This is an excerpt from our 75th
Anniversary history published in 2004.
In a magnificent display of Catholic
Action, 236 men follow C.A. Captain Bernie Bygott, '34 to Malvern on the
weekend of February 17, 1950.
Johnny Austin and
his band play for the Spring Dance at Melrose Country Club on May 19th.
Our $3.00 ticket price is the lowest in years for a Spring Dance.
With the graduation of the Class of 1950, our ranks
are swelled to more than 10,000.
We are at war again!...And the impact is felt almost
immediately. On September 1st, Sergeant First Class John F. McGovern,
'45, a member of the 5th Regimental Combat Team, is shot in the chest
while manning a machine gun. Sgt. McGovern is the first of twenty-four
alumni to give their lives in this conflict.
September 21, 1950...The Board is
concerned about finances. After a lengthy discussion, Frank Gormley,
'38, and Jim Sholly, '32, move that dues be increased from $1.00 to
Former alumni president, Father Jimmy
McGuire, '34, is the celebrant of the Mass at the November 26th
Honorary membership is conferred on
Tommy Loughran, former light-heavyweight boxer, who in his address to
the assemblage, delivers a stirring message on the responsibilities of a
Catholic layman. Sports personalities Jimmy Dykes and Benny Bengough, as
A's and Phillies' coaches, respectively, are also named honorary
"Chick" Quinn, '36, is reelected to a
second term and at the Board meeting following the Breakfast the balance
of the Executive Board is named. Two members of the Class of '34, Bernie
Bygott and Joe Colman, are elected vice-presidents. Paul Quinn, '36, is
renamed Secretary with Frank Kilian, '49, as his assistant. Vince Bee,
'35, declines nomination for reelection as Treasurer and Joe McKeown,
'33, succeeds him in that post. Tom Blessington, '48, is elected
For the first time, the Association
will compensate one of its officers. Due to the increased workload on
the Treasurer, Kilian, '35, and Colman, '34, move that the Treasurer be
reimbursed $100 annually for expenses incurred in carrying out his
No sooner does McKeown assume his
duties than he is recalled to active duty with the Navy. He resigns his
post as Treasurer and the duties are taken over by Tom Blessington.
Members of the Association recite the rosary as a group at Radio Station
WJMJ on Thursday, February 22, 1951.
Hallahan Alumnae and our Association
join forces to sponsor a moonlight cruise on the Delaware. Chairman Joe
Kilian, '35, who doubles as Falconer editor, advises the Board that
there were 229 in attendance from the North Catholic group. A small
profit is realized.
In recognition of his past services,
the title of Alumni Coordinator is conferred on Father Eisenbarth at the
June 28th meeting of the Board.
To commemorate the twenty-fifth
anniversary of Northeast Catholic and in appreciation of the services
rendered by the Oblates, the Board approves, on September 13th, the
expenditure of $5,000. The money is to be given to the Oblates to help
underwrite construction costs for their new Scholasticate in
The Silver Anniversary of the school
is commemorated at the November 25th Communion Breakfast. Celebrant of
the Mass is Father Bill Seelaus, OSFS, '42, and the sermon is delivered
by our Moderator, Father Brennan.
"Chick" Quinn, '36, wins a third term.
Election of the remaining executive officers takes place at the December
4th Board meeting. Vince Bee, '35, and Joe Colman, '34, are named
vice-presidents. William Ries, '47, is elected Treasurer and Tom Foy,
'43, is elected Assistant Treasurer. Named to his third consecutive term
as Secretary is Paul Quinn, '36; with Steve Tracy, '40, to assist him.
On January 10, 1952, President Quinn
represents the Association at a formal reception honoring our new
archbishop, John F. O'Hara, CSC.
Participants at the Invitation Dance
at the United Hungarian Hall are treated to a surprise visit by our own
"Mickey" Shaughnessy, Hon. '49. This Philly and Wildwood comedian gives
one of his wittiest performances for his fellow alumni before leaving
for a nite club engagement. Music at the January 25th affair is provided
by the Clete McBride Orchestra.
Malvern attendance is dwindling, we
are down to two hundred and twenty-nine. Bygott urges all-out assistance
from the Board of Governors in the future.
A Paddy's Day Dance is held at the
Rifle Club on March 17th (what else???). Music is supplied by McNamara's
Band...no, no—we mean, McBride's Band (Clete, '42).
