56ers Reel In the Big One at Landry’s at the Lake
Thirty members of the Class of 1956 gathered on Tuesday, July 8 for what is affectionately known as “the big one” at Landry’s Seafood Restaurant on Lakeshore Drive.
The tight-knit class lunches together on a monthly basis, moving from place to place. For some reason, the July event reels in the largest crowd.
Truth be told, there are two reasons. Much of the credit for the success of the monthly meals goes to class captain Pat White, who is ably assisted by unofficial class treasurer Cecil Berry. “I schedule the restaurants and handle the RSVPs and Cecil counts the money,” said White. “Cecil’s job is much more important than mine.”
Seriously, White would be the first to direct the attention elsewhere. White and Berry both know it’s their classmates who make the extra effort to stay in touch, which strengthens the class bond.
In 2013, the 56ers worked with the office of institutional advancement to schedule a lunch at John Ryan Stadium. The day included a tour of the facility and watching a varsity football practice. For a handful of the attendees, including former Blue Jay quarterback Billy Ladner and the aforementioned White, his center on the team, the day brought back fond memories. New stadium but many of the same, often embellished, gridiron stories.
Earlier this year, the Class of 1956 met at Southern Yacht Club to present Fr. Raymond Fitzgerald, S.J. ’76, who was Jesuit’s president at the time, with a donation for the scholarship that has been established in the name of Fitzgerald’s parents. The class also named Fitzgerald an honorary member of the Class of 1956.
The group is already planning its August event. On Thursday, Aug. 14, White and his bunch will dine at Venezia’s in Mid-City and then head down Carrollton Avenue to tour their alma mater.
With the Class of ’56, a gathering is only the biggest until the next one rolls around.