Times Past

  • Linda Knapp

Published: 9/23/2019 9:39:11 PM
Modified: 9/23/2019 9:39:09 PM

Douglas R. Starrett, president of L.S. Starrett Co., became chairman of the board and chief executive officer at the annual meeting of directors recently. The newly created positions were the result of restructuring within the company. His son, Douglas A. Starrett, executive vice president, was elected as company president. The senior Starrett intends to continue working full time. He started with the firm in 1941 as an apprentice toolmaker. His son is the fourth generation of the family to serve as president and will have increasing responsibilities as the company gets more into the global market and competition.

The Athol-Royalston Regional School Committee voted to provide bottled drinking water to students in all Athol schools as a precaution, because of instances of high levels of lead in the water.

During a contest at the recent Fall Festival, students from Mahar High School beat students from Athol High School by gobbling up a six-foot sub sandwich in a record seven and one half minutes. Mahar has won the contest for the past two years and earned $100 for their school from Subway, Inc.

Mount Tully Kennels will sponsor a hamster race at the kennel. All entries must be handled by a child between the ages of 2-14. Any age or breed of hamster is eligible. Hamsters will be placed in numbered “race balls” and raced in heats along a race course. The winner will receive the Good Sam display from the store. Second and third place winners will receive Hamster Goodie Bags. All entries will receive certificates and a special entry recognition.

A 15-year-old male student at Mahar Regional High School was arrested in connection with an assault on a female student in the school cafeteria recently. The boy was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a shod foot). According to reports, the altercation occurred when the girl struck the boy after he was verbally abusive. He then hit her, knocking her to the floor and repeatedly kicked her. In accordance with school policy, the boy was suspended for 10 days. Both students were suspended for one day for fighting.


A telephoned bomb threat at Athol High School halted classes less than one hour after the opening bell sounded and the building was evacuated. The message was received by Mrs. Evelyn Lawson, school secretary, who said the voice of the caller sounded like that of a male teenager. This is the second bomb scare at the high school since it opened in 1958.

Supt. of Schools James P. Kelley stated that he will recommend to the regional school committee at a special emergency meeting that Oct. 13, Columbus Day, be designated make-up day for the classroom time lost as a result of the bomb hoax at the high school.

Douglas R. Starrett, president of the L.S. Starrett Co., said plans will be made within a year to provide more room for the plant here. He said plans are indefinite as to cost or extent of the expansion.

Fire at the N.D. Cass Company warehouse on South Athol Road, which according to Fire Chief Armand Dugas, could have spread to alarming proportions within seconds, was halted by firefighters alerted by a sprinkler alarm. Careless disposal of a cigarette ignited fire in an upholstered chair, Dugas said.

The complement of state troopers at the uptown barracks, has been swelled to 17, with the advent of five recent State Police Academy, Framingham graduates.

Orange has been awarded a $7,500 federal grant to help finance the purchase of a new ambulance. The new ambulance was delivered to the Fire Station by representatives of Parks Superior Sales, Inc. of Connecticut. Boasting the latest modern equipment, the ambulance is ready for use. During the day the ambulance stood out in front of the fire station and many taxpayers came by to inspect the new apparatus.

Cleaning up of property at 27 School St., Orange, was begun when Howard Mills, owner, with members of his family, moved some of the debris back from the street line in preparation for burning by the fire department. The house was gutted by fire in January, 1968, torn down in June. Neighbors complained of the eyesore to local officials last week.

Two escapees from the State Department of Correction Forestry Camp in Warwick were captured in a Worcester café by Worcester police. The arrest of David M. Henschel, 28, of Worcester, and Edson K. Stewart, 23, of Quincy, followed robberies at four stores in Worcester.


Twenty-three Boy Scouts and members of the Boys’ Department of the YMCA gathered 20 bushels of milkweed pods in their initial collection. This was far beyond expectations, and it is expected to be doubled by the end of the week as the boys are continuing their work. Immature pods were passed over and will be gathered later. The milkweed floss is needed as a substitute for kapok in lifebelts since the Japanese have cut off all kapok supplies from the East Indies. The pods will be stored at the Y until fully dried.

Athol, Orange and Petersham physicians will hold a dinner meeting at the Leonard Hotel to discuss the proposed Athol hospital. The matter will be fully aired and the attitude of the physicians toward the hospital project will be noted. The attitude of the community on the whole appears in favor of a hospital as the present arrangement leaves hospitalized patients far away from their families who have difficulties in visiting them in Gardner, Worcester or Greenfield. A hospital in Athol, it was pointed out, would also save doctors many hours of time consumed in traveling to and from the out-of-town hospitals.

Second Lt. Harland S. Thompson, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Forrest H. Thompson of Athol, a co-pilot on a Flying Fortress, has been missing since Aug. 25 on a mission over Germany, according to a War Department telegram received by his parents.

Pvt. Elmer A. Leavitt, 28, infantryman fighting under Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Dutch New Guinea, was killed in action by a falling tree on Aug. 28, according to a War Department telegram received by his father, Thomas Leavitt of Athol. He was to be married on his next furlough home to his fiancée, Miss Elizabeth McLean of Athol.

When the Yanks and the French liberated Paris, an Athol soldier, wounded and a German prisoner of war in a Parisian hospital, also gained freedom. He is Pvt. Joseph Lukaszevicz, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph W. Lukaszevicz.

Mrs. Rita Thibodeau of Orange received word that her husband, Sgt. Gerald J. Thibodeau, had been seriously wounded somewhere in France on Aug. 31.

Mrs. Yvonne Dyer of Orange received a telegram that her husband, Staff Sgt. Harold A. Dyer, 29, had been released from a prison of war camp in Bulgaria and returned to his base.

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