The first mention of incorporating the
Association is propounded by President Quinn in March of '52.
For the second time, in little more
than a year, we lose a treasurer. Bill Ries resigns due to ill health
and once again Blessington takes up the task. Joe McKeown returns from
the service in April and is asked by President Quinn to assume the
treasurer's chores. He accepts.
Again, the Hallahan and North
Associations' team up to sponsor a moonlight cruise on the Delaware
Belle. Once more, our participation is very little.
September '52 is an auspicious month
for the Association. It undertakes to sponsor a Catholic Forum. The
theme of the Forum is to be "Beware of False Prophets." Over the next
four months, audiences are treated to such speakers as Professor James
M. O'Neil, the Rev. Max Jordan and Valentine DeBalla. The concluding
session is a debate between John Bracken and Godfrey Schmidt. The
moderator of the debate is Bob Benson, of KYW Radio.
The Board agrees to spend almost
$5,000 to purchase new band uniforms for the school . . . Father Tocik,
who became principal in 1949 and is to hold this post longer than anyone
in the school's history, is most appreciative.
The Board of Governors proposes an
Amendment to the Constitution & By-Laws which will increase the term of
office of Class Representative from one to two years. There will be a
maximum of two from each Class, elected in alternate years. The motion
is passed by the Board and the Amendment adopted by the general
membership at their meeting prior to the Communion Breakfast on November
"Chick" Quinn is returned to office
for the fourth consecutive time. Only twice previously (Robinson, '29
and Kelly, '34) have we had a president prevail this long.
At the December Board meeting, Vince
Bee, '35, is reelected First Vice-President and Joe Kilian, '35, is
named Second Vice-President. Returned to office as secretary and
assistant secretary are Quinn and Tracy, respectively. And the Treasurer
post goes to McKeown, unopposed, with Blessington as the assistant.
The Malvern Retreat achieves a new
high in attendance when 254 men spend the weekend of February 19, 1953,
at St. Joseph's-in-the-H ills.
Clete McBride and his band provide the
music for the Annual St. Patrick's Invitation Dance. The German
Hungarian Hall, at 2nd and Norris, is again the site. As usual, this
gala affair is well attended ... you can't beat the price - ZERO!
After much debate throughout the
years, the Board unanimously adopts a motion, on March 12, 1953, to
incorporate the Association.
The first Memorial Day Service takes
place at 10 a.m. on May 30th. A wreath is placed at the base of the
Shrine by President Quinn and Father Eisenbarth delivers a short sermon.
Outside of the members of the Board, there are very few in attendance.
Inclement weather plays a large part in holding down the crowd.
The Spring Dance at Melrose Country
Club is well-attended and is considered by one and all to be a social,
as well as financial, success.
On June 5th, the Silver Anniversary
Class of 1953 joins the ranks of the alumni association - nine hundred
thirty-four members, the largest class to date. They are welcomed into
the association with a dance held at Brookline-on-the-Boulevard.
Since January, a committee has been
hard at work reviewing the existing Constitution and By-Laws and
drafting a new one for presentation to the general body. At last, the
final draft is completed. Our new constitution is ready!
Accordingly, President Quinn calls for
the first General Meeting of the Association in more than ten years. It
is scheduled for September 28, 1953.
More than four hundred members attend.
Copies of the revised Constitution and By-Laws are presented to each
member as they enter the auditorium. Almost from the opening gavel,
there is discussion and debate over the various changes. And debate
quickly gives way to argument. The evening wears on. By 10:45 p.m. we
have adopted only the first two articles. Finally, cooler heads prevail,
common sense and logic take over. Jack Thiers, '34, and Gene Shields,
'41, move that the remaining articles be adopted in toto.
The motion carries and the new
Constitution and By-Laws are adopted! The major changes now allow the
Board of Governors to elect the President, who will be limited to three
consecutive terms, and the establishment of a Board of Trustees which
will consist of all past-presidents. The fiscal year is established as
July 1st to June 30th.
Archbishop John F. O'Hara, CSC,
presides at the Silver Jubilee Mass and Communion Breakfast on November
29th. His Excellency, a former president of Notre Dame University,
delivers the sermon. At ceremonies, held after Mass, Archbishop O'Hara
is awarded honorary membership in the Association.
