Post 80 will continue to roll along smoothly and serene, for Commander Fister who has earned a much needed rest, is turning the reins over to a real loyal legionaire of whom we can all be proud. He has worked untiringly for the Post in his climb to the top. He has worked with that same zeal and ardor, that same dig in and give it all you got spirit that won him his commission on the battle fields of France during combat duty in World War Two. I refer to the one and only, Dino Convalle.
The Installation was held at the Masonic Temple. A joint ceremony will begin with Auxiliary Unit 80. The first meeting of 1956 was very long as there was much business to take care of. The future of the Ogden Property was discussed at great length. Commander Convalle lost no time in forming a committee to look into the possible sale of some of the property. Bill Mc Collum and Andy Blaida took these duties.
Auxiliary Unit 80 offered to purchase new drapes for our current hall windows in the hope that the Post would redecorate. Convalle lost no time and called for two successive Sunday afternoons for this project. The first Sunday was to wash the walls and the second Sunday was to paint the walls. The present hall was fixed up in just two weeks. The Auxiliary and the Legion have always worked well together.
November 1955 brought more action, our Boy Scout Troop formed a rescue unit and requested funds to purchase a boat. The boat was approved and Troop Leader, Leon Wilson was praised for work with the Troop. The Armistice Ceremonies were carried out and attended by a large group of members and citizens.
At the December meeting it was voted to raise our dues from $3.50 to $5.00 a year. This was recvommended by Tony Morello and Bill Harkness. Ted Wrenn reported that the Gifts For Yanks Drive raised $385.00. VFW Post 503 joined the Legion for the annual March of Dimes Drive. There is only one student so far for the Oratorical Contest. There was no meeting in January 1956.
At the February Meeting it was reported that the March of Dimes drive raised $549.00. Post Dues were raised to $5.00 as voted back in December. Once again Our Oratorical contestant won County and District but came in second at Division.Plans for the Legion Birthday in March have begun. Bids for various parts of the Ogden Property have been coming in and will be addressed in March.
At the March 28, 1956 meeting the long awaited discussions on the Legion Field on Ogden Ave began. It was the firm belief that a deal will soon take effect. Commander Convalle announced that Guy Kingsley and Eric Sunquist had made the Post a proposition which they hoped the Post would consider. They presented a check for $500.00 for the binder of their six month option for $5000.00 to buy the total frontage of 660 feet to a depth of 1500 feet. Total price of $105,000.00; The option payment to be included in the payment. a general discussion followed and on a motion by Kenitz seconded by Morello was rejected. Other regular activities were discussed and reports given.
On April 4, 1956 Convalle called a special board meeting to be held at Rollin Wight's office. Comrade Wight had a recent conference with Charles A. Schrager, and asked if the Post would be willing to sell a portion of the Ogden property. The Post was interested, so Wight introduced Mr. Rutz, who then outlined a rather interesting proposition. In essence, the property be sold for $210.00 a frontage foot to a depth of 500 feet and a further continuance parcel at $3000.00 per acre. Both of these parcels to total 20 acres. Mr. Schager would pay $40,000.00 at once upon completion and annexation of that portion in question. Mr. Rutz requested a letter from the Post giving him authorization to represent them. Mr. Rutz was formerly a member of Post 80 before moving to another town. He was advised that all the Board could do would be to make these recommendations to the Post membership and they would be voted on at the next meeting. On a motion by Bill McCollum seconded by Newell, the Board recommended to the Post that they accept the Schrager offer as above and with the understanding that the Post pay the fee of 3% of the purchase price on the completion of the final payment. The Post will pay the annexation costs to the Village and secure rezoning. There will be a payment made to the Post of $40,000.00 upon completion of annexation and rezoning. Balance will be a 2.5% mortgage with a two year limit; and exclusive listing to Rutz to be valid for 30 days beginning May 2, 1956. ......Motion carried.
At the May 2nd meeting the Board submitted the proposal for the disposition of the Ogden Ave. property. The Post membership did not concur with the Board on the offer. After a heated debate, a substitute motion was made by Charlie Dunham and second by Roland Whitaker that the Post sell the front 20 acers for $165,000.00. Motion carried. On a motion by Wight, second by Newell the terms of the sale would be that the Board or a special committee from the Board be appointed to negotiate with a buyer on the following terms: That $40,000.00 be placed in escrow and the balance be consummated in 15 months; and that no buildings be erected until the final payment is made. The Post will pay the 3% fee, when the deal has been consummated, to Mr.Rutz. .... This motion also was carried.
