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East Norwich FD Day June 16, Drill, Parade, Block Party

Celebrating 100 years of service to the community

The East Norwich Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday, June 16, with a parade, drill and block party. The drill takes place at 10 a.m. at Firemen’s Field. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and will march from Muttontown to the East Norwich Fire House with the trucks going on to park at the Vernon School. There will be a path for pedestrians to walk back and forth to the East Norwich firehouse where an awards ceremony for the drill will take place, followed by a block party which will begin at about 8 p.m. There will be music from the town’s showmobile as Six Gun entertains the audience.
Local Traffic Advisory

Village of Muttontown Police Chief William McHale said his force will be involved in the parade events. He said the staging area for the parade is on the shoulder of Route 106 north of Muttontown Road. There will be 11 fire departments from the 5th Battalion taking part in the parade. Fire departments marching in the parade include: the Bayville Fire Company, Locust Valley Fire Department, Oyster Bay Fire Co. No. 1 and Atlantic Steamer Fire Co., Syosset Fire Department, Glenwood Fire Company, Roslyn Rescue, Glen Cove Fire Department, Roslyn Highlands, East Norwich Fire Company and Sea Cliff Fire Department.

Chief McHale said the parade will step off officially in the area of the Muttontown Village Hall on Raz Tafuro Way on Route 106. The parade will proceed across 25A and march to the East Norwich fire house and on to the Vernon School.

He said, “Motorists should be aware that for the parade to safely go on it will require that Route 25A be closed from about 5 p.m. until the parade is complete sometime prior to 8 p.m.” He said that for local people who have off driveways in that area along Route 106, they will be allowed access, but there will be no through traffic. He suggested people use alternate routes such as Split Rock Road to connect with Jackson Avenue and Jericho Turnpike.

ENFD History

John Hammond, Town of Oyster Bay historian, is currently in the process of writing a book on the East Norwich Fire Department’s history. Mr. Hammond wrote a history of East Norwich called Crossroads in honor of the East Norwich Tricentennial. In it he details much of the history of the fire company.

In his book Oyster Bay Remembered, Mr. Hammond began the story of the company by relating in great detail a fire that occurred in East Norwich on Feb. 5, 1889. It began in the barn of Gideon Franklin, north of the East Norwich Inn (now Chas. Rothmann’s). Burt Valentine sounded the alarm, and May Frost, the daughter of Halstead Holloway Frost, Esq. the owner of the East Norwich Enterprise ran to ring the church bell. She couldn’t find the key at either Wilbur Johnson’s store or from the church sexton, James Vernon. Instead, she got in through a window. At about the same time, Jennie Whitney Griffin rode her horse to Oyster Bay to alert their fire company, but Mrs. John Waldron had phoned the information to them already. The men were at an event at Fleet’s Hall.

In about 10 minutes, 20 men from Oyster Bay arrived in East Norwich and soon there were 100 people fighting the fire. Mr. Hammond wrote, “Women from the village carried about 70 buckets from McKay’s store as a bucket brigade line was formed from the stream that fed into Brown’s Pond [off Mill River Road]. An early decision was made that the old Franklin barn was going to be lost, so the bucket brigade turned its efforts toward saving the print shop of the East Norwich Enterprise and the East Norwich Hotel.”

The fire was spread by sparks to the adjoining Acker barn, the Frost homestead and Waldron’s tin shop, but the fires there were controlled with the help of the Oyster Bay firefighters who had arrived on the scene. Mr. Hamond wrote, “A short while later it began to rain and snow and the residents of the village again began to feel secure that the burning embers would be thoroughly doused; but just in case, 16 men stayed on guard overnight to make sure there was no re-ignition.”

Although East Norwich Enterprise editor John Remsen pleaded with residents to form a fire company, it was more than 20 years later, in 1912, that the East Norwich Volunteer Fire Company was formed.

In the book Crossroads, Mr. Hammond names some of the men involved in creating the fire company, and they are a roster of names whose descendants are still volunteering at the firehouse.

Mr. Hammond wrote that it was in 1911 that businessmen and residents started talking of having their own fire company. On Jan. 20, 1912, James H. Vernon was elected chief of the new company and Richard Downing Jr. was the secretary. Daniel T. Horton offered a wagon to be used as a ladder truck. Arthur Martling offered to do all the iron work on the wagon. Vernon J. Waldron offered to do the woodwork. Walter Hoagland was appointed to do the letter stencils for the equipment. Chief Vernon took on the responsibility of erecting the alarm they had bought from the LIRR, and the process was begun.

The ENFD Today

The East Norwich Fire Company No.1 website, tells their story, saying they have a rich and glorious tradition of service since their incorporation in the year 1912. “We have stayed with the only constant and that is change,” It states.

In 1952 new homes were built in what had been the Horton’s potato farm and the communities of Radcliff Manor and Norwich Green added to the hamlet’s population. That growth in population created the need for a larger fire department. In 1963, the present firehouse was dedicated. This year, 2012, an addition to the building was needed to conform to the Homeland Security regulations.

Over the years they have added new equipment as needed. Among their new apparatus is the new 516 tower ladder. They have also acquired infrared vision devices that enable them to see victims trapped inside a burning building even through thick smoke. It also allows them to see fire that is isolated and not visible. Many fires hide in walls and confined spaces with the infrared camera they can see the fire and extinguish it before it becomes a problem.

The ENFD added, “Edmund Burke once wrote, ‘The easiest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’ We at East Norwich Fire Company No.1 have taken applications from both good men and women who reside in our district and they have generously donated the time and energy required to become East Norwich Firefighters, EMTs, AEMTs or Paramedics. I hope that you will support us as one of the pillars of the Oyster Bay- East Norwich Community.”

FYI: The Drill starts at 10 a.m. in Firemen’s Field in Oyster Bay. The drills test and develop the skills of the firefighters and will include: Individual Ladder, Three-Man Ladder, Running Ladder, Running Hose, Running Hose Replacement, Efficiency Replacement, Efficiency, Two Into One and the last event, Buckets.

News

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com