More than nine hundred attend...our
largest turnout to date. Under the new Constitution and By-Laws, this
also marks the first time the election of the President is not held at
the Breakfast. He and all other officers will be elected by the Board of
Governors at their June, 1954 meeting. Until then, "Chick" Quinn and his
incumbent Executive Board will continue in office.
Charles Shaw, WCAU news commentator is
the principal speaker and "Cozy" Morley is the Toastmaster.
Alumni Kids Feted
Our first annual Kiddies' Christmas
Party is held at the school on Sunday, December 20th. Santa Claus
(a.k.a. Jim Fitzgerald, '42) distributes gifts to the more than 550
children who attend with their parents. In addition to toys, each child
is treated to ice cream, pretzels, chips and candy canes. All, parents
included, are delighted by the movie and cartoons that are presented by
Bernie Bygott, '34, and his hard-working committee.
Frank Staub and his orchestra provide
the musical setting for the Winter Dance held at the Cedarbrook Country
Club on January 30th. Frank's grasp of what pleased his listeners at
previous dances almost automatically insures the success of this
venture. And success, it was! A huge crowd overflows the main ballroom.
Thanks to the foresight of the Committee, headed by Frank Gormley and
Jim Gibson, both '38, several ante-rooms are available. There, the
audience is treated to the music of roving accordionist, Ray Hottinger.
Attendance at our annual retreat rises
slightly over last year . . . there is still plenty of room for growth,
Malvern will now accommodate three hundred.
More than four hundred attend the
Spring Dance at Cedarbrook Country Club on May 22nd. The dancers and
listeners are treated to the music of Dee Porter and his orchestra.
June 8, 1954 .. . The Board elects
Joseph T. Murphy, '29, Esq. as President. From among a field of ten, he
receives 65% of the votes. Joe was our first attorney graduate and
currently acts as legal counsel to the Association.
In another wide open race, Joe Kilian,
'35, and "Chick" Quinn, '36, squeak to narrow victories as first and
second vice-president, respectively. Steve Tracy, '40, wins by a large
margin to unseat Paul Quinn, '36, as Secretary. Quinn is named Assistant
Secretary. Joe McKeown, '33, is reelected Treasurer and Blessington
continues as his assistant.
At the same meeting, the Board takes
its first step into the world of high finance. Till now, all of our cash
has been kept in a checking account . .. what little we have had. The
Board realizing, for the first time, that it could be more advantageous
to put this money to work, authorizes the investment of $500 in a mutual
fund - Keystone Funds. Jack Thiers, '34, will act as our investment
We are 25 Years Old
In our midst appears the Class of 1954
- all one thousand and six of them - the first class to go over the
magic mark of 1000.
Six hundred people attend the Fall
Invitation Dance at the Philadelphia Rifle Club on November 12th. Music
for our dancing pleasure is provided by the Fred Vincen Band.
We are in our heyday...for the first
time in history we exceed one thousand in attendance at the Communion
Breakfast. The auditorium is packed for Mass and the overflow crowd in
the gym is seated in the cafeteria. John Hvasta apprises us of the
horrors of living behind the Iron Curtain. Honorary membership is
bestowed on Ira Thomas.
A resolution to incorporate the
Association is adopted by the general body.
A committee, headed by Treasurer Joe
McKeown, '33, in an attempt to increase membership in the Association,
makes a revolutionary proposal. A portion of each member's dues will be
credited to his Class. The Class, in turn, will be permitted to draw on
this credit for use in promoting Class Reunions. The Board
concurs...thus, the Class Activities Fund is created.
Another success...more than one
thousand parents and kids attend our second annual Kiddies' Christmas
Party on December 19th. Once more, the kids are treated to toys, candy
and ice cream and a grand time is had by all.
Winter, 1955...Leo Zollo and his
orchestra provide the music, Cedarbrook Country Club is the
setting...again we fill the place to overflowing. A combo plays during
intermissions and tours the ante-rooms delighting the sitters and
C.A. Captain Bernie Bygott, '34,
disappointed by the attendance (268) at our retreat to St.
Joseph's-in-the-Hills, submits his resignation as Captain to the Board.
It is unanimously rejected.
The Board authorizes a fund raising
drive on behalf of the Oblate Scholasticate. The goal is $1,000...if it
falls short, we will make up the difference from the Treasury.
