The trend of work of the entire year was indicated at the first meeting at which Commander Walter presided. The membership role was considered and there were no plans made for breaking records. Walter stressed the fact that we needed members who would work during the year. The change that started in Hannon's (1928) administration was now under way and the meetings were now serious affairs where ways and means of aiding those men who were out of work were considered. No longer did one hear of this entertainment at the next town or a banquet some where else. Indicative of the activities of the year were two motions carried at the first meeting. One provided that the Post should get in touch with the Downers Grove Relief Committee and offer our services to aid in the great task. The other was to actively work to see that all county road work and kindred activities hired only residents of our area.
At the same meeting the matter was presented of having a Centennial Celebration as Downers Grove was a hundred years old this year. There was some opposition to this as many said that unemployment as high as it is,it was ridiculous to spend money on such an affair. The idea was finally put across as several stated that when men were out of work there was little amusement. But a day of celebration and FREE amusements would do much to keep up the morale of the unfortunate.
At the February 1932 meeting it was decided that the Post should not arrange the Centennial Celebration but that a committee should be selected to get in touch with all groups in the village and try to interest them in a celebration that would take in the whole village. L.L. Meyer was appointed chairman of this committee. So successful were his efforts that a committee representing every organization in the village was selected and plans went ahead.
At the first meeting of this Village Committee, Judge Knoch of Naperville came to Downers Grove and outlined the procedure followed in Naperville the previous year. Naperville had carried thru a similar celebration and Judge Knoch had been the general chairman. His advice as to committees and his warning as to mistakes and pitfalls saved the committee much grief and considerable expense. The plans were worked out well in advance and the celebration was the largest ever held in Downers Grove. favorable comment was published in papers thru out the country. Much credit went to the Post and especially to the efficient management of the chairman, L.L.Meyer.
The annual carnival was held towards the last part of the summer. This year a car was raffled off which swelled the net proceeds. Cash was desperately necessary to carry on the welfare activities of the Post. A substantial amount was realized from the carnival. At the same time the savings that the Post had effected and invested in various bonds were wiped out. As far as was known at that time the two five hundred dollar bonds possessed by the Post were just pretty pieces of paper.
Commander Walter had an easier time with his executive committee than the year before. The men who had stuck to the Post during the previous year and at the same time held their jobs were more sure this year. The commander had chosen his committees carefully and there were fewer resignations.
However while there was nothing spectacular in the activities of the Post, there was a steady demand for services of individual members to see that worthy men received just treatment when work was to be had. Too often jobs would be handed out to men of Cook County. While a meeting in another part of the county accomplished nothing new. Yet if the commander or one of his helpers failed to attend there would be injustice inflicted on some applicant for a job. such activities are never spectacular and seldom receive the credit due. It is safe to say that no commander put in more long evenings attending outside meetings and looking after the various individuals of the Post than did Commander Walter. The Centennial celebration was the outstanding event of his administration as fas as attracting attention of the public. The ground work laid for relief activities and the aid rendered by the Post to many in the village was the result of the sleepless nights and long hours spent telephoning here, there and everywhere. Yet we might state that no where is there a bill rendered for telephone toll calls and they were many. It is a small matter and no one ever noticed it.
The worst of the depression was over as far as the Post was concerned at the end of this year.The opinion, unexpressed, but felt was that if we had weathered that much of the storm and were still a going organization we could stand anything. The members were a steadier group and not as easily discouraged as they had been ten years ago. Also for the next year the nominating committee selected J.Richard Hawkins as candidate for commander. He is a charter member of the Post and although it was not mentioned at the time there was nothing of that old friction that had prevailed during Swift's(1924) and Stevenson's(1925) administrations. There were no "Old Timers" and "New Comers". Everyone was an enthusiastic member of the ALEXANDER BRADLEY BURNS POST 80 of THE AMERICAN LEGION.