50 Years Ago – June, 1969

50 Years Ago – June, 1969 

     June 6, 1969, marked the 25th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy. June 6, 2019, is the 75th anniversary.

     Airman Gary H. Seward of Esmond completed Air Force basic training.

     Marine Corps Pvt. Gary F. Finlay of Esmond also completed basic training, and was awarded a medal for marksmanship.

     EM-2 Mark McNeilly of Greenville was serving at Woods Hole in Falmouth, Mass.

     When Clifford Bedard of Greenville, a management analyst working at Quonset Point saw a newspaper photo of an American flag being burned, he was inspired to approach Quonset officials with the idea of issuing American flag decals to all military and civilian personnel at Quonset to be placed, voluntarily, on their cars. The idea was well received, and when executives of the Gulf Oil Company heard of it, they elected to supply 6,000 flag decals at no cost to the government. Proof that one person can make a difference.  

     Esmond Girl Scout Troop 894 held a pot-luck supper at the Esmond Recreation Hall. Three of the young ladies were awarded trophies for high bowling averages. They were: Nancy Porter, Toni Ann Gomes, and Linda Boyle.  

     The Smithfield Women’s Club installed new officers at a dinner held at the former Club 44 restaurant.

     The newly elected officers were: Mrs. Donald T. Taylor, president; Mrs. Bradford C. Bernardo, vice-president; Mrs. Jerome Butterfield, secretary; and Mrs. Donald A. Brush, treasurer.

     The guest speaker was Mrs. Donald McLean, Assistant Director of the Rhode Island State Federation of Women’s Clubs, who spoke about “Individual Involvement”.

     Reverend Rene Guertin, the director of St. Aloysius Home in Greenville since 1946, was presented with the Louis Massover Memorial Award for outstanding Service by the Smithfield Jaycees organization.  

     Janet Rathier of Gerogiaville was chosen to attend the National Junior Achievement Conference to be held in August at Indiana State University. Miss Rathier was one of seven delegates from Rhode Island to attend.

   A piano recital was held at the Greenville Library on June 14. All participants were students of Mrs. Helene Taubman of Greenville. Participants included: Susan Waradzin, Mary Ann Cooper, Anthony, Andrew, and Mathew Pucci, Liza Corselli, John Oswald, Becky Lide, David Dolan, John Pascone, Gail AAsen, John Correro, and Betty Ann De Sautell. The event was open to the public.

     The Smithfield Apple Blossom Club staged an elaborate flower and garden show at St, Michael’s Church in Georgiaville which included numerous artistic and horticultural displays. The theme of the show was “Today’s Trends – Tomorrow’s Traditions”.

       Prizes were awarded to the following ladies: Mrs. Harry Kemp, Mrs. Howard Lebeck, Mrs. John Kaminski, Mrs. Anthony Lancia, Mrs. John Graham, Jr., Mrs. Prescott Williams, Mrs. Richard Illingsworth, Mrs. George Cook, Mrs. John Cunningham, Mrs. Peter Bak, Mrs. Alexander Booth, Mrs. Harold Hall, Mrs. Theodore Shaw, Mrs. Irving Vincent, Mrs. Earl Greany, and Mrs. Raymond Shirley.

     Also, Miss Tammy Daily, Miss Katie Guidone, Miss Janet Rathier, and Miss Susan Dorgan each won a blue ribbon in the Junior Exhibit category.     

     The “Smithfield Breathe-In”, a conference about the dangers and solutions relating to air pollution was held June 26 at the Smithfield High School. Speakers included Alfred L. Hawkes, executive director of the Rhode Island Audubon Society; Michael A. Abatuno, president of the Rhode Island Air Pollution Control League; W. Ellerbe Ackerman, Jr., of the Rhode Island Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association; and Doctor Francis Vose, and Woonsocket physician.   

     A Greenville dry cleaning business was partaking in a “His & Hers Sweepstakes” in which the grand prize was a pair of 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghias automobiles. No purchase was necessary.   

     The Blue Gill Derby Association, consisting of residents living around Slack’s Pond in Greenville, spearheaded an effort to eradicate an over abundance of weed growth which had taken hold of the pond. In cooperation with state authorities, an herbicide was introduced to the water which caused certain weeds to “grow themselves to death”. The herbicide was not harmful to marine life, but residents were warned not to water their lawns and plants with water from the pond for a few weeks.   