Under a new procedure, the Board holds
nominations for the Executive Offices in May. The election will be held
at the June meeting of the Board. At the same meeting, Vince Bee
proposes hiring a full time clerk. Father Eisenbarth concurs. He feels
the work load has progressed to the point where it can no longer be
adequately handled by the students working part time after school; and
they cannot be properly supervised.
Despite plans calling for a major
Memorial Day Service involving a Field Mass and parade replete with
marching bands, the wreath laying ceremony prevails. Father Eisenbarth
delivers the sermon. Attendance is, as usual, small. It is evident that
something must be done to increase attendance and give this event the
dignity and solemnity it well deserves.
Joe Murphy, '29, is reelected to his
second term by a wide margin over challenger Joe McKeown. "Chick" Quinn,
'36, is elected 1st Vice-President and Bob Fuessinger, '48, narrowly
defeats Joe Campbell, '46, for the second vice-presidency. McKeown and
his assistant Tom Blessington, '48, retain their posts in the financial
wing. Frank Gormley, '38, is elected Secretary in a close win over Paul
Quinn, who is then reelected Assistant Secretary.
Common Pleas Court Judge Charles A.
Waters grants articles of incorporation to the Association in ceremonies
in his courtroom on August 15, 1955. The final step in our gradual
emergence as a full-fledged organization has been taken.
With the September meeting, the Board
moves to new quarters in the basement of the Faculty House. We have a
separate office and meeting room.
Our First Harvest Dance is held at
Cedarbrook Country Club on November 11th. Dancing to the music of Ray
Smyth and his orchestra. The club has been redecorated and there are
ample parking facilities available. We look for a large turnout.
OH! OH!...We've also planned an
Invitation (free to dues' payers) Dance for November 25th at
Canstatter's with music by the Imperials. Given a choice between paying
$3.50 and coming free, we wonder what will be the choice.
Our biggest fears are realized...you
can't sell two dances two weeks apart. And when one is free, that's the
one that will be well attended. The Invitation Dance draws more than
five hundred to Canstatter's while the Harvest Dance...well, that can
best be termed a social success.
The practice established at last
year's Breakfast of honoring the Class celebrating its Silver
Anniversary is continued. The Class of '30 is accorded its rightful
place at the head of the auditorium, as Father Tom O'Connell, '30, the
Principal of the recently opened Father Judge High School, is the
celebrant. We are honored to have as our guest at the Breakfast the
Superior General of the Oblates, the Most Rev. Domenico Balducelli.
Father Balducelli is awarded Honorary membership in the Association.
This honor is also conferred on Father Eisenbarth in recognition of his
long standing work on behalf of the organization.
Attendance falls dramatically from
last year's high, possibly due to the overcrowding experienced by
certain classes on that occasion.
Among some of our more active Board
members of this era are Bill Moos, '47, Ron Deery, '45, and Charlie
Dorland, '46. It's interesting to note that eight men who first joined
the Board in these post-war years are still members. Of course, the
longevity record belongs to Dick McGrath, '39, who, when he resigned
from the Board in 1998, had served for fifty-two years and three months
- some of us haven't even been alive that long!
Edward A. McCabe, '34, is named
Associate Counsel for legislative matters to President Dwight
Our annual trek to Malvern, on the
third weekend in February, sees a record turnout. Two hundred ninety-six
men...quite a tribute to the pulling power of the Lord and the
persuasiveness of Bernie Bygott, Jim Fitzgerald, et al.
Four hundred and twenty people attend
the St. Paddy's Invitation Dance at Canstatter's. You can't rightfully
call it a Paddy's dance since it is held on April 6th...oh, well! The
music, by the Imperials, has an Irish ring to it, at least. President
Murphy complains that the tempo is too fast for some of the early alumni
members at the affair. You can't please everybody!
Joe Darby, '41, suggests, at the April
12th Board meeting, we hire a part-time executive secretary. Murphy
takes the matter under consideration.
The ubiquitous trio of Gormley, '38,
Gibson, '38, and Al McCole, '50 have signed Dee Porter and his orchestra
to play at the Annual Spring Dance on June 1st. While they occupy the
main ballroom at the Cedarbrook Country Club, Al Ipri and his combo will
satisfy the "cool cats" with jazz and dixieland in the dining room. A
packed-house assures the Dance will be continued in the future.