Commander Convalle is up to his neck with all these real estate matters, plus all the varied Post activities, but he is holding up very well. The entire Post is backing him and thus far is having a banner year. The nominating committee announced it's choice for candidates for 1956-57. They are: Commander - Anthony Morello, Sr. Vice William Schenke, Jr. Vice James Newell, Finance Officer - Harvey Kenitz, Sgt-At-Arms _ Melvin Lacey and Chaplain Joseph Pechinski.
At the June 6,1956 meeting Bill Schenke expressed his thanks and gratitude to all of those comrades who went to church on Sunday to attend Memorial Services and for the cooperation given by the Post for Memorial Day Services. It really was a spendid turnout and Post 80 is over-elated in the manner in which the members year after year continue to carry on this most revered tradition ever sine it's inception by the G A R. A small note here that Memorial Day was started in 1868 after the Civil War to honor the dead from both sides forever.In 1920 and again in 1937 the American Legion in Downers Grove promised the last members of the G A R that the tradition of Memorial Day would be carried on, and this promise has not been broken.
Boy Scout Troop 80 had a recent S.O.S. call to help locate a missing boy in Downers Grove. Within two hours they had found him and brought him home. Post 80 is very proud of our Troop and it's leaders.
Under the Americanism Program, Tommy Lanagan made the presentation of first and second prize awards at the Downers Grove High School. The County and District Oratorical Contest winner, V. Sidhu was presented with his awards. Preparation for this years 4th of July celebrations are under way headed by Andy Blaida, Harvey Kenitz and Jens Vimtrup. The folks of our Village, as always, have been most generous with their contribution, as well as the business men and women. It is entirely due to them that it is possible for Post 80 to put on it's Independence Day Programs year after year since 1924. Funding for the annual parade and fireworks display is totally done by the door to door collections of Post members. The entire celebration is put on by Post 80 at no cost to the Village.
In the Post there are three outstanding members. They are brothers, and what a trio they are. Whenever the Commander or any committee chairman asks for volunteers, you can bank on it that "The Blaida Brothers" will step forward. They are Andy, Bernie and Paul. Oh to belong to a Post with 500 such members. ... that is a real dream. All three saw plenty of action during World War Two. May they long endure. They assume charge of activities at our July carnival year after year. All regular activities of the Post are going well for 1956. The Post had a Color Guard at the 2nd Division Convention in West Chicago this year.
At the July 18, 1956 meeting it was announced that thee 4th of July activities were successful. Thirty-nine beautiful pictures were taken of the parade. The work of Bill Creel at the carnival hamburger stand was outstanding and he was highly complimented by Chairman Kenitz and all the members present. A letter of thanks was sent to The Downers Grove Reporter for it's timely publicity. Commander Convalle thanked everyone who helped with the program this year.
At the July 25th Board meeting it was announced that the Installation of Officers will be held on September 12th at the Masonic Temple. Dancing and entertainment to follow at the Legion Hall. Tom Arndt would be the MC and Past 2nd Division Commander James Wright would be the Installing Officer. Our current Legion Home on Burlington Ave. is now insured for $16,000.00.
Another offer to purchase part of our Ogden property by a Mr. Kilbane was read as well as the original which was approved at the May 2, 1956 meeting. The differences were compared. A general discussion followed. It was brought out by Dunham, that there would be additional expense, such as surveying. Kenitz read the Dunn & Bradstreet report rating of Mr. Kilbaneas secured by Morello. It was moved by Gieslar, second by Edwards, that the Kilbane offer be accepted and that the agency of Eric Sundquist be paid a realtors 5% commission when the purchase was consummated. Amendment by Dunham and Lanagan that the officers of the corporation be authorized to execute a contract on the terms of the offer, or better. Both motion and amendment were carried. It was moved by Morello and second by Newell that the $1000.00 down payment and all subsequent money from the sale of the property be placed with the Post Building Fund in the form of Government Bonds.
The Post Color Guard was at the Fall Festival at Fishel Park and at the annual Horse Show on the Legion Field. The post loaned our P A system and four loud speakers to both shows.
A special board meeting was called for August 29, 1956 to discuss the terms of the sale of part of the Ogden property. Commander Convalle read the contract as drawn up by the attorney for the buyer. It was gone line by line. Several questions arose as to when certain steps in the process of transferring the title should occur. Namely> dedication of street, what time annexation should occur. When should the title be given and when should the realtor's fee be paid. It was moved by Andy Blaida second by Bernie Blaida that the Board recommend to the Post the acceptance of the contract, provided that the following changes be made: (1) Possession will not be given unntil the total purchase price of $165,000.00 is paid. (2) a partial realtor's fee of 5% of $40,000.00 will be made when the buyer makes that payment, the balance to be paid when the final payment is made. (3) There is to be no annexation of property until a total of $40,000.00 has been paid. (4) All notices sent to Post 80 will be addressed to William Hooper instead of the Post Adjutant. Carried.