Mepham graduates celebrate 70th reunion


Just a few weeks before Wellington C. Mepham High School’s class of 2013 celebrated commencement, one of the school’s first groups of graduates reconnected with one another at their 70th reunion.

Nearly a dozen of the 68 remaining members of Mepham’s class of 1943 came together for the celebration at The Nook in Wantagh on June 7. The alumni scanned through their yearbook and other photos and memorabilia, remembering their high school days.

Gloria Dinger Chapman, a longtime Bellmorite, organized the 70th reunion with the help of Margaret Hennessy and Alberta Settanni Splecia. Chapman said she has facilitated reunions in the past because she still lives in the community the entire class called home more than 70 years ago.

“We don’t get to see one another all the time, but we know where everybody is,” she said. “In the four years, we made these friendships that just lasted.”

While Chapman said some alumni still live on Long Island, others came from places like Missouri and Michigan to see their classmates.

The event followed several other celebrations of a major milestone for the entire school: Mepham’s 75th anniversary. The W. C. Mepham High School Alumni Association hosted events in honor of the anniversary in September, including an all-class picnic and special programs at the school.

Chapman explained that graduating from high school was very important to students in the 1940s, and that she and her classmates still identify with Mepham.

“I was there before the school was built,” she said. “We all met when we came in. It became another home.”