Mascot of Pelham Memorial High School
A few years after the opening of Pelham Memorial High School in 1922 Pelham adopted the Pelican as its mascot.
Pelham's pelican mascot is believed to have been derived from the Pell Family Coat of Arms (as shown at right). The Pelican had long been a symbol of self-sacrifice because of the ancient legend dating back to the second century AD that the bird would pierce its own breast to feed its young (as shown at the top of the Pell crest). For this reason, the Pelican was a fitting symbol and mascot for Pelham Memorial High School after it was built as a memorial to those who fought and died in the First World War.
Photo of Pell Coat of Arms in the Pelham Town Historian Collection.
The students of the new Pelham Memorial High School began publishing the Pelican yearbook in 1925, replacing an earlier publication the Magnet. The Pelican image as shown in this 1926 yearbook was repeated in successive editions through 1929 and became the mascot imprint on some sports uniforms in later years, as seen below.
Photo of 1926 Pelican yearbook in the Pelham Town Historian Collection.
The Pelican appeared as a mascot on the PMHS marching band in 1927
Photo from the Pelican yearbook 1926 in the Pelham Town Historian Collection.
The Pelican mascot for PMHS was further cemented after Jordan C. Smith, PMHS '29, wrote the school fight song, he called "The Pelican Parade."
Click here for more about Jordan Smith and "The Pelican Parade"
Photo of The Pelican Parade sheet music in the Pelham Town Historian Collection.
The Pelican showed up on school athletic uniforms starting with the Cheerleaders and the Basketball team in 1936 and 1937 and then the swim team and track team in 1938.
Photos: from the Pelican yearbooks, 1936, 1937 and 1938 in the Pelham Town Historian Collection.