     As part of an anti-litter campaign the Smithfield Conservation Commission places 55-gallon steel trash receptacles in areas around town plagued by litter problems. The barrels were donated by the Greenville Finishing Company, and each was stenciled, “Keep Smithfield Clean and Green”. The stenciling was done by William Robinson of Smithfield.  

50 Years Ago – April 1967

50 Years Ago – April, 1967

By Jim Ignasher

     On April 1st many were taken in by an April Fools joke perpetrated by a Swiss radio station that kept interrupting its regular broadcast with “updated” reports that American astronauts had landed on the moon. One has to understand that the international space-race between the U.S. and Russia was a widely discussed topic of the day to see why some believed it.

     Later in the month, on April 20th, NASA’s unmanned lunar probe, Surveyor 3, did land on the moon.  

     Girl Scout Troop 894 of Esmond held a Scouts Court of Honor. Those participating were Diane Judson, April Jennison, and Penny Green.  

     Cadet Girl Scout Troop 49 of Esmond held a fashion show. Models included: Susan Tieri, Jeannie Spanetta, Sharon Stevens, Susan Maltas, Nancy Picard, Kathy Parsakian, Cheryl Cancelleri, Irene Carriera, Margaret Hood, Shirley Payette, Debbie Cancelleri, Pauline LeBlanc, Gail Picard, and Karen Boyes. Home movies were reportedly taken of the event. Could they still exist?

     Maurice Limoges of the U.S. Navy spent a weekend furlough at his parent’s home in Esmond before reporting back to his duty assignment aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid.

     Army private John F. Hennessey of Esmond completed basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

     1st Lt. Gerald Durand of Georgiaville was stationed at U.S. Army Headquarters Support Command in Saigon, Vietnam.

     Corporal Paul Battey, USMC, of Greenville, left for twelve months of duty in Cuba.

     Richard N. Kanea, USN, of Greenville, was promoted to Gunners Mate Third Class while serving aboard the U.S.S. Whetstone.

     PFC Raymond Labossonniere of Esmond graduated from the Rhode Island National Guard non-commissioned officer’s academy.

     Robert J. Riley, USN, of Greenville completed basic naval training at Great Lakes, Illinois.  

     There was a time when nurses wore white uniforms adorned with distinctive caps. The cap was an important part of the uniform for the style indicated where a nurse graduated nursing school. In the beginning of April, Smithfield residents Dawn Bryden and Patricia Barnes received their nursing caps from New England Baptist Hospital School of Nursing.

     Ralph Iannitelli of Greenville was tapped for membership in the History Honor Society of Denison University at Grandville, Ohio.

     Students taking Modern Algebra 2 at Smithfield High School were invited to tour a local bank and view its new computer system. How many of us are old enough to recall those IBM “punch cards” used fed information into those ancient computers?    

     Linda Chagnon of Spragueville, a senior at Classical High School, won the top award in the senior division at the 22nd Annual Journal Bulletin Science Fair held at Marvel Gym.

     On April 14, the Smithfield Teachers Association held a “variety night” presentation in the high school auditorium to benefit the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Smithfield. Twenty-two acts were performed by both students and teachers.

     On April 15 members of the Apple Valley Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, gave a recital in Wichita, Kansas, to benefit the Institute of Logopedics (Speech defects).

     The week of April 17th was National Library Week, and local libraries celebrated with story hours for children.

     The Providence Gas Company announced that it would soon be running gas lines from the intersection of Routes 44 and 5 to the Greenville Finishing Mill (Now the Antiques Alley antique center.), and also down Cedar Swamp Road, to Tunmore Road, and then down Sprague Street.

   On April 19 the newly elected Smithfield Charter Commission was sworn in. Members included David A. Whitehead, Frederick W. Clark, Frank D. Eldredge, Jr., Richard W. Fisher, Willard Walcott, Alonzo Thurber, Jr., William J. McCarthy, Carl R. Adler, and Fred L. Potter.  

     Local auto dealerships were still trying to sell left over 1966 model cars.  

     Apparently the month of April wasn’t too early to consider buying an oval shaped above-ground swimming pool. One measuring 26 by 18 feet was advertised by one local business for $429.00.        

     The movie Casino Royale, starring David Niven, was released in April of 1967 by Columbia Pictures. It was a comedy-spoof on the popular James Bond movies of the time. (This should not be confused with the 2006 movie of the same name which starred Daniel Craig.)  

     On April 27th the World’s Fair, known as Expo ’67 opened in Canada.

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