On June 11, at St. Anthony's Church,
Wilmington, Father Edward J. Schlotterback, OSFS, '30, is raised to the
episcopate by Archbishop Celestine J. Daminano. The sermon is preached
by Archbishop O'Hara. The new bishop is the Vicar Apostolic of
Keetmanshoop, Southwest Africa. Bishop Schlotterback, who was president
of his senior class, also served as editor-in-chief of the "Good News"
and was a three-year letterman in track, during his undergraduate days.
Joe Murphy is unanimously returned to
office for a third term. Bob Fuessinger, '48, moves up to first
vice-president from second by narrowly defeating Jim Fitzgerald, '42.
The vacated second vice-presidency goes to Falconer editor Joe Darby,
'41, who wins a close victory over Jack O'Hara, '52, and two other
candidates. McKeown is unopposed in his bid for reelection as treasurer
as is Frank McBride, '43, in his bid for office, as assistant secretary.
Joe Campbell, '46 defeats incumbent Assistant Treasurer Tom Blessington,
'48. Paul Quinn, '36, after a two year hiatus, is returned to the office
At the same meeting, immediately prior
to the election, the Board of Governors establishes the position of
executive secretary. This individual will be responsible for the
day-to-day operation of the Alumni Office on a part-time basis, six days
a week and will be reimbursed $1,500 per year to cover anticipated
expenses. Joe McKeown, '33, is named to the post with one dissenting
More than seven hundred attend the
Communion Breakfast on November 25th. Major addresses are delivered by
Monsignor Tom Rilley, and Dr. Joe Flubacher, both from the honor Class
of '31. The Mass preceding, is celebrated by Father Thomas Furphy, OSFS,
'31. Toastmaster chores are handled by our own Jack Whitaker, '41.
Father John Tocik, school principal, is awarded honorary membership in
The Board of Governor election,
preceding Mass, is interesting, if for no other reason, that it marks
the appearance, for the first time, on the Board of Governors of three
future presidents—Charles Malone, '30, Leonard Knobbs, '43, and Rocco
Jim Sholly, '32, alias Santa,
entertains more than nine hundred children, their moms and dads at our
Annual Christmas Party on Sunday, December 18th. Bygott and his
committee are on hand to assist Sholly in distributing the ice cream,
pretzels and candy. Each child is given a toy and treated to a cartoon
Frank Reagan, '37, is named football
coach and athletic director at Villanova University.
One hundred and ninety-three couples
journey to West Philly on Friday evening, January 25, 1957, to attend
our Annual Winter Dance. The rhythm arrangements of George Sommer's
orchestra pervade the beautiful ballroom of the Penn Sherwood Hotel. The
ballroom, in addition to providing more than ample space for dancing,
allows a large number of our older men to sit back, watch the dancers
and reminisce and at the same time enjoy the relaxing music.
Finger-snapping V.P. Bob Fuessinger deserves a round of applause for a
well run affair.
The most successful retreat in our
nineteen-year history at St. Joseph's-in-the-Hills takes place on the
weekend of February 15th with 326 retreatants in attendance. Bernie
Bygott and his capable right-hand men, Jim Fitzgerald and John Brady,
'38, are ecstatic.
The swing and sway of that great Irish
band leader, Leo (Mc) Zollo and his orchestra, is the feature attraction
of the Annual St. Patrick's Dance held at Boulevard Ballroom. People
driving past on the Boulevard on Sunday evening, the 17th of March, are
treated to the sounds of the jigs and reels emanating from the ballroom.
Many a North Catholic lad and his colleen are in attendance. And who
else, but a fine broth of a lad, like Irish Jack Healy, '41, would be in
charge of such an affair.
Another Alumni First...the May, 1957,
Board meeting is a dinner-meeting held at the Four Chefs. Board members
pay their own way and this practice of breaking bread together annually
continues even 'til today.
Jim Fitzgerald, '42, is elected
president by a wide margin over three other candidates. Two newcomers,
Jim Sholly, '32, and Jim Cox '36, are named vice-presidents. As usual,
Quinn and McKeown are returned to office as are Frank McBride and Joe
Campbell as their assistants.
