Woman, school to celebrate their 100th year


October 19, 1998|By Melinda Rice | Melinda Rice,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

EMILY ROWLINGS Johns graduated from Annapolis High School in 1916, and began teaching in a two-room schoolhouse on the site of the present-day Annapolis Middle School on Forest Drive the same year.

This year, as she approaches her 100th birthday, Johns will return to Annapolis High School to help celebrate the school's 100th anniversary.

She said she remembers her years at Annapolis High School as a happy time in her life, and she looks forward to seeing the school, even if it isn't in the same building.

"I expect it to be a very emotional moment for her," said Johns' daughter, Edith Johns.

She said her mother got "teary-eyed" when she found out she had been chosen for induction into the Annapolis High School Wall of Fame.

Annapolis High School graduated its first class in the spring of 1899. It is staging events throughout the 1998-1999 school year to commemorate that event.

Among them is this month's ceremony inducting members, including Johns, into the school's Wall of Fame.

Ron Stafford, a speech and debate teacher who is coordinating the ceremony, said it takes place every year, but this one will have special significance because of the school's centenary and because Johns is believed to be the school's oldest living graduate.

"It really seems appropriate for them to do this now," said Emily Peake of Riva, who nominated Johns for the award.

Peake, a 1944 graduate of Annapolis High School, is Johns' cousin.

Johns was born Nov. 30, 1889, to Edith Curry Rowlings and George McClelland Rowlings. She was the first of six children.

Her parents were active in the Democratic Party and her family was well known in Annapolis. Johns' brother, George Rowlings, was an Annapolis police captain and her uncle, William Curry, a city police chief.

Johns' mother was a longtime president of the Women's Democratic Club in Annapolis and a fierce proponent of women's suffrage. Johns marched with her mother in demonstrations demanding equal rights for women.

She has voted in every presidential election since women won the right to vote in 1919.

Johns quit teaching in 1923, when she married Thomas Morris Johns at St. Anne's Church on Church Circle in Annapolis.

That year they moved to a house in Roland Park in Baltimore where Johns lives with her daughter, Edith.

Because she has lived there for many years and has been active in her community, Johns' neighbors refer to her as "the mayor of Roland Park."

Johns has three daughters, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her husband died 33 years ago.

Asked what she attributes her long life to, Johns replied: "I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't cuss. I go to church every Sunday. And I'm a Democrat."

She will be inducted into the Wall of Fame during a ceremony at 2: 30 p.m. Oct. 29.

Information: 410-266-3267.

Republican Women luncheon

The Republican Women of Anne Arundel County have scheduled a "victory luncheon" for Nov. 11 at Fergie's Restaurant on Solomons Island Road at the South River.

Cocktails will be served at 11: 30 a.m., with lunch at 12: 30 p.m. The speaker will be Joyce Lyons Terhes, chairwoman of the Maryland Republican Party.

Reservations are due Nov. 5.

Information: 410-721-9254.

Church service

St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church will hold an all-county reformation service at 4 p.m. Sunday.

There will be a Communion service, and performances by an adult choir, a children's choir and a handbell choir. There also will be a children's sermon.

Day care services and refreshments will be provided.

Pub Date: 10/19/98

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