Times Past: Nov. 22, 2020

Published: 11/23/2020 5:33:06 PM
Modified: 11/23/2020 5:32:47 PM

Thanksgiving Day was Jason Aguda Day at Mahar Field. The elusive Mahar lightning bolt scored four touchdowns and rushed for 194 yards to complete a 1,081-yard season, in a 33-16 victory over Athol. The most valuable award winner for Athol was Jake Lehtomaki and Aguda was selected for Mahar.

■A plan formulated by an ad hoc committee would offer Fire Station 2 to Wood’s Ambulance Service. Selectmen Richard W. Whelpley, Mark A. MacDonald and Fire Chief Leon A. Lozier, union representative Thomas Lozier, company owner James A. Wood and Quality Improvement Director David Rivers met to devise a plan to relocate Wood’s from the deteriorating uptown fire station at the corner of Pleasant and Main streets. Earlier this month, Wood came to selectmen to discuss conditions at the uptown station, which the company has occupied for five years. Under its contract with the town, Wood’s receives $156,000 per year and operates out of the station rent-free, paying only for utilities. Wood said his company had begun to pay for maintenance recently, as both the heating and electrical systems failed. Inspectors have recommended that both systems be replaced.

■The Daily Grind coffee shop has opened at 1695 Main St., Athol. The owner is Debbie Rydell, who has 25 years of business experience — most recently as a purchasing manager at a manufacturing company.

■Brian K. Rayner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger J. Rayner of Athol, recently received his second Navy achievement medal for his performance during a mission in San Diego, Calif. He is a corporal in the United States Marine Corps and is stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

■The Orange Business Association recently replaced a tree in the center of Veterans Park. The old tree decorated during the holiday season for many years was in poor condition and was removed. The association, with the help of several businesses, removed the tree and replaced it with a new seven-foot tree that was donated by Noel’s Nursery. New underground wiring was installed to light up the tree and monument. G & S Lyman donated a backhoe and labor to install an underground pipe that was donated by Hamshaw Lumber. The electrical work was a donation of Whitten Electrical. Veterans Park needs new walkways and more trees to be removed, as well as new grass and shrubs.


Prior to the Senators and Red Raiders clash in the 14th renewal of their traditional Thanksgiving series, a formal dedication of the Thomas J. O’Brien Athletic Field, on which the contest will be played, will take place. A granite tablet and bronze plaque will be unveiled near the flagpole, and a flag used at the funeral of O’Brien will be presented by his son, Terrance O’Brien, to school officials.

■There have been “adverse reports” on dances conducted in the town hall, Robert S. Horrigan, building superintendent, told selectmen. Horrigan said policing is sometimes difficult and that conducting dances in the building may be a “risk.” “It is not the organizations that cause trouble,” Horrigan stressed, “it’s the element that come in,” persons beyond their teens often attending dances, he said. Selectman Thomas H. Colo said, “I would be absolutely against prohibiting dances. We can’t make this place an armed fort. If it takes three police officers for a dance, then the organization will have to pay. If there is damage, then organizations sponsoring the dance will have to pay.”

■The first draft of the regionalization subcommittee proposal for total Athol-Royalston school regionalization will be presented at a meeting in school committee rooms, Memorial Building. The major problem is financing of the region, Donald M. MacKay, chairman, said, with all aspects still under investigation.

■The Orange Chamber of Commerce is soliciting funds for town Christmas lighting. Expense for the lighting has increased due to the rise in the cost of material and labor. Orange Stationery, Orange Clothing, Orange Savings Bank and the Orange Merchants Association will accept contributions.

■The Mahar Regional School Committee heard a report of the occupational education subcommittee which met recently with officials of New Salem Academy to negotiate and go over a lease consideration for academy buildings. The academy can be rented at $12,000 per year with a five-year lease to be reviewed at the end of three years with the possibility of renewing or discarding. All facilities, including furniture, fixtures and books would be included in the contract, except one building which now houses an elementary New Salem class.

■Key Club members at Mahar are collecting canned goods for Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed to area needy, according to David Ames, senior class member.


The 15th Co., Massachusetts State Guard, of Athol, came within two points of winning the first annual competitive drill sponsored by the headquarters of the 29th Infantry at Fitchburg Armory.

■Major Daniel J. Redding of Athol, now on terminal leave from the U.S. Army Ordnance, and who will go into inactive service after Dec. 10, announced the purchase from Robert J. O. Simpson of Detroit, Mich., and Athol, the land now occupied by the Richard Whall Camp Goods business, and the Hickey Diner, as well as the garage, all located on School Street, near the Boston and Maine underpass. The deal is one of the largest in some time in Athol and the new owner proposes to establish himself in an up-to-date automobile sales room, and completely equipped garage, as well as a paint shop.

■William F. Cass of the Cass Dairy said that the local area milk situation was worse than it had been as respects cream, for there has been a stoppage of shipments from the west into this section. Producers are turning the cream into milk, and this has caused a let-up in the luxury commodity. Edgar T. Hume of the Dawn Dairy in Orange, reported the conditions were no better, and he was of the belief that this week the milk situation would hit the low spot.

■The 39th annual Christmas Seal Sale has opened and a meeting of the local Tuberculosis Committee will be held at the home of Mrs. William T. Hackett, chairman of this year’s drive. Funds from the seal sales maintain the mobile unit which X-rays employees of industrial plants for tuberculosis. Mrs. Jay Walter Mead is the new Tuberculosis Seal chairman for Orange this year.

■An alleged “Peeping Tom” who has been annoying Orange residents for the past two months was captured by Everett Dean, newly appointed to the Orange Police Department, in a dramatic, headlong chase that began on Summit Street, continued down Prospect Street, through the square and down West Main Street until Dean overtook the boy and delivered him to the police cruiser.

■Helen Keller and her companion Miss Polly Thompson visited the wounded at Lovell General Hospital at Fort Devens. Her swift fingers touched the faces of wounded combat men “to see what you look like” in her quietly friendly journey through four wards which started her two-day visit to patients.

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