by Dawnya Pring STAFF WRITER – THURSDAY June 16, 2005, REPRINT BY PERMISSION BEACH REPORTER
Organizers are expecting almost 14,000 Redondo Union High School graduates to travel from around the country to celebrate the school’s 100-year birthday.
“This is really one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” said Pat Ramsey, who graduated in 1943 and has been one of the main organizers for an afternoon luncheon for graduates from the 1940s and earlier. “I’m very excited and there are a lot of people I’m looking forward to seeing.”
Redondo Beach just entered its teen years when the high school was formed and its student body came from Palos Verdes, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and El Segundo. The year was 1905 and the city was 13 years old with a population of about 2,000.
Thousands have attended the school over the decades, some famous and others infamous. There was Charles Lindberg, The Smothers Brothers and actress Demi Moore; but there was also Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, known for joining the Charles Manson “family.”
“The school has a lot of history and tradition, and it’s more like a family,” said Gary Gomez, president of the Redondo Beach Alumni Association. “The graduates are very close-knit.”
The Alumni Association, the Associated Student Body, past and present faculty, and dozens of volunteers have organized a week’s worth of activities from June 18, starting with an alumni eight-man flag football tournament at 9 a.m. on the high school’s practice field and ending June 26 with a farewell breakfast on the lawn in front of the high school’s auditorium and a “day at the beach” near Avenue C. There are also dozens of reunion parties scheduled and other activities, including a golf tournament and museum tours.
But the main event takes place June 25 with a morning breakfast and ceremony celebrating the school’s 100 most distinguished graduates. The graduates were chosen by an independent committee earlier in the year. The festivities will last all day and include a carnival, a memorial wall, campus tours, car show, historic displays and music from several alumni bands
The early years. The high school began modestly, with two classes, one college preparatory and the other commercial, and was housed in two rooms on the second floor of the city’s Masonic building. In 1905, a school bond of $25,000 was passed by residents to construct a building just for the school. Four months later, the building and grounds known as the “Old Chautauqua Place” were chosen and bought for $8,000. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa