Times Past  


Published: 10/7/2019 9:38:11 PM
Modified: 10/7/2019 9:38:07 PM

The Athol Fire Department is instituting a new fire safety program targeted for newborn babies with smoke detectors donated by Dave Dugas of Dugas Music. The program will provide a free smoke detector to each child born in Athol. Fire Chief Lee Lozier said he estimates the program will provide an average of 125 detectors each year to Athol newborns.

Sparky the fire dog, Athol Fire Department’s newest member, took time out from his fire prevention work to visit the Athol Senior Center Mealsite. Although he was offered bits of food from a friendly senior’s plate, Sparky chose not to “woof” it down, preferring instead to go back to the station with Chief Lee Lozier, where he was undoubtedly rewarded with a bone for his efforts.

Athol Police conducted a public “Aerosol Defensive Spray — Women-Elderly Protection Class” recently with more than 100 residents from Athol and Orange in attendance. Police Officer Karen Day instructed in ways to protect themselves. Sergeant Kevin Heath and Sergeant Timothy Anderson instructed in the use and delivery, legalities, liabilities and first aid techniques associated with aerosol defensive sprays. A demonstration of the use was conducted with Oleoresin Capsicum Spray (Pepper Mace) with Officer Ronny Cote as the subject to demonstrate the effects and effectiveness of the spray.

Athol Boy Scout Troop 72 recently participated in a fall camporee sponsored by Norwich University, Northfield, Vt. Troop competitions were held in pioneering, first aid, knot tying, orienteering, obstacle course, cooking, log drag, personal training and chariot racing. Demonstrations conducted by the cadets were repelling tower, vehicles (tanks, jeeps, landrovers), and rescue teams.

Orange Selectmen tabled a decision on whether to support the Athol-Orange Solid Waste District managing rubbish collection for the town. New regulations put into effect by the state Department of Environmental Protection has rendered the district’s plan inoperable, and the board gave the district commission until Oct. 19 to have a plan that accommodates the changes. DEP says the landfill cannot be vertically expanded beyond 133 feet without a liner and no sludge can be accepted. Robert Muzzy of the district commission said expanding 153 or 165 feet was critical for the time needed to develop a new landfill cell. “If DEP won’t let that happen, there’s no more time left in the landfill,” Muzzy said.


A Boston and Maine Railway Company security officer, William Bowe, and Athol police are investigating theft of boxed paper material from the derailed railroad cars in the Bearsden Woods area. Bowe said the culprits will be apprehended and prosecuted. Special warning has been issued to parents. There is extreme danger to children playing at the site of the derailed trains, not yet removed. Sudden settling could crush a child to death. Also creating a hazard to children is the passing of trains on tracks open to one-way traffic.

Veterans of the 82nd Airborne Division who parachuted onto French soil during the Normandy invasion will commemorate the 25th anniversary year with an “Old Timer’s Jump Meet” at the Orange Sport Parachuting Center. Many who will attend actually parachuted again at St. Mere Eglise June 1 as participants in the 25th Anniversary of D-Day ceremonies.

The housing for the elderly project on East River Street in Orange is taking shape. Foundations and concrete first floors for eight buildings are in. Five buildings have been framed to the roof line and all direct wiring has been installed underground. Total cost for the project is $759,230 plus $20,191 for roofing.

Two Tully boys, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Yvon Bourbeau, have returned to duty with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard aboard their respective ships. SA Steven Bourbeau, 18, is headed for Vietnam aboard the Destroyer S. S. Wood. SN Edward Bourbeau, 20, a Vietnam veteran, will return to duty aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Owasco.

A dozen years have passed since the first concerted drive in this country to fight poliomyelitis with the Salk vaccine. Those were times when this dreaded crippling disease took a heavy annual toll, all the more frightening because most of its victims were children. A measure of the success of efforts to eradicate this affliction is found in word from the Public Health Service’s Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta that so far this year only eight cases of paralytic polio have been reported in the United States. The victims are all young children who had not been vaccinated.


Cpl. Edward L. Pratt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon E. Pratt of Athol, and his AAF B-26 Marauder Bomber Group in the Mediterranean theater have been cited by General Charles DeGaulle and the Provisional French Government.

Sergeant Patrick W. McGuirk of Athol, has been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving with the 88th Infantry Division on the Fifth Army front in Italy. When Germans launched a sudden desperate assault against McGuirk’s infantry company, the company was unable to put up an effective defense and were about to be overrun when McGuirk picked up his machinegun and ran forward of all friendly troops to meet the attacking Germans. “By his courageous deed at great risk to his life, the newly won positions were secured and the lives of many comrades were saved,” the citation with the award said.

Pvt. Lloyd Rowe of Athol has received the Purple Heart award after being wounded in France on Aug. 23, according to notification received by his wife. He is now in a hospital in Italy.

It has been learned that Second Lt. Harland S. Thompson of Athol, who was reported missing since Aug. 25 on a mission over Germany, is a prisoner of war in Germany.

Pfc. George S. Blaser, 20, infantryman, is reported as missing in action in France since Aug. 17, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold E. Blaser of Athol.

Mr. and Mrs. Spencer G. Thrower of Athol received a telegram from the War Department that their son, Sgt. Spencer G. Thrower, Jr., had been killed in action on Sept. 18 in Germany.

Six student memberships in the Athol-Orange Cooperative Concerts Association for the current season have been donated by the Athol Rotary Club Council to be used at the discretion of Ray Dumas, director of the Athol High School Band, by band members who show marked improvement in their playing and cooperation. A similar donation has been made by the Orange Chamber of Commerce directors, for use under the supervision of Malcolm Hall, Orange High School Band director.

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