The Santa Monica High Alumni Association will help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Santa Monica’s only public high school with its All Class Reunion Picnic on Sept. 17. All alumni, family and friends are welcome. The event is free and runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Samohi Quad.

A highlight of the day will be the presentation of “Spirit of Samohi Awards” to four outstanding alumni for their longtime service to Samohi and the community. The recipients are John Lonsdale, Class of 1944; James “Mac” McPherson, ’55; Becky Darden Mejia, ’58; and Liane Sato, ’82.

A barbecue put on by the Viking Fund support group, and Samohi apparel by the Vike’s Inn and the Alumni Association will be available for purchase. Also included will be performances by the Samohi music department, tours of the new Innovations building and more.

Lonsdale had an influence on virtually every kid who played sports in Santa Monica over the past two generations. Going back to the 1950s, Lonsdale coached in youth baseball and football leagues. He worked at Douglas Aircraft, but when it moved its headquarters to Long Beach in 1963, he was offered a job at the Boys Club of Santa Monica. He was the assistant director of the Boys and Girls Club until 1990, when he retired, but he continued as a volunteer. He is a longtime member and former president of the Lions Club.

McPherson started coaching youth baseball and football in the late ’50s and never stopped. If you refer to “Mac,” everybody in the Pico Neighborhood knows you are talking about the legendary Delaware Avenue resident and lifelong Santa Monican. He has served as an assistant coach for Samohi sports teams over the years.

Mejia is known as a “super volunteer for Samohi.” She is a member of the Alumni Association and other Santa Monica service organizations, including the Santa Monica Assistance League, the YMCA’s Y’s Men’s Club, the Lions Club and the Santa Monica History Museum.

Sato played on the U.S Women’s volleyball team in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, earning a bronze medal in 1992. She currently is a teacher at Samohi in the health and physical education departments and coaches the boys and girls volleyball teams.

Convenient parking is available at the Santa Monica Municipal Garage at 4th and Olympic or at the Santa Monica Civic. You can use the Expo light rail line. Santa Monica’s Breeze Bike Share bikes are easy to use and, of course, you can walk or use the Big Blue Bus.

  • Submitted by Chris Long and Phil Brock