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  • Writer's pictureCraig Richards

‘Never Losing Affection…’

HHS Class of 1972 reunite for their 50th


Craig Richards/THG The 50th reunion attendees.

In 1972, Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I saw Your Face” held the top of the charts for six straight weeks, making it the number one hit of the year. The Godfather owned the box office that year with a 23 week run at number one. And “All in the Family” dominated television sets reaching a 34.0 rating that year. What else happened in 1972? The graduating class of Hammonton High School began their journey to a 50th reunion.


Friends, families and classmates gathered Jan. 27 at Illiano’s Ristorante in Hammonton to celebrate 50 years since their graduation, (52 actually). As with many things COVID-19 delayed the celebration, but not the anticipation for the event.


Thirty-one members of the class came together for the 50th celebration for a night of remembrance, fellowship, dinner and laughs. The group had not gathered together for more than three years when they celebrated their 49th reunion. The festivities included a welcome speech by class treasurer and organization committee member Mimi Weiss Nowak, a collective singing of the class song “In my life” by the Beatles, and a special remembrance of those who had passed.


Through the years various individuals organized reunions for the class’s fifth, 10th, 25th and 47th reunions. This year’s organization committee included Weiss Nowak, Brian Howell, Joe Mazzagatti, Judi Domenico, Dennis Silipena and Terry Ford Lewis.


Mazzagatti, who served as the class VP from seventh to 11th grade explained the unique bond of the 1972 class.


“We were a small class and we were always a close class…We just really like each other,” he said.


He also said that social media has made it easy to stay connected to classmates.


“Everyone was asking, when are we going to get together,” Mazzagatti said.


He got together with Howell and put a small committee together and they made it happen.


Craig Richards/THG The committee for the 50th reunion (l-r) Mimi Weiss Nowak, Judi Domenico, Dennis Silipena, Joe Mazzagatti, Brian Howell and Terry Ford Lewis.

The class song includes the lines “There are places I’ll remember, all my life, tho’ some have changed” and “Though I know I’ll never lose affection, for people and things that went before. I know I’ll often stop and think about them…”


While no immediate plans were discussed for the next reunion, it was clear that the Hammonton High School Class of 1972 chose a fitting class song. The lines represent the essence of the group – a class who cherish their memories and value their relationships.


courtesy photo

courtesy photo

courtesy photo

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