This Day In Norwood History- March 13

Petition For Swimming Pool At Fr McAleer’s

Last Minute Effort May Get Approval

March 13, 1959

JAMES T. O’SULLIVAN

For some 18 years there has been talk of a swimming pool at Fr. McAleer Playground, but for one reason or another it never has become a reality.

An “11th hour” effort on the part of a small group of residents, however, along with nearly 1000 other interested townspeople who signed a petition which was turned over to the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night, might turn the tide.

Loaded down with drawings and statistics, and inspired by the needs of their children, a representative body met with the Board of Selectmen to state their case. Spokesman for the group was Mrs. Joseph Dempsey who pointed out that when the park was named in honor of the former St, Catherine’s Church curate, it was expected that it would be the envy of alt towns in the area. Since 1911, however, very few changes have been made; there, and the bronze plaque j which was to honor the name of the popular young Norwood priest who died in 1939 has commemorated exactly nothing but a below-par plot of earth instead of a well equipped playground.

Chairman of the Board Harry Butters said that he favored the construction of a pool at Fr. Mac’s (formerly known as White Mike’s) but felt it was unfair to bring the matter up so dose to the Town Meeting. The Finance Commission, it is assumed, had no conception of the petition and have already set up their budget for the recreation department.

Mrs. Dempsey, speaking for the petitioners, said that putting off the construction of a pool would solve no problems. “Next year it will be the same thing. Let’s get it this year.” she said.

Selectman Dempsey and Drummey registered immediate approval Selectman Rich said he favored the pool, but wanted the specifications and figures spelled out more clearly. Selectman Abdallah asked why the Veteran’s Fund could not be used for such a purpose but was informed by John “Bunny” Griffin that several attempts have already been made to no avail.

With 1000 names on the petition (to say nothing of the number of potential votes it might mean), it was not a very hard task to sway the Board in at least a moderate show of support.

The nucleus of the petitioners will meet with the Board of Selectmen at a later date at which time costs and specifications will be discussed. The matter will then come before the Special Town Meeting possibly sometime in April.

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