The Fall Invitation Dance is a
disaster! Even taking the bad weather and the flu epidemic into
consideration, the Committee is disappointed by the meager attendance.
Chairman Cox recommends, unless attendance is vastly improved over the
thirty-five couples present on October 24th at the Rifle Club, these
dances should be discontinued. Joe McKeown suggests the establishment of
alumni achievement awards. The proposal is taken under advisement and a
committee is appointed to consider the recommendation.
In an attempt to hype attendance at
the Communion Breakfast and make it easier for our far-flung suburban
brothers to be present, the Board changes our annual affair to a
Communion Dinner. Mass is celebrated in the school auditorium at 5:00
p.m. on December 1st, and then we adjourn to the Four Chefs for dinner.
Twixt the pillar and the
post...something goes wrong. Only two hundred ninety attend...our lowest
figure in almost twenty years. Those who do attend are treated to an
inspiring address by Father Frederick J. Stevenson, a member of the
Class of 1932 and, assistant superintendent of diocesan schools. Once
again, toastmaster chores are handled by Jack Whitaker. Phillies'
pitcher and N.L. "rookie of the year" Jack Sanford is also on hand.
For the first time, we allow mail
ballots for the Board of Governors' election. Another fiasco! Very
little response leads the Board to abandon this method in future
The Mass, prior to the dinner, is
celebrated by our moderator, Father Brennan. The sermon is delivered by
another representative of the Class of '32, Father Aloysius Gaffigan,
OSFS, the religious superior at Father Judge.
At 1:30 p.m., on December 15th, Santa
Claus, in the person of Jim Sholly,'32, arrives at North Catholic laden
with toys. Over nine hundred children mob him. Our committee provides
the usual fare of ice cream, candy canes and pretzels. Santa gives out
the toys and the kids leave happy and contented...until next year.
A crowning achievement for the
Association takes place on the evening of January 17, 1958. Over one
thousand couples crowd the main ballroom of the Broadwood Hotel, as well
as almost filling the large balcony surrounding it. They are there to
listen and dance to the popular and unforgettable music of the Glen
Miller band, under the direction of Ray McKinley.
The Eddie Masters' trio plays in the
Gold Room for the benefit of those who buy tickets late and cannot be
accommodated in the main ballroom. We apologize to those who have to be
turned away at the door (some of whom are in formal dress) but the Fire
Marshal places a 2,200 person capacity restriction on the affair. This
is the best reason we know of to make your reservations early next time.
Due to a large snow storm, attendance
at our annual retreat on the weekend of February 15th drops to two
hundred and thirty-nine. In fact, it snows so hard, many are of the
opinion we will be marooned in the wilds of Chester County. The rector,
Father Kane, advises us that there is food enough on hand to last a few
days. Eventually, the snow plows get through to us and after some
struggling everyone is able to get his car moving. All arrive home safe
George Gerlach, '42, and his band
provide the music for the March 19th St. Paddy's Day Invitation Dance at
the Rifle Club. A hundred couples brave the snow to spend an enjoyable
evening dancing and comparing the various articles of green that are in
Attendance at our Annual Memorial Day
Service drops to an all-time low of twenty-three people. Much concern
among the Board as to the continuance of this affair.
Fitzgerald, '42, is reelected
unanimously to his second term as alumni president. Ed Mooney, '32,
defeats three other candidates by a wide margin to succeed classmate
Sholly as 1st V.P. In the race for second vice-president Len Kent, '39,
emerges victorious in a close race over incumbent Cox and two other
candidates. Secretary Paul Quinn and Assistant Treasurer Joe Campbell
are unopposed for reelection. McKeown retains his treasurer's post with
a landslide victory over Tom Blessington, '48. The race for assistant
secretary is wide open. Pat Boyle, '49, squeeks to a narrow three-vote
victory over four other candidates.
Earlier in the year, President
Fitzgerald appointed a committee headed by Jack Healy, '41, to review
the Association's entire program of events, step-by-step, and to make
recommendations concerning them. The committee delivers an extensive
report, so extensive that it requires two Board meetings to debate and
vote on their recommendations. Three items that are still in existence
today are: a charge of fifty cents for lost membership cards, the
Malvern Retreat not subsidized by the Association unless attendance at
the retreat is 100% active members; and standardization of awards made
to championship school teams.
