Park stadium with Belmont High, for our athletic events – football and baseball. Of course, we would culminate the weekend activities after the parade with an “all day picnic” on the old school grounds now known as Reid Park. This sounds like a plan!
The next Reid High Grand Reunion planning meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at Love’s Chapel Presbyterian Church, 204 Lincoln St., Belmont. Any and all persons who ever attended Reid School at any point in time are invited to attend. We would love for alumni to bring yearbooks and Reid School memorabilia to this planning meeting where we can catalog who has what for possible displaying. You can contact Charles W. Reid at 704-825-4017 for more information.