The members of the Williston Park Village Board and residents dedicated its village gem, the village pool, to former Williston Park Village Mayor Roger Fay with a gala dinner dance held on the pool deck last Saturday evening. Fay was the mayor who put the wheels in motion to build the pool when he was the mayor.
However, the former Kathleen Walsh, who is now Kathleen Hyland, was present at the event and she told the story of how the pool came to fruition and of how she collected petitions to start the pool.
Apparently, as a young girl growing up in the Village of Williston Park, she felt that there was a lack of activities for girls. The boys had the Little League, but there was nothing for girls. Therefore, she went door-to-door and collected petitions from many of the residents in the village to build a pool. She was spurred on by the fact that her mother had been a victim of polio and swimming was an excellent form of therapy, but with no available pool.
She had an opportunity to approach Mayor Fay one evening when he picked her up to attend a dance she was going to with his son Larry at Chaminade High School. She presented him with the many petitions. He thought it was a good idea, proposed it to the village board at the time, they agreed, and the involved process of building a pool began.
With the help of the late New York State Senator John Caemmerer, who cleared the complicated way with the state to purchase the property, ground was broken in April of 1963 and the pool was opened to the residents on July 4th of 1963, a record construction time for such a large pool. It has been thriving ever since with many new updates and additions, along the way.