The 26th annual Oak Lawn-Turner Reunion banquet and dance were held Saturday night at the Waxahachie Civic Center ballroom.

Master of ceremonies Frank M. Dyer Sr. (class of 1957) called the meeting to order, followed by the singing of the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” directed by Laverne M. Love (class of 1963). The Rev. James Smith (class of 1949) gave the invocation.

After the meal, catered by G-Texas Catering Service of Fort Worth, Evelyn Coleman (class of 1966), a member of the Waxahachie ISD board of trustees and past Turner Middle School principal, extended greetings to the crowd, many who traveled from as far away as California, Illinois and Delaware.

Laverne M. Love led the crowd in the Oak Lawn school song, followed by a proclamation presented by Waxahachie City Councilman Charles Beatty (class of 1964) and Erica Pointer performing a praise dance.

Love introduced class of 1958 salutatorian Mary J. Tempton, whose presentation took the crowd on a journey through school days at Oak Lawn and Turner High School, citing many ways teachers and faculty influenced the lives of students and highlighting specific incidents and events. Tempton received her bachelor’s of science degree in nursing at Prairie View A&M University.

“They made us all what we are today, and I am so grateful for what I learned in school,” Tempton said, expressing gratitude for her school experiences and the church’s influence in her life. “It was just always understood that when we got up on Sundays, we went to church.

“If you were to ask me what I learned in school, the answer would be ‘reading, writing and arithmetic.’ If you ask me how I learned it, I would say ‘repetition,’ ” she said. “If you were to ask me what I learned in church, the answer would be ‘the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.’ If you ask me how I learned it, I would say ‘redemption.’ ”

Verna Clark (class of 1968) sang two songs: a medley of “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know” and the Gaither classic, “There’s Just Something About That Name” as well as “Lord You Are Awesome.”

Jesse Gibson (class of 1955) presented awards and special recognition to Wanda Terry (class of 1967) and Edith Finley (class of 1968) for their efforts in organizing the reunion festivities.

Gibson also announced that the scholarship trust fund, which was conceived by the class of 1955 and 1956, would be known as the Oak Lawn-Turner Trust Fund.

“We don’t want to just raise $500 or $600 to just give to one student - we want a trust fund which is everlasting so that any youth on the East Side can have the opportunity to go on to college or tech school,” Gibson said.

The class of 1964 was recognized as having the most alumni present and the Adams family was recognized for having the most family members present. Chinese Mitchell (class of 1933) of Chicago was recognized as representing the earliest graduating class present. Lemuel Taylor (class of 1950) of Delaware traveled the farthest distance.

After the benediction, the Oak Lawn-Turner alumni danced to the music provided by live disc jockey Jake McCowan.

The three-day Oak Lawn-Turner Reunion wrapped up with a brunch Sunday afternoon at the Civic Center.

After a welcome from Finley, the past alumni president, the brunch was served, followed by karaoke time under the direction of McCowan.

The next Oak Lawn-Turner Reunion will be held in 2009.