There have been lots of interesting IPHS led events in Island Pond this April!
Frank and Lou Allard celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on April 17th. The whole town joined in and added cheer to the wedded couple's bliss with a Drive By of cars. Led by Jeff Noyes (town sheriff) and Jim Worth (commander of Brighton Post #80) the cavalcade of well wishers kicked off at 3pm much to Frank and Lou's surprise! The happy couple's photo is on the left of this page.
Among the convoy of well wishers was Doug Niles and his two children who created a road-wide greetings card, IPHS Treasurer Marilyn Maxwell and her husband Douglas, Debby Monfette manager of Community National Bank, and scores of others who drove along Pleasant Street tooting their horns and blowing kisses at the happy couple. Drivers left cards and gifts on the Allard's lawn, decorated by Trace Costa and IPHS president Sharon Biron who organized the event together with Frank and Lou's niece Laurie Chapman.
Easter Comes to Island Pond courtesy of the Historical Society Museum
Not being too keen on the 'stay at home' effect that saw Brighton's downtown district look as if the town had 'curled up and died', IPHS president Sharon Biron instigated the Easter Hasn't Been Cancelled project which called for townsfolk to decorate their homes with bright yellow Easter Wreaths and crisp clean flags! IPHS Trustee James H, O'Gorman was helped by IPHS volunteers Richard A. Martin and 11 years old Dayna M. Martin when the time came to decorate the front of the IPHS museum with Easter Wreaths and Happy Easter cards.
Keeping morale high, banishing anxiety and fear, and encouraging people to be of stout heart worked a treat. Before we knew it, dozens responded with Easter window displays and fresh clean flags were soon flying everywhere including in the center of town and outside the post office. Covid-19 may have struck hard, but the IPHS fought back and encouraged everyone to keep Easter alive. As the IPHS Treasurer Mrs. Marilyn W. Maxwell said: "It's more important now than ever before to celebrate Easter" and so we did!
A special relic is donated to the Island Pond Historical Society - St. Anthony comes home!
More than 53 years ago, 15 years old Eric S. Dufour was helping the sisters of St. Mary's clear out the Convent school which was closing down. After a day of hard work shifting desks and furniture, Eric was leaving the convent and on his way home to his parents, John and Geraldine, when his attention was drawn to a pile of old boxes that lined the hallway.
The boxes were waiting for someone to throw them in the dumpster but something made Eric take a closer look, that's when he saw this beautiful statue of Saint Anthony. "I lifted the relic up and brought it to one of the sisters, I asked her what she wanted done with it" said Eric. "The sister told me to keep it, to take it home with me as thanks for my work that day. In time, I moved from Island Pond to California to work with Fedex Aviation, and I brought the statue with me. I decided recently that now was the right time to send St. Anthony home for display in the IPHS Museum so everyone can enjoy seeing this piece."
We're very grateful for this amazing statue, it sits in an ornate wooden case which still has the original Victorian era glass. This has been beautifully cared for. Eric and his husband Andrew took care to have it professionally restored many years ago, preserving it and making this a valuable addition to the museum which protects Island Pond's past.
On Easter Sunday the IPHS president Sharon Biron was very proud to show St. Anthony off to local people when she displayed the relic - on the back of her black Chevy Silverado truck, in the open outside the museum! Despite the lock-down, many people took the opportunity to drive past and everyone was able to view Saint Anthony.
A new exhibition area inside the museum is being planned to showcase the relic. When the museum re-opens visitors will be able to enjoy it just as Eric planned. Thank you so much Eric we love this fine Saint Anthony statue, it really feels like he's 'come home', and we promise that he will be looked after extremely well.
Welcome to April 2020
Welcome to our update for April 2020. It's been a busy time all around the United States, and a worrying time, too. But the worst of Covid-19 has passed, and I'm so glad IPHS members have kept in touch to let me know how they've got on.
One of those members is Morris McKenney. Together with his wife Theresa Morris sends his greetings to Island Ponders and fellow IPHS members far and wide.
Morris was kind enough to touch base today, April 25th, to provide a few names for some of the children pictured standing with him in this old school photograph shown here on the left. Morris says: "In perusing pictures in your website, I find a picture of my first grade class. It would have been taken in 1938. I can identify most of them:
Back Row Left to Right:
Brian King, Ouida Ewens (Testut), Kenneth Bosley, Myrtle Martin, Danny Martin,
Priscilla__?, Morris McKenney, Ben Thurber.
Front Row Left to Right:
Paul King, unknown, Glenyce Brooks, Betty Ladd (Hinton), Joyce Davis, Barbara White, Phyllis Langmaid, Gleynn Brooks.
Most of my contemporaries are gone, and I last lived in Island Pond in 1964. My sister is still there. The one person I look forward to seeing when I'm there is Gordy Lefebvre. He's about the only guy there my age that I remember. I can remember the day he told me he was hired on by the railroad. I was only 17, so I wasn't old enough yet. Tell him and everyone else that I said 'Hi'.