96th Birthday Celebrated by Local Teacher

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By John M. Holman, Contributing Writer

Atlantic News, Thursday, July 19, 2001

RYE, NH -- Webster-At-Rye was the scene on Tuesday, July 10th, of the celebration of the 96th birthday of Evelyn (Philbrick) Squire.

Mrs. Squire was a second grade teacher in second grade at the Hampton Centre School for 14 years, and at that time was known as "Miss Philbrick". She was born in 1905 in North Hampton and attended Hampton Academy and the Portsmouth Training School. She has a daughter, Betsey Davis, three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Many cards of congratulations were received by "Miss Philbrick", and in addition to the residents of Webster's who attended the party, were her daughter Betsey Davis and her granddaughter, Sarah Lamie, and two of her former pupils, Barbara (Garland) Woods of Enfield, NH, and John Holman of Hampton,who was accompanied by his wife Connie.

A selection of Mrs. Squire's favorite songs of were sung, accompanied on the piano by Mr. Holman, who is also a volunteer at Webster's. In addition to the "Happy Birthday" song, other favorites of Mrs. Squire included "School Days, School Days," "It's A Long Way To Tipperary," "Give My Regards To Broadway", and other old-time tunes.

There is a history to such special get-togethers. During Barbara Woods' and Mr. Holman's 50th Graduation Anniversary Reunion from Hampton Academy & High School in June 1997, they invited Mrs. Squire to be their guest, an invitation which she accepted. A good time was had by all and some of their other teachers were also invited and kept Mrs. Squire company. She was escorted to the reunion by her daughter, Betsey.

(Left to right:) John M. Holman, Nancy S. (Wright) Pacheco,
Barbara (Garland) Woods and Evelyn (Miss Philbrick) Squire.)

Later that year, in September, Mrs. Squire's students had another brainstorm -- why not bring Evelyn to the very same class room they all shared in 1936-37 at the Hampton Centre School? The students from Miss Rita Colby's second at Centre at that time would have an opportunity to ask questions of the "alumnus second graders" concerning their "tour of duty" those 60-odd years ago.

The second grade reunion went off without a hitch with the local press documenting the activities and the Principal videotaping the afternoon get-together for "posterity".

On Halloween 1997, Miss Colby's pupils rewarded Mrs. Squire with a personal letter from each of them to her, thanking her for coming to their classroom.

Organizing Mrs. Squire's more recent birthday party at Webster-At-Rye was the staff of the Activity Department, headed by Kerry Robertson and Karen Moreau, with assistance provided by Clarice Garon and Helen Batchelder. Refreshments of decorated cupcakes, punch, and coffee were served at the conclusion of the party and a good time was had by all.

In addition to Mrs. Woods and Mr. Holman, other members of the school's original second grade were invited but were unable to attend due to prior engagements or illness. They include Lois (Allen) Page, Merwyn (Thompson) Couch, Phyllis (Blake) Hosley, Bruce MacLaughlin, and Betty (Freeman) Sherwin. Birthday cards were also received from two other former teachers in the Centre School, third grade teacher Thelma (Norton) Cummings of St. Petersburg, Florida and fourth grade teacher Ada (Perkins) Simmons of Santa Barbara, California.

[See also: "MISS PHILBRICK" ... Teacher, Mentor, Friend]
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