Methodist Orphanage reunites for 'family reunion' for Easter - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Methodist Orphanage reunites for 'family reunion' for Easter

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The alumni have been having their reunions since 1929. Organizers said their attendance is dwindling because those who lived in the house many years ago are passing away. The alumni have been having their reunions since 1929. Organizers said their attendance is dwindling because those who lived in the house many years ago are passing away.
RALEIGH, N.C. - Many people use the Easter holiday to get together with family and loved ones. For one group in the Triangle, the holiday holds special meaning for a different type of gathering.

Alumni of the Methodist Orphanage use this time to have their own family reunion. The alumni have been having their reunions since 1929. Organizers said their attendance is dwindling because those who lived in the house many years ago are passing away.


"We felt very fortunate to have a place to come to where they could look after us and we had a home and three meals a day and someone to teach us right from wrong," said Billy Griffin.  He lived in the home from age 12 to 17 after his parents died. 

It's a place he was where he was able to learn, play and find his wife Peggy. 


"We had our own high school team, we had our own athletic team. We had a 285-acre dairy farm we got to work on," said Billy Griffin.

"Growing up in the orphanage for us was a very positive experience," said Peggy Griffin.  "We had 300 playmates. Plus that gave us 300 brothers and sisters."

Herbert Wells attends the reunion every year.  He said he learned a lot of life lessons inside the walls of the orphanage.

"They taught you to respect your elders and they taught you how to work," he said. "If you misbehaved you got your butts wore out and that wasn't bad either.  But it was the best that ever happened."

People who attended the event say it's a great opportunity to catch up on old times and reunite with their loved ones.  For them, it's their version of a family reunion. It's a reunion organizers want to keep having.  They said despite their dwindling numbers, it's important to keep the memories of where they grew up alive.

Copyright WNCN 2014.  All rights reserved.
 

Shumuriel Ratliff

Shumuriel, a North Carolina native, is thrilled to be back in the Tar Heel state as a general assignment reporter for WNCN.
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