Alvin Fister is a World War one veteran and was chaplain in 1942 and 1943. Through out the years he has always been an active member of Post 80. Al has been actively pushing for a new Post home since the purchase of the Ogden property.
The Korean Conflict has been over for two years and our country is at peace. Unemployment is at a low and the populace is getting back to normal. The installation of officers was held at the Loyal Order of Moose Hall and there was a tremendous turn out. The March of Dimes Polio Drive sponsored by Post 80 and VFW Century Post 503 was a huge success. Over $1500.00 was collected. The guys laid a thin strip of carpeting on the side walk along Main Street and Those donating placed dimes and other coins on the carpet. There was also men and women collecting on the corners.
At the September meeting Joe Krepper proposed another horse show on the Legion Field. The Post bought 8 new tables and a stove for the current home. In October the budget was presented with 2580.00 allotted for contributions, 250.00 went to Boy Scout Troop 80. There was quite a bit of talk about a new home on the Ogden property but no action was taken at this time.
Joe Krepper gave a report on the Horse Show which was held in October. The show netted over $600.00. The actual profit hadn't been figured at this time. Jay Allison, our 3rd commander passed away in December which caused many of the World War One veterans to reflect on the early years of the Legion. In the 1920s the Legion year began on January 1st and now the Legion years begin on September 1st. The World War One veterans are glad that the World War Two and Korean vets are beginning to get involved with Post activities.
Our Initiation Team is now called "The Post 80 Degree Team" and composed of only Past Commanders. They are: Whitaker 1941, Webster 1942, B. McCollum 1937, Finger 1936, Lanagan 1947 and Lester 1949. These men have been doing a great job and by the end of this year newer Past Commands will replace some of them.
The Du Page Oratorical Contest was won by David Dietz of Downers Grove High School. He moved up to District and won. At District he came in 2nd. Cheer up cards are being sent to members in sick-bay. The Post contributed $15.00 toward the Du Page County Safety Drive, "Slow Down and Live" This was strongly supported by our Past Commanded and current County Sheriff, Stanley Lynch 1945.
The Post voted in favor of renting the north half of the Legion Field for cultivation for $125.00 a year. The gentleman renting this property must also cut the grass on the south half as well. Plans were drawn for the new Post Home at a cost of $600.00 but no construction has started.
Legion annual activities were carried out in style. Memorial Day, Flag Day and the 4th of July were very successful. This year there were circus type tents set up for games and food, a Ferris Wheel and thousands of joy seekers ere were having fun when the sky got dark and a storm suddenly moved in with high winds and a downpour. All of the tents were blown from their moorings, prizes were ruined and it was a terrible mess. Bill Harkness and others went plowing through the blinding rain pulling up capsized tarpaulins looking for women and children and anyone that may have been injured. There was debris everywhere and mothers looking for their children. When all was over, no one had been hurt. Legionaires spent the rest of the day putting things back in order and the carnival continued as planned. Despite the deluge, the Post came out on the blue side of the ledger.
Shortly after the purchase of the Ogden property in 1949 the Post offered to the State of Illinois a plot of frontage, of 500 feet and a depth of 1000 feet, for use as a National Guard Armory. The membership tried to influence the State to have an Armory in Downers Grove. Downers Grove was not on the original list of possible sites and the State had no funds to create one. The State thanked the Post for the offer.
At the May 1955 meeting Dino Convalle was nominated for Commander for 1956 Memorial Day services were held at the Congregational Church on May 30th. The Auxiliary decorated all the veteran's graves as usual. Ceremonies were held at all seven cemeteries in the Village. The cemeteries are Cass, Lace, St. Bernards, Blodgett, West side, Highland Ave and Memorial Park. We also go to the grave site of Pierce Downer, the founder of Downers Grove. Each year the number of graves visited and decorated gets bigger.
Commander Fister appointed Jim Newell to make the presentation of the Oratorical and History Awards at the High School. The Post will send three boys to Boys State this year. Post Service Officer Joe Reavis passed away on June 25, 1955 after a long illness. Don Mitchell Sr. has taken over the job. Despit the heavy rain and terrific wind during the carnival, The Post did make a profit and so did the car raffle.
After the Board Meeting of August 24, 1955 the whole group went to Adams-Winterfield Funeral Home to pay their respects to Service Officer, Don Mitchell Sr. who was killed in an auto collision at Main St. and Route 66. His wife, Josephine was with him and thrown from the car and badly shaken up. She was Auxiliary President in 1937.
All in all 1955 was a very good year with many talks of a new Post home. As in the past since 1949 maybe a new home next year.