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‘Birthday party’ at Saint Marks remembers first day of school in 1969: Photo gallery

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A relay race, water balloon toss and several other activities were part of “First Day of SMHS Party” Sept. 30 at Saint Mark’s High School marking the first day of school when it opened 50 years ago. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

It’s time to party like it’s 1969 and Saint Mark’s isn’t missing an opportunity.

The high school in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and on Sept. 30 it was time to remember the first day of school, Sept. 30, 1969, which at the time had been pushed back a few weeks due to delays in the new construction.

A relay race, water balloon toss and several other activities were part of “First Day of SMHS Party” Sept. 30 at Saint Mark’s High School marking the first day of school when it opened 50 years ago. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

In the early 1960s, Bishop Michael W. Hyle had a vision to create a flagship high school for the diocese. The project became a reality beginning with the groundbreaking ceremonies on Dec. 18, 1967. Just two years later, Saint Mark’s opened its doors for the first time to students.

To commemorate that very first day, Saint Mark’s this year hosted its “First Day of SMHS Party” on Sept. 30. It was one of a series of events celebrating the anniversary.

“Fifty years ago the first students entered Saint Mark’s with eager anticipation,” said Principal Tom Fertal. “We are blessed that students today enter our doors with that same eagerness – to pursue excellence, live faithfully and serve cheerfully.”

The event was held on campus with Saint Mark’s faculty, staff, and students. The overcast skies provided seasonal autumn temperatures and made for good weather for “an amazing race relay” on the athletic fields and other activities. Everyone gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy cake and cupcakes.

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