2016 Annual Meeting
Story and Photos by Lt. Col Mark C. Biron, Rtd.
Sixty-four enthusiastic visitors joined with members and volunteers of the Island Pond Historical Society for their 49th annual meeting at Legion Post #80 in Brighton on Sunday, Aug. 7.
Dr. Chad A. Finer M.D., now retired, wowed the crowd first with his around the hall display of more than 100 mounted black and white portraits of Island Ponders shot during his time in Island Pond from 1979 to 1981.
In 1979 Dr. Finer came to work at the Island Pond Health Center. Along with J. Duncan Coolidge, M.D. and Joe Zuaro, DDS, he served as a primary care doctor for the area. He lived in Island Pond with his wife and children first next to the Applebee’s off Birch Street and eventually between the Fiedler’s and Osborne’s on Derby Street. Peter Joseph, who was president of the historical society at the time, got him interested in Island Pond history and the Island Pond Historical Society. During his free time he strolled about town talking to folks, learning their stories, and photographing them at their place of business.
Dr. Finer began his narrative with a dedication to the memory of his late friend and Island Pond native, Gary Osborne. He featured several of Gary and wife Janet in their Ferdinand Sugar House in November of 2009 and at a Christmas party in 1980. Many of his photos featured the staff of the Island Pond Health center; Janet Osborne, Charlotte Gunn, Roberta Chesney, Duncan Coolidge M.D., Joe Zuaro DDS, Gwen Osborne, Mary Myers, Becky Lefebvre, Patty Barrett, Karen Moore and Mary Ann Cyr. He credited the Brighton Garage, “Big Al, Little Al” and Craig, with keeping him and Dr. Coolidge on the road and able to get to North Country Hospital when needed. Six photos portrayed Blacksmith Albert Laliberty in his shop near the Clyde River where the Lakefront Motel now stands. He made many visits to the blacksmith shop awaiting repair of his rusty Land Rover. Between the Goulet’s Garage and Albert Laliberty Dr. Finer was encouraged to continue photographing his town contacts. Other photos featured Helen and Ronny Langford who ran the Buck and Doe restaurant, Al and Jean Bresciani who ran a pizzeria, bakery and coffee shop, the Community Bank tellers and Bert Caouette, town manager Dave Maynard, Bud Wade and the select board, solo attorney Monty Moore, Probate Judge Lena Boylan, gas station and car repair shop operator Sylvio Dupuis, Farmer Ron Chesney and family, Cross Street watchman Bernie Worth, local politician and historical society president Peter Joseph, Ray and Dodie Joseph owners and operators of Joseph’s Store, cyclist Clayton Hinton who was once hit by a canoe while riding into Island Pond, Ted Goulet in his meat market, postmen Doc Kennedy nad Dean King, Island Pond Feed Store owner operators Gaby and Gloria Gaboriault, Herman Amelotte of Bartlett’s Store, Vickey Gutherie and daughter Sheila of the Osborne Hotel, Louis Russ mechanic and operator of the Garage, J.P. Gervais – Marie Gervais – Teddy Miller of J.P.’s Market, Clem and Annette Vallieres owner operators of Vallieres’ Sporting Goods Store, Jack and Mary Ellen Friedman, Marcel and Anita Gervais, Principal Mary Ann Riggie and some others. Dr. Finer wished that he could have photographed more of the towns' people that he knew during his short time in Island Pond.
IPHS President Betty Gilfillan took over the business meeting telling members a recent decision to someday in the next few years to move the museum to the third floor of the Town Hall. The decision was based on the need for at least one committed tenant in order for town manager Joel Cope to apply for a grant to install a viable elevator to service all four floors of the Town Hall or Opera House. Application for the grant was not possible without the IPHS commitment and relocation of the IPHS museum is not possible without the elevator and renovation of the third floor. The IPHS does not intend to fund any part of the municipal buildings renovation and the rent will remain the same as what we are paying the town for our second floor space in the railroad station.
The nomination of Betty Gilfillan for president, Craig Goulet for vice president, Michael Strait for secretary, Muriel O'Gorman as trustee and Mark Biron for treasurer was seconded and passed.
Betty Gilfillan presented a nicely giftwrapped crystal clock to the outgoing treasurer, Virginia Wing thanking her for her outstanding service to the Island Pond Historical Society.
Door prizes included a sun flower basket made by Rebecca Lefebvre and won by Gerald Goupee, a gallon of Maple Syrup from the Osbornes won by Joe Zuaro and a framed photograph of Island Pond taken by Mike Goulet from The Hearth & Home Country Store was won by Janice Fournier.
Before departing, guests and members enjoyed a buffet of fresh fruit, assorted sandwiches, cookies, cakes, hot drinks and iced water especially prepared for the occasion by caterer Michelle Leclerc.