Getting kids moving this summer at Royalston Town Hall

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Here are some brief thoughts on events making news from around the North Quabbin area: What a great plan. Encourage young children to get out there and move this summer. How? With a free dance program offered at the Royalston Town Hall for children ages 6 to 13. The T&B Dance Program will run for two weeks, Monday through Friday, from July 23 to Aug. 3. Students learn basic dance steps and some fun dances. No experience is required.

Better for their health than watching a screen.

Lesson learned

Smokey Bear visited the Orange Fire Department recently to teach first-grade students at Fisher Hill Elementary School about the importance of forest fire safety.

As part of a program, which dates back to the 1950s, Fire Chief James Young said each year the students walk from the school to learn about proper reactions to emergency situations — from calling 911 to making contact with a firefighter inside a smoky home.

“We realize it is important to engage with them at a young age so they understand we are there to help — they don’t need to be scared of us,” Young explained.

Orange paramedic and firefighter Meaghan Ahearn took the children around the fire station to show them fire hoses, fire safety techniques, an ambulance and a fire truck with a 100-foot ladder.

Ahearn also demonstrated how to properly use fire alarm boxes, which are located throughout town, to contact the fire department if a cell phone is not available. The first-graders also learned how to accurately report an emergency by dialing 911.

These are valuable, potentially life-saving lessons. Now we see why the department has maintained the practice so long.

Tea time

The Athol Public Library hosted an “Afternoon Tea and History” program on Sunday, bringing back an old-time ritual to the here and now as the community celebrates the institution’s 100th birthday.

The tea featured sweets and small tea sandwiches served on china plates and tea cups borrowed from the Phillipston Congregational Church. A silver tea service courtesy of Pamela Rand and a cut-glass punch bowl courtesy of Kathy Cygan held the beverages. A history of the library’s beginnings provided entertainment during the tea, and a small fashion show of styles worn during the past 100 years will also be part of the historical entertainment.

The recently renovated Carnegie library opened in August 1918. The library was made possible through an agreement by the town to provide annual support; the Carnegie Foundation, which provided $22,000 for the building; Laroy S. Starrett for the land; and Wilson H. Lee for coordinating the effort.

Tuned in

An event to honor and celebrate the life and passion of Bob and Ann-Marie Ellison was organized at the R.C. Mahar Music Room recently.

Mr. and Mrs. Ellison believe that “Music is for Everyone,” say their fans and the event’s organizers, who note the Ellisons lead Mahar’s music programs by instilling a love of music and creating wonderful opportunities for everyone to engage in musical programs and events.

Lasting legacy

One of the original proprietors of Petersham, the Wilder family, has preserved some of its farmland by passing it on to East Quabbin Land Trust, which hopes to continue using the land for agriculture.

“This is the last piece of the original Wilder Farm. All of the other pieces got transferred to other families or other uses … and we are trying to keep it as a protected piece of property that can continue an agricultural tradition,” Cynthia Henshaw of the East Quabbin Land Trust explained recently.

The approximately 8 acres was once used to grow corn and hay.

Henshaw said the land trust plans to partner with a local farmer to grow on the land, as well as hold demonstrations for members of the community to visit and learn about the property and growing process. She said she hopes to inspire people to think about stewardship of their own property.

That would be a fitting legacy for a family that was there when the town got its start centuries ago, and growing crops was how you stayed alive.

Connect with Us