Original students, teacher celebrate the beginning of ORR

By Andrea Ray | Sep 09, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Former ORR teacher Norm Fuller is greeted by his former students at the Class of 1962-1965 reunion on Saturday, September 9.

While old friends reminisced at a reunion for Old Rochester Regional High School's classes of 1962-1965, one person stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Norm Fuller, who taught at ORR for 30 years, stood at the front of a line of former students waiting to greet him. Some greeted him with fond memories of how he'd shaped their lives, while others reached in to give a hug to a teacher they'd loved.

"Mr. Fuller was my teacher," said Teddy Laycock, one of the organizers of the reunion, and a member of the Class of 1964. "I ended up teaching beside him when I started at ORR." Laycock taught mechanical drawing at ORR from 1973-1978.

Fuller himself was thrilled to be at the reunion. "I don't go to my own, but I always come to these," he said with a laugh. "It keeps me young!"

Old Rochester Regional High School opened for the first year in 1962. Previously, students graduating from the tri-town's elementary schools sought academic or vocational schooling at other area institutions, including Fairhaven High School, Wareham High School, and New Bedford Vocational High School (now Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School).

The reunion brought together 90 ORR alumni from the first four years of the school's existence, and 149 total guests.

Fuller noted that he'd been at ORR on the first day it opened. "My wife and I were driving down Route 6 to the Cape, and we passed the school being built," he recounted. "I told my wife, 'Wouldn't it be nice to get a job there?'"

A few days later, he got a call from the Dean of Students at Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute (now UMass Dartmouth), asking him if he'd like to interview for the teaching position at the new school. The rest, as they say, was history.

While students lined up to say hello to Fuller, they also found time to greet each other; many a Triad yearbook was on hand to reminisce, and several former students brought along photo albums filled with memories of more recent years. Tunes from the '60s blared from a DJ booth on the property of Marion Collision Services, where the reunion was held.

The reunion was organized by Teddy Laycock, Peter Foster, Mary Lee Jones, Donna Andrews, Susan Peterson, Jack Duff, Carol Regan, Dick Morgado, John DeMello and his wife Kathy DeMello. The group convivially called itself "A Committee of One."

(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
Reminiscing alongside an original copy of the Triad. (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
A time for old friends and new! (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
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