Times Past: 25, 50 and 75 years ago

  • Linda Knapp

Published: 3/19/2020 7:02:40 PM
Modified: 3/19/2020 7:02:30 PM

Athol High School sponsored its 20th Model United Nations recently. More than 45 delegations from other schools joined in the theme, “Stop the Violence.” Visiting schools were Gardner High School, Mahar Regional High School, Oakmont Regional High School, Quabbin Regional High School and Salem High School.

More than 1/3 of water sites tested for lead content in Athol schools proved to be over the legal limit. Tests were conducted by the state Department of Labor and Industries division of Occupational Hygiene.

Improvements in the Athol-Royalston Regional School district and at Athol High School have prompted the New England Association of Schools and Colleges to take the school off warning status and continue the school’s accreditation.

The comic strip “Mal Practice M.D.” made its debut in the Athol Daily News. The creator, Thomas Mailman of Templeton and illustrator Jack Kacian of Royalston have been collaborating on the strip for the past six months with hopes of eventually having the strip syndicated nationally. The strip features Dr. Mal Practice, a “40-something” bumbling physician at Mediocre Hospital, who graduated last in his class.

Mahar Regional School students took most of the awards at the Western Massachusetts Science Fair held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Fifteen middle and senior high schools participated. Of the 40 awards to senior high students, 25 were won by Mahar. In the middle school, Mahar students won 19 of 36 awards.

Adam Bergeron, 16, a junior at Mahar Regional School, has been selected to sing with the All-Eastern U.S. Music Festival in Rochester, N.Y. He will sing second tenor.

The permanent protection of Tully Brook and Tully Mountain is closer to being accomplished by the donation of a conservation restriction on 52 acres owned by William O. Foye. The parcel includes 1,500 feet of Tully Brook and 2,500 feet of road frontage that will be protected from development. In addition, public access to hiking trails, hunting, fishing and nature study is permanently preserved. Foye bought this parcel in the early 1960s to preserve the land as open space.

In response to strong negative feedback from their constituents regarding a proposed youth offenders facility at the former prison camp, Warwick selectmen decided to draft a letter to William O’Leary, commissioner of the state Division of Youth Services, informing him of the townspeople’s reaction following his visit the past week to explain DYS’ plan.


U.S. Rep. Silvio O. Conte and Sen. Edward W. Brooke announced the award of a water pollution construction grant for $580,000 by the Department of the Interior to the town of Athol. The town previously received a $70,000 grant and the latest award brings the federal share of the project to 50 percent of the total estimated eligible cost of $1,300,000. The funds approved will be used for a new secondary waste water treatment plant and outfall sewer pump stations, forced mains and interceptor sewers.

Thomas J. O’Brien, dominating influence in Athol High School athletics from 1930 until his retirement as athletic director in June, 1969, has died. O’Brien, 65, devoted his life to sports, youth, his country and his family. He served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. He was well-known throughout New England as a former professional ball player and umpire.

James Slavin, a junior, was awarded the grand prize in the Mahar Regional High School Science Fair in Orange for his exhibit entitled, “Long Tube Chromatography.” Slavin was also the first prize winner in the physical science and mathematics division of the high school exhibition.

The Rev. Arthur W. Shaw of the First Congregational Church of Greenfield will become part-time pastor of the Community Church of North Orange and Tully on Sept. 1. On the same day he will become an associate professor of English, public relations officer and assistant director of continuing education at Greenfield Community College. The Rev. Mr. Shaw, his wife, Ruth, and their three children, will move to the North Orange parsonage.

The Senate, after overwhelmingly approving a proposal to lower the voting age for all elections to 18, moved toward final action on extending the Voting Rights Act another five years. The extension of the basic 1965 act, which is aimed at guaranteeing Negro voting rights in seven Southern states, has been bitterly opposed by Dixie senators and differs sharply with a House-passed version supported by President Nixon.


The old Boutell grist mill at 1621 Main St., at Athol Highlands, the oldest industrial building in the town, has been sold by Mrs. Bernice Boutell Prussman to Thomas S. Dillon, local taxicab owner. This old grist mill is well over 100 years old, and has been close to 70 years in the Boutell family.

After completing 35 combat missions over Germany, Staff Sgt. David L. Whittemore, 20, son of Afton Whittemore, who holds the Air Medal with the Silver Oak Leaf Cluster (equivalent to six Air Medals) is home on a 22-day rotation furlough. Sgt. Whittemore, a tail gunner and later a ball turret gunner on a B-17, was based in England for 10 months.

Mrs. Mary Snow of Athol has received a telegram from the War Department informing her that her son, Pfc. Norman F. Snow, 32, infantryman, was “missing in action in Germany since Feb. 26.”

Mr. and Mrs. Eli J. Stewart of Athol have received word that their son, Pvt. Nicholas Stewart, 31, Infantry, died of wounds received March 1 in action in Germany.

Mrs. Barbara (McLean) Tuttle of Athol has received a letter informing her that her husband, Sgt. Lenwood E. “Buster” Tuttle, will posthumously receive the Distinguished Service Cross and that he was previously awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Athol Fish Market is advertising lobsters “fresh from the trap” for 79 cents a pound.

Orange Cub Scouts will canvass the town for fat salvage with all Den mothers participating in the drive. Holders of all waste fats have been asked to call the den mothers in their neighborhood and a Cub Scout will call for the fat and weigh it.

Pvt. Albert Henry Lancey of Orange who was reported missing in action in Germany on Dec. 19, has been heard from through a brother-in-law in Keene, N.H., who received a card direct from Pvt. Lancey from a prison camp in Germany.

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Jackson of Orange received a letter direct from their son, Lt. Vernon Jackson, from a German prison camp.

Adolf Hitler, in a grim, phrase-juggling proclamation marking the 10th anniversary of Nazi military conscription, offered the German people no more than the forlorn hope the Allies will “get tired and yet be broken.”

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