RED HUSSARS

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Chloe and Rachel doing what comes natural to them..... still performing at the TJ Class of 65 Reunion on Friday April 17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn.

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This unique item came in Trudy Wood's folder.  It even has the usual phone numbers on it that folks jotted down in a hurry.  This too must have been taken in the Fall of 1960 but I could not recognize anyone in the photo.  I left the scan large to be able to pick out faces and detail.  I could make out the temperature on the bank sign, 72 degrees.  Probably not December.  If anyone can furnish more information, please do so.

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This photo belongs to Trudy Wood.  Looking at it through a magnifying glass, an invaluable tool for those doing websites, it appears to be 1961 Seniors.  Since it must have been either a Cavoilcade or Christmas Parade, it would have then be made in the Fall of 1960.  

If anyone would like to furnish further information, please do so.

(Photo left large to see detail and for better printing)

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Really Great Scans that came from Gracey

Red Hussar Majorettes Drum Major picture before a game-majorettes as matadors for the Brave Bull performance  theme at half time. -----------

left to right-Sandy Lehman, Sue Barnes, Gracey Potter, Donna Shless, Jolene Eaves

The Red Hussar Class of 1961 pass the whistle and baton to the new Drum Major Majorettes The Class of '62 --------------

left to right-Sandy Lehman, Sue Barnes, Donna Shless, Jolene Eaves, Gracey Potter, Anne Lofton, Linda Tomlin, Pat Daniels, Claudette Hilliard, Jeanie Hollingsworth

The Class of '62 "twirlers" pass the whistle and baton to the new Drum Major and Majorettes of the Class of '63 ------------

left to right-Janet Underwood, Sue Honeycutt, Mikie Prejean, Karen Sealey, Sandy Wiggins, Gracey Potter, Jolene Eaves, Donna Shless, Sue Barnes, Sandy Lehman

Poster contest--------

Gracey Potter and Mary Ell Glass

 

New Hussars class of '62 - Initiation 

The Red Hussars- Class of 1962 - In the Gym

 

Pictures edited for clarity, left large for easier viewing. 

I Only have these brief comments now.  More to come I hope

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In the PA News   4-19-2008

 

The Thomas Jefferson Red Hussars hosted the Bishop Byrne Colleens at their annual Hussar-Colleen Party.

This tradition was started in 1957 by Hussar Drum Major Jo Carol Savarino and the two groups have 

alternated hosting the event every year since.  The Colleen Drum and Bugle Corps was established in 1948

and the Red Hussars Drum and Bugle Corps was established in 1929.  The Hussars hold the honor of being 

the first all female drum and bugle corps in the state.  Although both high schools no longer exist, these ladies

are proud this tradition still exists.

(photo sent to us by Jean of the Red Hussar Alumni web site)

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----   SAD NEWS ----

Marguerite LeBlanc Griffith 
PORT ARTHUR - Marguerite LeBlanc Griffith, 94, of Port Arthur, Texas died Saturday, August 30, 2008 at Cypress Glen East Nursing Home.

Marguerite was born on June 10, 1914 in Abbeville, Louisiana to I.J. LeBlanc and Inez Hebert LeBlanc. She was a resident of Port Arthur for 81 years and longtime member of St. Catherine Catholic Church. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High where she was in the first group of Hussar's and played the snare drum.

Funeral services will be at 1:00 p.m., Friday, September 5, 2008 at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves, Texas with Reverend D. Stephen McCrate officiating. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

A visitation for family and friends will begin on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Marguerite was preceded in death by her husband, Walter D. Griffith; brothers, Alton LeBlanc and Clyde LeBlanc; and sister, Bessie Lauve.

Survivors include her daughter, Pam Bonin and husband, Jerry of Port Arthur, Texas; son, Walter Griffith and wife, Judy of Alvin, Texas; brother. Elliot LeBlanc and wife, Jeanine of Kennedy, Texas; six grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren and two great - great grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Kevin Griffith, Kellie Cochran, Kurt Griffith, Karrie Peevler, Clay Bonin, and Angie Cook.

 

One Special Red Hussar

Griffith recalls being an original Red Hussar

By Darragh Doiron
The Port Arthur News

MARGUERITE GRIFFITH
Age: 94
Occupation: Homemaker
Community connection: Part of the original Red Hussars
Fast fact: Griffith has been a tole painter.
Quick Quote: “I was proud.”

Marguerite Griffith can’t see well anymore, but she turns her head to the voices.
A lack of vision doesn’t interfere with her instinct. When her daughter put Griffith’s Red Hussars drumsticks in front of her, she picked them up and tapped a rhythm on the glass conference table.

The Cypress Glen nursing home resident’s wheel chair was positioned at the table, where she could reach patches and other memorabilia regarding her part in the premier group of Red Hussars. The drum and bugle corps began assembling in 1929 at Thomas Jefferson High School and made their debut on Sept. 27, 1930. Female students marched at games, parades, fairs and civic activities for 63 years.

Jenny Moore, activities director at Cypress Glen, heard Griffith reminiscing and got her friend to talk more. Griffith landed a coveted spot on the corps and recalled the excitement about uniforms, moves and music.
“Everyone was wanting to know about it,” she said.
She got the drums, a hat with a tassel and white slippers.
“We all felt great. Since it was not a school uniform, we were more or less in a special class. I was proud,” Griffith said.

According to the Red Hussars web site, it was Miss Elizabeth ''Smitty'' Smith, head of TJ’s physical education department, who organized the group, inspired by a male corps she saw in California with members dressed like Russian Cossacks. “Hussar” is a Hungarian word for a type of calvary.

O.P. “Pop” Lantz, band director, wrote the signature song, “Here We Come,” and taught students how to march and play the drums and bugles.
Griffith recalled the wait for uniforms. The bill was significantly higher than expected, so the proud Hussars began raising funds.

Over the years slippers became boots and skirts were shortened to comply with modern style. In those later years, 1986-’87, Griffith got to see her granddaughter, Angela, experience life as a Hussar.
Grandmother and granddaughter followed the phrase:
“We are the Hussars, and we couldn’t be prouder.
If you can’t hear us now, we’ll yell a little louder.”

On Red and White Days, Griffith and her granddaughter attended Hussar reunions. At the first Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas, Griffith was among the Hussars who reunited. No physical limitations would stop her.

“Mother had to ride in the truck. She couldn’t walk,” her daughter, Pam Bonin, said.
Griffith was married to Walter D. Griffith, who died about 42 years ago. Her children are Pam, who lives nearby, and Walter, who lives in Alvin. Griffith has six grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

Well into her 80s, Griffith volunteered with the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission’s RSVP, retired senior volunteer program. She was a longtime United Board of Missions worker. Bonin recalled her other talents:

“She sewed. She could make anything. She was a tole painter,” Bonin said.
New England-based tole is a folk art involving painting on tin and wooden utensils.
At 94, Griffith has a simple outlook on dealing with what the world gives you.
“Take life as it comes,” she said.

Once a Hussar, always a Hussar, is a battle cry for hundreds of local women who still gather come Mardi Gras time. Griffith said she’s honored to be one of the first of a group that inspired such a legacy.

With all that school time attention Griffith gave to the Hussars, it’s fair to ask if she had time to devote to studies.
“I was okay. I was an A-B student,” she said.

Contact this reporter at ddoiron@panews.com.