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This Day in Norwood History-January 5, 1961-Vets Fund Committee Agrees To Memorial

Vets Fund Committee Agrees To Memorial

For the first time since the establishment of the Servicemens’ Fund Committee here fifteen years ago, total agreement on the disposition of the $90,000 now available, has been reached. The General Committee Wednesday voted 15-6 in favor of turning the fund over to the Town for the construction of a Memorial Building opposite Star Market.

Edward L. Fitzgerald, Chairman of the-Town appointed Veterans Fund Study Committee, submitted the motion read by Chairman Gordon F. Woodberry of the original committee established in 1044. Treasurer John Bussell of the Study Committee seconded the motion.

It was revealed by Fitzgerald Wednesday that proposals to use the fund for the erection-of skating rinks, swimming pools, hospital additions^and the like, all met with disapproval in the past, being defeated by the Veterans Council, Board of Selectmen or the Servicmens’ Fund Committee.

“The vote of the General Committee tonight represents the first total agreement on a proposal, for the disposition of the fund,” he said, adding that majority vote of the General Committee was needed for approval of an article to be acted on by Town Meeting.

Plan A of the motion refers to a three-story structure similar to that proposed in 1948. The seating capacity of the Memorial building would be 400, fitting the needs of community groups from Town Meeting size to cub scout size, said Woodberry.

Leonard Quann, representing Forslund LeNormand and Quann, Inc., Norwood architects, presented the General Committee with a series of slides on the new building. The proposal was approved by the Board of Selectmen at the November 29th meeting and full coverage was given in the December 1st edition of the “Messenger.”

It was moved Wednesday that:

“The Executive Committee be and hereby is authorized to turn the funds of the Norwood Servicemen’s Fund Committee over to the Town of Norwood, Mass., provided the citizens of the Town vote

  • “To construct a community building as a memorial to those residents of the Town of Norwood who served in World War II. Said building to be constructed on Town-owned land according to “Plan A”, and said building will be Town-owned.
  • “To raise and appropriate sufficient funds in addition to the Fund to construct and equip the said building.
  • “That, the Town of Norwood will maintain said building.
  • “That a mutual agreement be reached in writing between the Town of Norwood and the Executive Committee of the Norwood Servicemens Fund Committee regarding the use of the facilities of the said building by the local veterans’, organizations.”

After being defeated 10-1.1 in the first vote, further discussion lead to reconsideration on the motion of William Strauss, member of the Executive Committee of the Junior High School P.T.A.

“The motion represents a combination of effort over the past 14 years,’ said Chairman Woodberry.

The cost of equipping the building has been estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000 with annual maintenance costs amounting to some $8800, it was revealed by Treasurer John Russell.

Past recommendations, not having been within the confines of the original solicitation, or being opposed by one or more of the groups, were defeated, and the fund has grown to nearly $90,000, it was further revealed by Russell. Building costs have risen proportionately In excess of this figure, however, and the town would have to appropriate somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000 for the building, he added.

During the discussion, Louis Orent of the Committee, stated that many proposals were rejected in the past because they would have caused the original intent of the fund, “to build a memorial building,” to be diverted. This requires action by the Attorney General who would not approve a measure opposed by any of the veterans ‘organizations, he said.

“The committee represented here has voted to accept a motion to go to Town Meeting, said Orent. This meets with the wishes of the Committee to turn over the money “in the best interests of the Town, and at the same time, the original proposal for a Memorial building is being complied with,” he added.

It is expected that an article will be prepared for the Special Town Meeting following the Annual Meeting in March.

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