75th Anniversary Parade Seen by 20,000 in Norwood
NORWOOD, Nov. 1, 1947 — With 5000 marchers, 20 musical units and 50 floats in the procession, the largest parade in the history of this town was witnessed by an estimated 20,000 as Norwood today climaxed its weeklong celebration of its 75th anniversary.
NORWOOD GRANGE FLOAT IN 75TH ANNIVERSARY PARADE
HOSPITAL FLOAT IN NORWOOD PARADE—Nurses “administer to sick” on float of Norwood Hospital during 75th Anniversary Parade yesterday
Every organization in town, fraternal, civic, political, military and religious, was represented in the line of march which also included military units from other towns and officials of state, county and surrounding towns. The parade took an hour and a quarter to pass the reviewing stand near the Memorial Building.
Headed by Town Manager Edward C. Monahan as chief marshal the parade under the direction of Leon Smelstor, Norwood’s recreation director, left shortly after 2 from South Norwood along Washington st., and through the center of the town with spectators jamming every foot of the way and applauding local and visiting units.
Featured floats were those of the Norwood Lions’ Club displaying a live 600-pound lion and the 4-H Club float which had a live cow and ponies drawing a carriage aboard its decorated truck.
13 Divisions in Parade
Thirteen divisions made up the parade. The marshal and his staff escorted by a detail of state and local police and local and visiting town officials led the way, followed by Division 1 which consisted of the United States Army Band and troops; United States Const Guard Auxiliary Band; United States Marine Color Guard; United States Navy marching unit; Norwood Legion Band; Massachusetts National Guard and Lt. Gov. Arthur W. Coolidge; Division 2. Old Dorchester Post A. L . Drum Corps; Continental Color Guard; massed colors; Legion delegations; St. Joseph’s Band of Medford; V. F. W. marching units and Norwood Municipal Building floats; 1he other divisions in line made up of floats of the various organizations and delegations with musical units.
The marshal, his staff, invited guests including Norwood’s two oldest residents, J. Fred Boyden, former Norwood Fire Chief, who is 94, and his sister, Mrs. Emma Ellis, 98, were on the reviewing stand, and the oldsters were honored by the town with floral tributes.
As the final units passed the reviewing stand all marching out tits formed in the town square, while the members of the reviewing staff participated in the closing ceremonies of the week-long celebration.
The finale opened with Representative Charles F. Holman, chairman of the anniversary committee, calling the assemblage to order. Invocation was given by Rev. G. Rowell Croker of the Grace Episcopal Church, with the greetings of the town being extended by H. William Anderson, chairman of the Selectmen.
Following the welcome, the color guard was introduced by John Murphy, commander of Norwood Post, A. L., and John Feeney, commander of Norwood Post, V. F. W., and this was followed by a united pledge to the flag and the playing of the national anthem by the assembled musical units.
Lt. Gov. Arthur Coolidge then delivered the main address and he was followed by Msgr. Jeremiah F. Minihan, pastor of St. Catherine’s Church, who pronounced benediction. To close the service, the Norwood High School band furnished music while the entire assemblage joined in singing “Fair Norwood.”
The day-long celebration opened in the morning at the high school field where the Norwood High football team smashed out a win-over Cambridge Latin by a 12-to-0 score.
In the afternoon, a nine-mile road race with 12 entries started from the high school and proceeded to Walpole and returned to Norwood, with Robert Nugent, 17, from Belmont High School finishing first and Edward Erickson of Norwood second. Johnny Kelly of West Acton, well-known marathoner, who was the only scratch man in the race, was awarded 1he time prize, covering the distance in 52 minutes and 37 seconds.
Business houses of the town cooperated in the last day activities by closing their doors from shortly after noon until the end of the exercises to give their employees an opportunity to participate.
Former Norwood Selectmen who were invited guests and who participated in the parade included: Daniel F. Slattery, Walter F. Tilton, H. Eugene Rice, Eugene Endicott. Arthur J. Forrest, Harold W. Baker, Herbert A Baker, John W. Mutch. Francis W. Smith, Charles E. Houghton. John E. Folan. Charles L. Donahue. Daniel Collins. Thomas J. Foley and Michael J. Curran.