50 Years Ago – August, 1965

Originally published in The Smithfield Times, August, 2015

By Jim Ignasher

Albin J. Wayne of Sidney Street, Esmond, became the first Rhode Island pharmacist to receive the R.I. Pharmaceutical Association “Pharmacist of the Year” award.  He was also elected third vice president of the association for the upcoming year.

Sister Maura R.S.M., the school principal of St. Peter’s School in Greenville was honored at a dinner for her service to the school.  She had served as principal for the previous three years, and was leaving to assume a new position as Mother Superior and principal at Holy Ghost Convent and School in Providence.   

Miss Cheryl Ann Hirst of Greenville was honored at a breakfast reception sponsored by the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Club as the state’s “Young Career Woman of 1965”.  Senator Claiborne Pell was on hand to present the award.  Miss Hirst formerly held the title of Miss Rhode Island in 1961.

Reverend W. Stanley Pratt, Pastor of the Greenville Baptist Church, was named Graphoanalyst of the Year by the Institute of Graphoanalysts.  (A Graphoanalyst is one who evaluates a person’s personality based on their handwriting.)  

During the first week of August, Boy Scout Troop 3 of Greenville returned from a successful week of camping at Camp Yawgoog.

Later in the month, a contingent of nine local Boy Scouts joined twenty-seven other scouts and explorers from around Rhode Island and traveled to the New York World’s Fair to act as volunteers.  Their duties included serving as escorts and honor guards for VIPs, as well as aiding handicapped persons needing assistance to get around the fair, and other acts of good will.

In August of 1965, it was announced that the Greenville and Chepachet state garages would be consolidated into one.  Ground was broken for the new state garage on Route 44 in Glocester, about half-way between both villages.  The old state garage in Greenville stood on the corner of Rt. 44 and Austin Avenue, where a lawyers office and dry cleaners are located today. 

An ad in a local paper for a 1959 Studebaker Lark read as follows: “red and white, V-8, automatic transmission, 4door, radio and heater, 2 new tires. Good condition. $400.” 

Car radios were an option in 1965, but why was the heater considered a selling point?   

Another ad in the same newspaper advertised an apartment in Esmond.  “Three-and-a-half-rooms plus Formica bath.  Completely remodeled.  Built in vacuum system.  Nice Location.  Middle Aged Couple. $14 per week.” That comes to $728 a year; less than what one would expect to pay per month today.  

A restaurant in Greenville advertised a steak dinner for $3.15, complete with soup, a 17 oz. Delmonico steak, French fries, chef salad, rolls and butter.  The bottom of the ad read, “We are now air conditioned”; something we take for granted today.  

On August 12 it was reported that youngsters at Camp Russell held a penny social which raised $144.00.  The money was donated to the St. Aloysius home on Austin Avenue.   

A week later the Smithfield Lions Club hosted an outing for the youths of St. Aloysius which included swimming, boating, games and prizes, and “plenty of hot dogs and soda pop.”

A back yard circus performance to raise funds for the Greater Smithfield Section for Retarded Children was organized by a group of public spirited youths in Greenville.  The circus was held at the Tracy residence at 27 Sprague Street, and admission was three cents.  Numerous blankets were borrowed to create a big top tent.  Acts included clowns, acrobats, baton twirlers, and a Wild West show complete with a real pony named “Fury”.  Mothers helped out by providing cookies and cupcakes.  The event was reported to be a great success.

A large tree was removed from the Greenville Public Library property in preparation for construction on the new children’s wing.

The town of Johnston held its annual “peanut hunt” contest at Johnston Memorial Park.  Mr. Joseph Cardarelli, Director of the Johnston Recreational Association, hid peanuts throughout the park for youngsters to find.  Seventy-five area youths participated. The winner was Rose Mary Reilley, age 9, who found 87 peanuts.  Her prize was a bat and baseball.

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