Founded and Developed by James Berwick, One of the Town’s Generous Citizens—The Clubhouse.
ONE of the most successful and progressive social and athletic clubs in the State is the Norwood Press Club of Norwood. Its beautiful clubhouse and spacious and well-arranged grounds at Berwick Park, in the southerly part of the town, have been an admiration and wonder.
Several years ago, James Berwick, president of the Berwick & Smith Company, bought a lot of land near the Norwood Press. It was swampy and had a pond in the center. Mr. Berwick had the place drained, loomed and seeded, and while saving the little hillocks, the trees and the sloping banks, so transformed it that it became a beautiful park of seven acres. Tennis court. a baseball diamond and an athletic track were laid out, a grandstand and a band pavilion constructed, and a beautiful modern clubhouse built, the architect of which was his son, Walter J. Berwick.
Then was organized the Norwood Press Club, consisting of people of the great printing plant, employers and employees. To this club Mr. Berwick gave the use of the magnificent property. In 1907 the place was finished for occupancy and on Thanksgiving evening of that year, the clubhouse and Berwick Park, as it was named, was dedicated with suitable ceremonies.
As Mr. Berwick expressed it, at. that time, the Norwood Press Club members were “tenants at will” but the management of the clubhouse was in their hands. The club was designed as a combination of employers and employees for the purposes of enjoyment and recreation. At that time and for several years the membership of the club was confined to those connected with the Norwood Press, and when they left the Press their membership of the club ceased. So much interest was taken in the club, that in the fall of 1910 it decided to throw open the membership to residents of the town of a reputane character, and many took the opportunity to join. There are now 250 men and boys members of the club, and about 168 girls who form a sort of auxiliary membership.
The scope of the club combines social life and athletics. There are two bowling alleys. In the upper part of the clubhouse is a fine large hall, which is used for dances, lectures, banquets and social gatherings. Its primary use, however, is for a gymnasium, and here classes practice three evenings a week under the coaching of the physical director of the club, Frank II. Caswell.
There is a large locker room and shower baths on the lower floor of the clubhouse, while on the upper floor are ladies’ parlor and a recreation room.
A baseball team which is one of the best of its class in the State has been placed on the diamond for several years. The diamond has also been used by the High School nine and other reputable teams. The use of the football gridiron has been allowed to the High School eleven and to other duly organized teams. A grandstand makes the games more attractive. The use of the tennis courts has also been allowed to High School pupils during the day, so, in a measure, it will be seen that the Press Club has had a past in the educational work of the town.
There is another side to the club, which takes in the ladies. Dances have been held twice a month during the Winter season, and recently the girl members ran a most successful leap-year party. Lectures and concerts are given occasionally on Sunday afternoons, and band concerts on the grounds in the Summer add to the social life of the town.
When Mr. Berwick built and tendered the use of this magnificent property to the club, he did a work for the town which even then was beyond his conception. His generosity and public spirit have been recognized more than once, and recently he was the recipient of a silver loving cup from the club members.
The first president, who served for two years, was Thomas A. Houllahan. He was followed by Harold Baker and Berwick Maxner, each with one year. The president now is Thomas E. McCready. The vice president is Charles T. Donnell, secretary Frank H Coswell, treasurer Waiter J Berwick.
The directors include Arthur Spears, Albert Russell, Frank Ceicord, Leo Meyers, Robert Mahady, Isaac Ellis, Gordon Kaler, David Henry, Elmer Cuddy, William Phalen and Edward Leary.
No story of the club would be complete without mention of the caretaker of the clubhouse, Rufus M. Clark. He is one of the old-time Norwood Press employees, and admirably fitted for his position.
The president, Thomas E. McCready, was born in Canton, Jan 31, 1886, and was educated in the Public Schools and High School of that town. After some years spent in Pawtucket, R.I. he came to Norwood eight years ago and learned the trade of electrotype finisher at the J. S. Cushing Company of the Norwood Press, at which occupation he is now employed. His father and mother died when he was four years old, so he is essentially a self-made man, and he has made a good job of it.
The only other organization he belongs to is the St Catherine’s Total Abstinence Society, and practically all interest is given to the Norwood Press Club. He was a director for two years before being made president, and since his incumbency of the latter office there has been a notable increase of enthusiasm in the club.
THOMAS E MCKEADY. President of the Norwood Pros Club.