Finance Committee Trouble Finding Members  
Saturday, April 14, 2012
It looks as if the Webster Finance Committee will never be whole unless it is restructured.

The 15-member board is supposed to have five elected members, five panelists named by the Board of Selectmen, and another five members appointed by the town moderator, all with staggered terms.

There is usually some interest in the elective offices, sometimes from write-in candidates. This might be the case May 7 because incumbents Alfred E. Beland and Diane Hunter did not file for re-election.

Stacked town meetings could be a problem. Finance findings have been routinely passed over in recent times because the committee seems unable to check all the requests in every meeting warrant.

When a five-member Board of Selectman can't find its own number ¡X five townspeople ¡X to represent the public at large in advisory circles, something seems wrong.

ƒÞ

Town elections in Webster and Dudley will both be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. this year. This follows because Webster bylaws stipulate that election of town officials be on the first Monday in May, and Dudley lists the first Monday after the first Saturday for the election.

ƒÞ

March Madness had basketballs bouncing all over TV screens, with catch lines such as ¡§Sweet Sixteen,¡¨ ¡§Elite Eight,¡¨ and ¡§Final Four¡¨ to stimulate attention.

Women's play caught my wonder because I recalled that Bartlett High School reintroduced girls' basketball in 1946, and the game was very different from that of the boys.

¡§The Chronicle¡¨ yearbook explained: ¡§After a four year wartime suspension of basketball for girls, the newly formed 1946 girl's team can boast of winning every game it played.¡¨ Miss Beatrice Pratt was the coach.

They played eight games, and Allison Birmingham led the scoring with 133 of the 274 points credited to the team. I wondered what her take might be on the resumption of play all those years ago. Fate intervened when I crossed paths with her and her husband, Bernard Gevry, the next day at an Oxford supermarket.

Mrs. Gevry didn't have any trouble coming up with a word to describe girls' play in 1946: ¡§Sedate.¡¨ It was a half-court game. Forwards played on the scoring end, guards covered the defensive side, and the center, designated as a center-forward, worked across the center court.

The idea was to make it a quieter game for high school girls. Mrs. Gevry said, ¡§It wasn't that exciting.¡¨ The wartime disruption gave the 1946 seniors an eight-game career.

Nothing in BHS records says why girls' hoop play was suspended during the war while boys' athletics continued. Now, it doesn't ring as equitable. Still, more than 25 high school women turned out for the 1946 call of candidates, assuring that they would never be summarily dismissed as school athletes in the future. And they haven't.

Mrs. Gevry went from the ¡§sedate¡¨ high school game to a women's team sponsored by the American Optical Co. in Southbridge. ¡§We played men's rules,¡¨ she recalled.
-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

Copyright© OldeWebster 2001
send comments/suggestions to:
webmaster@oldewebster.com