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Around Chester, 2017

June 28, 2017 2 comments

A few photos for those who haven’t been to town for a while. I started in Pine Hill Cemetery… Later while taking photos downtown, I instinctively smiled and waved at folks driving by. Most gave me a blank stare. It finally occurred to me that I now know a lot of people in the cemetery but very few living in town! Time waits for no one… (I didn’t have a lot of time so these are just a few of the familiar haunts.)

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A few photos…

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This was a busy year… I didn’t get enough photos! If anyone has some they are willing to share, please let me know!

Comin’ Home to Chester…

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Fifty Year Class of 1965 (L-R) Donald Austin, Julie Niskanen Swol, Annette Fimbel LaMountain, Ed Woodis, Walter Boomsma, Elinore Whitcher Gordon, Bruce Cooper, Donald Blanchard

Chester – As over 100 Chester High Alumni and friends gathered in town, there developed a picture of history, nostalgia, and community/school spirit.  The annual reunion and meeting always draws a large number of people associated with the former Chester High School, including Chester Residents who attended or graduated from Gateway after Chester High School closed in the late 1960’s. This year’s meeting was held on June 27 at the restored Chester Train Station.

Special recognition was given to Aldo Bazazarro from the class of 1938 who was present for his 77th reunion. Bazazaro was given the distinct honor of leading the buffet line together with Eleanor Laurent class of 1939 through the delicious spread prepared by Chester Foundation workers.

Association President Walter Boomsma noted that these reunions are “drifting in the direction of becoming as much a town event as a school reunion.” Noting that the Chester Foundation handled most of the meeting arrangements and food, he also pointed out that the Historical Society supports the occasion by offering special hours for alumni to visit prior to the reunion. “I think this is proof that small town America is alive and well, at least here in Chester,” he said.

Nine former teachers also attended the annual event. Anthony Russo, former English Teacher and Vice Principal confessed to the group that while he’s never attended his own high school reunion, he has attended a number in Chester. He explained that Chester was his first teaching position and a big impact on his life. “Chester is family,” Russo explained. “I will never forget the support and connections I have here.” Russo joked that he wasn’t much older than his first students—the graduating class of 1965 and this year’s fifty-year anniversary class. Returning members included Bruce Cooper, Annette Fimbel LaMountain, Walter Boomsma, Julie Niskanen Swol, Donald Austin, Donald Blanchard, Edward Woodis and Elinore Whitcher Gordon.

The Association elected Walter Boomsma as President for his tenth year. Also returned to office were Vice President Robert Goewey, Secretary Annette Fimbel LaMountain, and Treasurer George Morey, Jr. Morey is the only treasurer the organization has ever had with a record of service spanning over sixty years. When introduced and acknowledged for his service, he replied, “I’ll keep doing this as long as I can.”

Brenda Davenport Budreau and Tino Cardarelli were reelected to the Board of Directors. Duane C. Please was reelected as a Scholarship Custodian. Scholarship awards were presented to Charlotte LeBarron, Nicolas McClafin, Sarah Otterbeck, Samuel Bean, John LaHue, and Spencer Rock—all 2015 graduates from Gateway Regional High School.

The Association has already started planning for the next annual meeting, scheduled for June 25, 2016. Members agreed unanimously to maintain the Chester location and time of the annual event because “it’s good to be home.” Those associated with or in some way connected with Chester and/or Chester High School are encouraged to be certain the Association has current mailing information by contacting Annette LaMountain, Association Secretary, PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011.  The Association also maintains an informational website at https://chesterhigh.wordpress.com and a Facebook page.

Reunion Invitations Are Coming…

Blue DevilFor a number of reasons, we’re a little behind this year with the mailing of the printed invitations… look for your copy early in June! Go ahead and make your plans, because the details haven’t changed!

112th Chester High School Reunion

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Social Hour at 2:00 p.m.

Business Meeting at 4:30 p.m.

Chester Train Station

Note that the Chester Historical Society located in the “old jail” will be open for browsing and research from 10: oo a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

You can download this year’s invitation 2015 Invitation if you just can’t wait. And, by the way, while we try very hard to keep our mailing list current, we do “lose” people from time to time. If you know anyone who attended Chester High (or Gateway Graduates who lived in Chester) please encourage him or her to send their address to Annette LaMountain, Secretary at PO Box 206, Chester MA 01011. It’s never our intention to exclude anyone! Thanks!

Aren’t we cute?! Fifty Year Class of 65 in 57

May 23, 2015 1 comment

Class Photo 57-3SM

Huge thanks to Bruce Cooper for this photo… and to Bruce and Charlie Campo for completing the identifications started by Myra Davenport.

Top Row: Don Austin, Kathy Gleason, Bill Cooley, Carol Black, Bruce Palmer, Annette Fimbel

Second Row: Symphony Myers, Larry Rock, Ellen Stone, Dave Hitchcock, Diane Clark, Charlie Campo, Carol Wilander, Herb Voudren, Julie Niskanen

Third Row: Mike Fitzgerald, Joyce Biggs, Bruce Cooper, Grace Besancon, Ed Woodis, Edna Young, Tom McCormick, Priscilla Roberts, Don Stone

Bottom Row: Agnes Fitzpatrick, UNKNOWN, Charles Daniels, Tom Boyer, Walter Boomsma, Mike Zmuda, Don Stone (again!), Wayland Harrington, Elinore Whitcher.

There is some speculation that the”unknown” in the bottom row’s first name is Ernie or Ernest? Bruce also sent a photo from our senior year… coming to the site soon!

UPDATE: I’ve been advised that there are not two Donald Stones, one is Donald and the other is his brother, Tommy! (I’m not sure which is which, but I think that Don is in the third row.) A question arose of whether or not the mystery man in the bottom row is Carlo “Peanut” Welch?

Association Announces CIA Subcommittee

spywith magnify glassHaving solved a number of mysteries–such as the origins of our Alma Mater–Chester High School’s Alumni Association is pleased to announced the informal formation of a CIA (Chester Inquiry Assistance) Subcommittee. Every member of the Association is on the committee. For that matter, anyone who has lived in Chester belongs to the CIA.

We are indebted to Fay Piergiovanni of the Chester Historical Society for recognizing the potential of forming such a group. You can remain “undercover” by sending your information via email or a Facebook Message on our page. Or you can “come out” by posting your comments and findings here on our website.

Your current assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to help us find a slide show. Fay has stayed in touch with John Costello who was a Principal at Chester Grammar School the years before we joined Gateway Regional in 1968. John (Mr. Costello) asked recently what happened to the slide show they put together providing commentary on the state of Chester Grammar School. He thinks it was put together specifically  for the school committees, probably in the mid-sixties.

If you have any information or ideas, let us know! How cool would it be to find it and post it on the site? Our CIA subcommittee has an excellent track record, having recently solved a mystery presented on the 2015 Chester Historical Society Calendar. We’ll post the mystery and solution soon… but another mystery you can solve is whether or not you’ve ordered your calendar. If not, do so soon!