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Senior award honors local historian

By Staff | Apr 5, 2013

A tally board featuring the Monarch Moose, former Hughesville High School mascot, will be used to tally donations to the Robert Webster Local History Award fund. (L-R): East Lycoming Historical Society treasurer Sharon Hughes and award committee chairperson Carol Mordan.  

HUGHESVILLE-The East Lycoming Historical Society (ELHS) is initiating an awards program given annually to a deserving senior who successfully completes the “Local History” course at Hughesville High School.

Known as the “Robert Webster Local History Award,” the honoree has agreed to personally bestow the first award in 2013.

The award gives additional credence to the subject which is available only in the East Lycoming District. In addition, ELHS whole heartedly supports the subject and the school, society and community have fared enormously in Webster’s knowledge of the area.

Individuals making up the selection committee include the high school’s history teacher and guidance counselor, Mr. Machmer and Mr. Bower. Representing the Webster family will be Jeff Webster, and from ELHS will be chairperson Carol Ritter Mordan and committee members Debra Stackhouse and Christopher Davis.

When ELHS tapped Mordan to be chair, it was known that she’s among Webster’s former students. What was not common knowledge was that Mordan is also a family friend graduating with daughter Patty in 1977. That same summer the twosome backpacked through Europe with a handbook entitled “Traveling Europe on Ten Dollars a Day.”

Local historian, Robert Webster

When Mordan learned of the award and honoree, she said, “Mr. Webster is a much beloved individual in the community.” When permission was sought to use his name in conjunction with the award, Webster said, “I feel unworthy of such an honor.” Later he confided that when approached he’d been blown away and after some thought listed it among the highlights of his life.

The honoree continues lecturing to the local history classes and is sought out by many organizations to present programs. Webster taught three years at Mezeppa One Room School before coming to Hughesville when the school consolidated in 1955. He served on the board of the East Lycoming School District and in the fall of 2012, marked the beginning of his 60th year in education.

ELHS is relying on friends and former students to make the Webster award possible. Tallies from donations will be recorded on a sign board placed in the museum’s front window. The various sized donation blocks surround a moose head known as the Monarch, the school’s mascot during Webster’s early years at HHS.

Seniors and parents of Local History students are advised to contact Mr. Bower at the high school to obtain applications to be considered for this award.

Donors are encouraged to complete and mail a registration form found on page 5 in this issue.