Times Past

Published: 8/26/2019 10:00:13 PM
1994

The Quabbin Valley Convalescent Home gardening program has been a great success with residents planning purchases for items for their gardening, rose bushes, lilac trees and blueberry bushes. Eight raised flower boxes were made by a volunteer to allow wheelchair residents to take part in the program. A water fountain is an added attraction. The garden area is used for barbecues and gatherings. The latest innovation for their room-bound residents is the planting of plants in milk jugs upside down and hung from a tree in the view of residents.

The Athol-Royalston Regional School District is implementing many changes this fall including renting space for a kindergarten class, the elimination of teaching principals in Athol, the addition of a physical education program in the elementary schools and a nearly full slate of new administrators.

First year Webelos Den 5 from Pack 18 attended a session on first aid at the Athol Fire Department recently. The Webelos toured the station and witnessed demonstrations of the radio system and the TTD (communication with the deaf) telephone system.

George A. Hunt, owner of Hunt Dairy Farm in Orange, has been chosen state dairyman of the year. Hunt was selected by the farming organization, New England Green Pastures. Hunt, who took over the farm about 40 years ago, operates the 350-acre farm with his wife, Nan, their children and three part-time workers. The farm has 200 Holstein cows, 90 of which produce 20,500 pounds of milk annually. The state yearly average milk production for 90 cows is 16,000 pounds. The state dairyman of the year award recognizes outstanding dairy farm management, forage crop management, milk quality and service to the industry and community.

Myron’s Fine Foods, Inc., an Orange-Wendell based manufacturer of “Myron’s Yakitori Sauces,” was awarded the catering contract for the performers at the Newport, R.I. Jazz and Folk festivals recently. The catering crew was headed by Susannah Whipps of Athol.

The Orange finance committee approved an additional $3,380 for the fire department towards the purchase of a new heating system. Lowest bidder, Huhtala Oil Co. of Templeton, quoted $18,760 for the system. The fire department’s breakfast club raised $12,000 for the project and Fire Chief Dennis Annear said they are willing to pay half of the additional $6,760 needed.

1969

Tax Collector P. Joseph Erali said Leo J. Dugas, town treasurer, has informed him there is not enough money in the town treasury to pay monthly bills. Erali said real estate tax bills prepared by assessors and covering taxpayers A-F, will be mailed and prompt return will prevent further borrowing against tax revenue. “This is the first time we have sent out tax bills piecemeal,” he said, “but all bills will not be ready for mailing until the end of September.”

The 23rd annual clam bake and field day of the Union Twist Drill Division of the UTD Corp. was held at the Twisters Fun Club Grounds in New Salem. An estimated 700 employees and members of their families attended the outing arranged by the Twisters Fun Club.

The Corner Store at 229 Pinedale Ave. will go out of business Sept. 6. Owner Archie Warren said his health will not permit him to continue operation of the grocery store, established in 1945. Warren closed the store for a brief time two years ago because of health.

Plaza Cinema opened at the Mohawk Plaza shopping center between Athol and Orange on Route 2A. H. Hall Flanagan will manage the theater, one in a chain of Esquire Theaters. Flanagan said the cinema will be staffed by local persons. The first show was “Romeo and Juliet”. Show time will be 7:45 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 and 8:15 p.m. Sundays.

Orange selectmen voted to send a letter to Francis J. Hoey, Massachusetts Department of Public Works, requesting the erection of more signs on Route 2 directing traffic to Orange. Present Route 2 signs for Orange are somewhat obscured, they said.

The controversial bill to build a pro sports stadium is dead – one week after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The Massachusetts House quietly killed it on a voice vote following the recommendation of its Ways and Means Committee and Democratic leadership. However, the House adopted a resolve to have the Massachusetts Port Authority consider the possibility of buying and renovating Fenway Park.

1944

An Athol soldier, by capturing 400 Nazis single-handed, has performed a feat that outranks that of Sgt. Alvin York of World War I, who brought in 132 Germans. News of this daring exploit of First Sgt. Rodney Fields Cloutman, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred H. Cloutman of Exchange Street, reached Athol as reported by War Correspondent Richard Tregaskis of International News Service, and author of “Guadalcanal Diary.” A later report amended the number of Nazis captured to 1,500.

Two Athol soldiers who formerly played in the same orchestra and who hadn’t seen each other since they were at Fort Devens together, have held a reunion in France. They are Staff Sgt. William R. Colton, Jr., and Sgt. Richard B. Waterman.

An appeal to parents not to let their children quit high school for the temptation of “high wages,” because the goy or girl who does not possess at least a high school education will be seriously handicapped after the war, was made by three members of Athol’s education system. In the appeal, entitled “Education Can’t Wait — Until After the War,” J. Clarence Hill, chairman of the School Committee, Supt. of Schools William A. Spooner, and High School Principal Donald Dike, asked fathers and mothers to give serious consideration before allowing their boys and girls to quit school.

Boy Scout, Troop 17, in charge of Scoutmaster Joseph Gelinas, has been active during the summer months, holding weekly hikes, test passing and swimming groups.

The ears of uptown residents are outraged by the “moo” or “bray” of the civilian defense compressed air whistle at the uptown Fire Station and a petition, signed by 42 men and women in the neighborhood, was presented to the Board of Selectmen asking for its removal.


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