It seems it must have been around forever. But interscholastic hockey got its start around here in 1930. Cliff Purpur is remembered from the first hockey team at Central High School.

He was later named All-American. And stories about hockey and all of the good old days are found in an aged and yellowed copy of the Centralian school paper – the 75th anniversary issue published in 1961.

Among other things, the old newspaper tells of things long past:

  • In 1931, it says Central was without a coach, but the team still beat Roseau 9 to 1.
  • In 1936, Central for the first time won first place in the Round Robin Central League.
  • There were only four interscholastic games – all held in the UND Winter Sports Building.

The class of 1961

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The class of 1961 was the 75th to get its diploma from Central. The late Lawrence Hanson was principal, and John Shaft was chairman of the alumni reunion. Commencement was planned at the UND Fieldhouse because crowds in the recent years had been so large that only reserved seats were available in the Central High School auditorium that seated 1,200 people.

Long time residents of Grand Forks may remember many of the merchants now long gone who placed advertisements in the Central High School memorial publication.

Among them were Seeger’s, J.B. Bridston Co., Colborn’s, McDonald’s, Bill Larson Co., Bray’s, Hansen Ford, Cox Bakery. And R.B. Griffith Co. back then boasted its run of 39 years as a Centralian sponsor.

In those days, you could get a chocolate shake for 19 cents.

Latin was taught by Mrs. Marie Fiedler. Mr. Sherwood brought out the show “Martha” in 1943. They are among the teachers who live on forever in memory.

Well remembered among the operettas at Central was “Pinafore” in 1945 with Paul Bridston in the leading role. Central’s newspaper, the Centralian, won eleven All-American awards from the National Scholastic Press Association. In 1960, it was the first news magazine published by a North Dakota High School.

Flying high

The Centralian took note of students who had parents or even grandparents walking down the halls of the school before them. Judy and Shirley Norman followed the footsteps of their grandfather, Paul Norman. Jeannie Massee followed her father, Robert Massee. Harold Gershman came after his father Harry A. Gershman.

Although most remembered are long deceased, their contributions were not forgotten in this old, anniversary edition of the Centralian.

But this is the here and the now. The hockey teams at Central as well as at UND are flying high. It may be true that a child born in Grand Forks learns to skate before learning to walk.

On the other hand …

The truth is nearby. And behind the scenes, there is word that the first fly of the season was spotted by Mikki Wolf in Manvel.