Times Past: Nov. 30, 2020

Published: 11/29/2020 2:17:46 PM
Modified: 11/29/2020 2:17:44 PM

The Athol Women’s Club is sponsoring the “Memory Tree of Lights” for the ninth year. Proceeds are used for college scholarships and community improvement projects. The tree is located on the bandstand at the uptown common. Each light on the tree represents the name of a loved one the donor wishes to have remembered. The bandstand is decorated by McMannis Florist and the tree is decorated by Peter Gerry.

■Several Athol residents are canvassing the area to collect signatures in support of changing town government to include a town manager, who would be responsible for the day-to-day running of the town. Signatures of 15 percent of the registered voters are needed on the petitions and when verified selectmen will call for an election on the issue. Two years ago, the town meeting approved a town manager study and the petition drive is a follow-up on that vote.

■The North Quabbin School-to-Work Partnership has been created to develop and implement a self-sustaining permanent school-to-work system for students in the towns of Athol, Orange, New Salem, Royalston, Wendell, Warwick and Petersham. The partnership hopes to bring together local schools, youth, businesses, labor, parents, human service agencies and other interested members of the community to develop and implement an ongoing process for integrating, through experiential learning, the educational and career development needs of all youth and the workforce needs of area employers.

■The Christmas spirit began in The Friendly Town as visitors gathered in Veterans Park to view the live nativity scene and to hear the Orange Community Band. Santa, who arrived by fire truck, greeted children and heard their Christmas wishes. The nativity scene included animals from Crimson Acres farm.

■The Orange Business Association recently set up the Christmas lights on the bridge on South Main Street.

■Richard and Denise Noel Jr. of Dick’s Auto Repair in Orange recently pledged $5 of every tow made by their company for the months of November, December and January to the Orange Fire Department’s rescue tool replacement fund drive.

■University of Massachusetts trustees named Senate President William Bulger president of the state’s public university system. Bulger accepted immediately. He said the school needs to strengthen its faculty and attract better qualified students and more state funding.


Rival Athol High School and Mahar Regional School elevens engaged in a defensive struggle in their 14th annual pigskin meeting Thanksgiving Day morning before a record crowd at O’Brien Memorial Field with the hosting Red Raiders gaining a hard fought 11 to 6 decision over the undermanned but stubborn Senators. The victory was the fourth in succession for the Red and White over the Crimson and Blue.

■Mike Bacigalupo, who won the trophy as the outstanding Athol player in the annual Thanksgiving Day football game with Mahar, visited injured teammate George Wesockes in Memorial Hospital. In Bacigalupo’s opinion, Wesockes, the Raider running back who suffered a broken knee, “would have been the winner if he hadn’t been hurt.” Coach Don Ferrari presented Wesockes with the game ball on behalf of teammates and coaches.

■The Athol Santa Fund Drive opened with a goal of $700. Bright red boxes, symbols of sharing since 1947, have been placed at various locations by representatives of the Santa Fund. Money donated will be used to provide Christmas gifts for children whose families are not able to do so without help.

■Explorer Post 19 will conduct a Christmas tree sale at the vacant Sunoco station opposite the uptown fire station. Trees will be sprayed as a fire prevention measure.

■Troop 18 Boy Scouts set up a Christmas tree at Morton Meadows. A permanent tree at the site was also decorated.

■Mahar’s superb 110-member marching band will make a return appearance at a Boston Patriots nationally televised football game on Dec. 13.

■The Orange Elementary School Committee approved extension of the free lunch program to include Head Start pupils. Mrs. Lois Waldeck, music supervisor, discussed budget proposals for the music department. A lengthy debate ensued on Mrs. Waldeck’s request for new musical instruments. Mrs. Jean Knight supported the request, saying it would give children who might not otherwise participate, a chance to play an instrument. The committee voted 3-2 approving the expenditure. Over the protest of Superintendent Walter Fields, the committee scrapped a request for a new position, Elementary Coordinator, at a salary of $13,000. Discussion indicated a feeling that the position is unnecessary and that the superintendent can continue to supervise the elementary curriculum. Fields reiterated that his office is bogged down with record keeping, budgets, supplies, maintenance and writing applications for government programs, leaving less time for supervision of schools.


Athol’s new snow-loader was in operation for the first time under the guiding hand of Road Superintendent Frank H. Nelson, and the work of quickly taking snow from the curbing to the trucks was watched with interest by many onlookers.

■Harry W. Masters, chairman of the Athol Rationing Board, said that with the end of all rationing except sugar and tires, that the local board from now on will place greater emphasis on price control. The present force will be practically all working to aid in fighting rising prices and inflation, through price control, and price ceilings will be constantly checked. Chairman Masters stated that there have been many complaints by returning servicemen and these are being investigated as rapidly as possible.

■William J. McKay, manager of the local area U.S. Employment Service, said that unemployment in the Athol-Orange area was practically non-existent, as the office has at this time but 15 unemployment compensation claims on the books and 130 available jobs. The area has one of the best records of any in the state as to low number of jobless.

■The second hike conducted by the YMCA for credit in the hundred-mile-club was held. The group left the Y carrying knapsacks filled with good things to eat. Camp was pitched by the fireplaces at lower Sheep Rock and soon the young woodsmen were busy frying bacon, eggs, hamburg and sausage. After a hearty meal, the boys played games until the signal to break camp came. The climb was then started up over the steep side of Bearsden Mountain with a rest stop made at the deer blinds on the summit. Weary legs carried the boys down the east side into Hidden Valley, at which point a stop was made for a drink out of Buckmans Brook and a much-needed rest. The return trip to the Y was made over the Pipe-line trail.

■More than 4,000 GI students are enrolled for the second term at Shrivenham American University in England, including at least three from Orange. Sgt. Harold R. Blake, member of the 1124th Engineer Combat Group and former office manager of L.S. Starrett Co., is studying accounting and business law. Sgt. Ralph T. Woodrow, member of the 1012 Engineer Treadway Bridge Company and former student at Norwich University, is taking courses in mathematics and physics. Technician, Fifth Grade, Henry M. Goyette is with the 45th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group.

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