Former Bonny Oaks School students, staff share memories
Former classmates and staff gathered together Saturday to remember a school that closed decades ago.
The Bonny Oaks School was a child care facility in Chattanooga for 90 years. It closed in 1985.
Every year, former students, teachers and staff get together to remember the times they spent on the historic campus.
The landscape might look different, but the memories are still the same.
"I spent many, many hours sitting there underneath the trees," Pete Hale recalled.
Hale was at the school during the 1960’s.
The people at “The Gathering” remember the area as the Bonny Oaks School. They recall acres of land and school memories.
Even though the school closed in 1985, former students and staff didn’t let that keep them apart.
"We became family," Jesse Presley, who attended the school in the 1950’s, said.
Every year they gather around a statue that was created in the school's honor.
"This place meant a lot to kids as they were growing up,” Hale explained. “So it's kind of special to come back and see it."
They share pictures, old memories and plenty of laughs!
"See who’s lost all their hair and who still has their hair!" Presley said with laughter.
It was more than a school, it was their home. Many former students will tell you it changed their lives.
Presley said it changed his. After leaving Bonny Oaks for college, he eventually went back to coach sports.
“I wanted to give back,” said Presley.
Even though the school is gone, and has been for decades, these former students refuse to let the memories go with it.
"We can all come together, remember the past, grow, keep growing, keep serving the Lord, and the memory of Bonny Oaks will never die," Pressley urged.