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American History
Chilocco Alumni and Associates Newsletter


NORTHERN OKLAHOMA CHAPTER 11/27/05

             Some of the goals of the Alumni that are in its constitution are: (1) to continue the comradery we once had as students, (2) to go forward as a group of people in order to make good citizens, (3) to bring the same strength to each other we had as students who were like brothers and sisters and were able to survive the system of the boarding school.
    The purpose of this newsletter is to inform and publish what is happening and what has happened in regards to the forming, for the first time, a chapter or branch in this area off the National Alumni Association.  Today  Associates are welcomed.  Fees for the local are $5.00 a year
    A bus tour of the grounds was organized and left from the Historical Society location on Main Street at Newkirk. The buses were filled to their capacity. Garland Kent and Charmain Pensoneau Billy served as guides for the tours and many brilliant bits and pieces of the schools history was shared with the public who have for years longed to be able to come on campus.
    Our first small meeting was at the Pioneer Bank and Garland Kent jovially notes that he attended and was voted in, quite suddenly, as our President. Charmain Billy, Vice-president, and Alice Sheeter,  Secretary-Treasurer. This meeting was well attended. For the next meeting we met at the El Patio Restaurant up-stairs. A wonderful meal was served and we all went Dutch on that, each one,  paying their own way.
    At another first meeting on the grounds of Chilocco a small meal was served to the various tribal members of those of  the five tribes who were able to attend.
    The next meeting was on campus again. This was when the National Historical Preservation people came to measure and record the facts they needed to get the campus listed as an endangered historical site. We of the alumni served a pot luck meal at the time. A spread on a banquet size proportion was served (Go N-D-N's Go). Those of us, who are a remnant,  did our old school proud in the way the food was presented. Everyone enjoyed. Some fished in the lake and my grandson caught a whopping big fish, his first, and from the Chilocco Lake. This is the same body of water we skated on in the winter when it was frozen over, fished during the summer and “crossed over the bridge” during the pageant when it was lighted for our stage presentations.
    The former superintendent, James Baker, who is now our National Alumni President, attended. The chairman from the Seminole tribe, who graduated from Chilocco,  was there. People who came from as far as Alaska, New York, Florida and California were there.
    The last meeting we had was at the Conoco Clubhouse. A wonderful meal was presented as pot luck. There was a great quantity of food with much left over. Tickets at the door allowed a number of people to walk away with some great prizes. Betty Durkee, representing the Kaw tribe,  spoke, telling of the plans for future projects on campus.
    At this time, it needs to be reported that a great amount of vandalism is being done on campus. Expensive air-conditioners torn up for the copper in them, theft of the heavy expensive picnic tables are only the obvious things reported.
    A recent communication comes from an alumnus who has been a grant writer by profession.  She is interested in working with the Alumni and the tribes for obtaining grants and money to help with restoration. The vandalism makes this an issue of great importance, that is, the one of getting the ball rolling for active protection of the area. Contact Garland Kent at 762-5112 for information on joining the Chilocco Alumni or as an associate.


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