Times Past


Selectmen in Petersham agreed to support conservation restrictions that would protect the town’s last remaining active farm from development, and told members of the planning board that they would be receptive to a future proposal for a “package deal” to protect other sensitive properties. The Johnson Farm is a 240-acre parcel off East Road and is leased by David and Irene Perkins as a vital part of their dairy operation.

A group of 38 Army personnel have departed from Fort Devens to join the military buildup against Iraq in the Persian Gulf. The active duty personnel will help manage medical staff who have already been shipped to Saudi Arabia. More than 1,000 troops have been called up from Fort Devens to deploy in the Middle East since Iraq invaded Kuwait in August.

Athol Grange welcomed veterans groups and members of Athol Historical Society at their recent meeting. Kay Reed, lecturer, arranged the program which opened with a processional of veterans and auxiliary members. Veterans were remembered in song, story and skit. The Historical Society accepted from the Grange a gavel with information about the founding of the local subordinate branch.

Members, directors and supporters of New Salem’s 1794 Meetinghouse, Inc., celebrated a year of successes at their annual meeting held recently at the New Salem Restaurant.

Athol self-destructed and Mahar, playing with intensity, buried the Red Raiders 35-8 in their 34th Thanksgiving Day pigskin battle at O’Brien Field.

Dennis P. Mallet, president of Energy Solutions, Inc. at 156 Daniel Shays Hwy., received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy at the Sixth National Awards for Energy Innovation ceremony in Washington D.C. recently. Mallet’s project, “The Study of Occupancy Sensor Control of Classroom Lighting,” which was submitted by the University of New Hampshire, was one of 53 winners chosen out of 130 projects.

The Athol Library is in the process of automating the cataloging and circulation functions which means that all 37,000 library books and 8,000 library patrons must all be assigned a barcode.


The state has instructed the Seaman Paper Co. of Baldwinville, a division of Erving Paper Mills, to take preliminary steps toward elimination of pollution. Maurice Reuben at Erving Paper Mills said the firm of Malcom Pirnie of New York, consulting civil and sanitary engineers, is already at work on preparation of a report and pilot plan. Collection tanks and flow meters are gathering basic data on stream pollution.

Hundreds of Air National Guardsmen – most of them weekend fliers — have a 10-day trip in their future. They’re going to fly Christmas gifts to American soldiers in South Vietnam. Volunteer National Guard crews will fly an estimated 75 missions to Vietnam in the next month, carrying cookies, cakes, candy and mail.

It figures to be the Athol Rifle against Mahar’s Rockets Four when the two elevens square off in the 30th renewal of the football rivalry in Orange Thanksgiving morning. A record crowd is expected. Athol’s rifle is Jack Gabrenas who has pitched 10 touchdown passes in eight games. Mahar’s strength in games past has been over land, a quartet of hard runners operating under the direction of quarterback Gene Lyesiuk. Ed Prondecki, Wayne Sanborn, Dana Crosby and Glenn Belloli comprise the Rocket Squad, all of them in their final appearance for the Crimson and Blue.

Shop early for Christmas and you will be eligible for the special daily gifts being offered in the third annual Santa’s Sweepstake sponsored by the Daily News and participated in by area businessmen. A total of 16 prizes will be awarded including G. E. Electric Knives, Polaroid Cameras, Transistor Radios, Transistor Tape Recorders, Natural Pastel Mink Stole, and RCA Victor Console Solid State Stereo. Area businessmen participating in the promotion have gone all out in offering more than ever before. New Christmas merchandise has been pouring into local stores during the past few weeks in preparation of the promotion. Christmas selections are newer, in greater variety and moderately priced, plus plenty of friendly Athol and Orange people to assist in making shopping easier.


Location of three observation posts in Orange and vicinity in cooperation with the U.S. Army Air Command was completed by a committee from Orange Post, American Legion. First post for observation of enemy aircraft will be at Camp S54 Erving, where George Bussell and Morris Sowa will be chief observer and deputy observer. The second will be in New Salem at the Wilbur farm. D. Roy Wilbur will be chief observer and his son Paul will assist him. Mr. and Mrs. Philip Johnson will be chief and deputy observer of the third observation post at their home on Wheeler Avenue in Orange.

An enthusiastic audience of nearly 1,000 persons heard Miss Anna Kaskas, leading contralto of the Metropolitan Opera, in the opening concert of a series of three to be presented in Memorial Hall by the Athol-Orange Cooperative Concert Association.

They’re unanimous on the giving thanks part of it and they agree pretty generally on the turkey and all the trimmings, but the 48 United States found themselves disagreeing on just the proper date for Thanksgiving. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia followed the lead of President Roosevelt and took a holiday on the third Thursday of November. Sixteen others, including New England, home of the first Thanksgiving feast, will wait until their usual last Thursday in November.

Indication that the Christmas season is not so far off was given to Orange residents this week when steel poles were erected on the South Main Street bridge to carry decorative streamers, customary Christmas decorations of the Orange Merchants Association. On top of the poles this season instead of the customary small Christmas trees, there will be American flags. All store windows will be decorated, including those which are vacant.

Athol Daily News

PO Box 1000
225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Phone: (978) 249-3535


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