On Saturday, June 4, alumni of Rockland District High School met at Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education to commemorate their tiger mascot. Students from RDHS and Georges Valley High School are now part of Regional School Unit 13 and will attend Oceanside High School’s east and west campuses in Rockland and Thomaston.

The event was coordinated by members of the Rockland High School Class of 1954, some of whom meet for breakfast every month at the Offshore Restaurant. Gil Merriam, of that class, said the idea of the ceremony percolated there and they began to reach out to other classes that wore the orange and black.

“We were 68 kids in the Class of 1954,” said Merriam. “We were the Depression babies.”

He and classmate Ben Perry recruited others to be pallbearers of the Tiger at the June 4 ceremony, which drew from the ranks of the oldest classes to the most recent, including the school’s last class, the Class of 2011.

The Lincoln Street Center housed the original Rockland High School, which was closed after 130 years as a public school and now is home to the RDHS Alumni room, several artists’ studios and the Watershed School.

At the memorial event, alumnus Ben Perry, of the Class of 1954, made the following remarks.

“We are gathered here today to honor the memory of the Rockland Tiger, our mascot for over 65 years,” said Perry. “Whether on the field, in the gym or in the auditorium, home or away, even in these hallowed halls, we were never without our beloved Tiger.

“Times will change as the years pass, but the memories of the Rockland Tiger will never fade. The Tiger you see here today is a reminder of the many moments that history will preserve. The display will be placed in a glass enclosure here in this building for all to see and reflect upon.”

Perry read the following poem he wrote for the occasion and offered the words to two of the school’s songs.

The Tiger’s Farewell

Farewell dear classmates, one and all

because I won’t be here again next fall.

We’ve won, we’ve lost, and always played fair,

your tiger spirit always was there.

So many years you’ve heard me roar, but now

It’s late, so there will be no more.

Our hearts are filled with memories past, so keep

standards high, think of me, and roar to the last.

Ben Perry, Class of 1954

School Songs

Through the four long years of high school

‘mid the scenes we love so well,

And mystic charms of knowledge

that we vainly seek to spell,

Though we win athletic victories

on football field and track,

Still we cheer for good old Rockland

and the orange and the black.

 

Loyal and true we pledge allegiance to you

this is our motto, we are one for all and

all for dear old Rockland.

Here’s to our school, long may she rule,

For ever more you will find us, always

loyal and true.

The Herald Gazette can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by email at news@villagesoup.com.