The Fall Invitation Dance is held on
Halloween night at the Rifle Club. Clete McBride's band provides the
music and quite a few of the one hundred and two couples show up in
Our Second Annual Communion Dinner is
scheduled for November 23rd at the Four Chefs.
Father Joseph F. Lynn, OSFS, a member
of the honor Class of 1933, celebrates the Mass in the school auditorium
and our moderator, Father Fernan Brennan, '32, delivers an inspiring
After a delicious dinner, we are
treated to quite a few Irish jokes by Toastmaster Joe Glennon, '34.
However, the highlight of the evening is an instructive and humorous
account of his experiences as permanent labor arbitrator on the Delaware
Valley waterfront by the Rev. Dennis J. Comey, S.J.
Unfortunately, attendance is well
below three hundred. We say unfortunately because the Board has chosen
the Dinner to be the vehicle with which we honor all our past
presidents. All these gentlemen, from Father Conmy to Joe Murphy, are
presented gavels, symbolic of the office they held, adorned with silver
bands upon which are engraved the dates they had held office.
Another highlight of this affair is
the awarding of honorary membership to the provincial of the Oblates,
Father William Buckley. We take this occasion to award additional
honorary memberships to all former principals of North Catholic who had
not previously been given this honor - Fathers Joseph Butler and Edward
Smith. Former Coaches "Jocko" Collins, "Si" Simendinger, Mal Gowen, Bill
Dougherty are similarly honored.
Due to inclement weather, attendance
at St. Nick's annual visit to the North Catholic auditorium on Sunday,
December 14th, is held to eight hundred. Despite the frightful weather
outside, the fun inside is delightful. As usual, the kids stuff
themselves on ice cream, pretzels and candy canes; while the parents
fret about soiled clothes and future tummy aches. Sholly, as Santa, is
the hit of the affair.
— 1959 —
It is pointed out to the Board, at the
January 8th meeting, that the President and Moderator have been
incurring extraordinary expenses due to the fact that they have been
attending an inordinately large number of Class reunions recently.
Accordingly, Knobbs, '53, and Iacone, '55, move to establish $100.00
annual expense accounts for whoever holds these offices - a practice
that is still in effect, although the amount has increased.
Buoyed by the outstanding success of
last year's Winter Dance, the Board grabs the bull by the horns and
authorizes another large scale dance. January 30th is selected as the
date and Woody Herman and his band are booked into the Broadwood Hotel.
All stops are pulled out to publicize the affair, transit ads are
purchased and half-page ads bought in the Catholic Standard and the two
Despite the all-out effort by the
committee, headed by Frank Devinney, '42, the affair is a financial, as
well as a social flop - less than four hundred couples attend - a far
cry from last year's attendance of two thousand people.
The week-end of February 20th brings
chilly temperatures and unwanted winds - at least there is no snow. We
go over the top at Malvern again. Three hundred and eight retreatants
follow Bygott and his associate captains to St. Joseph's-in-the-Hills.
After an absence of more than a
decade, the Alumni Basketball League is resurrected under the
chairmanship of Rocco lacone, '55.
Only forty-three couples attend our
Annual St. Patrick's Day Invitation Dance. Various members of the Board
express the thought "we are dancing ourselves to death." Four a year
seems too many - we should rearrange our program with less emphasis on
At their May meeting, the Board comes
to a decision on the "Achievement Awards." There will be two - one to an
outstanding graduate and a second to an outstanding Catholic layman, who
is not a graduate. It is suggested that these awards become the vehicle
for obtaining Communion Breakfast speakers.
George Sommer's orchestra provides the
musical entertainment at the Spring Dance on May 29th. We move from a
country club to the Four Chefs to provide a conveniently reached
location...to no avail - only one hundred thirty-two couples show up.
Another financial flop...and the Board spends hours at the June meeting
bemoaning the fact...that nobody cares.
Jim Fitzgerald, '42, sweeps to a third
term victory by an almost two-to-one margin over Ed Mooney, '32. In
turn, Mooney retains his first vice-presidency in a tight race with Joe
Edwards, '40, and two other candidates. With seven candidates seeking
the second vice-presidential post, incumbent Jim Cox, '36, squeeks to
victory. Treasurer Joe McKeown, '33, is unopposed in his bid for
reelection. Paul Quinn, '36, retains his job as Secretary by a wide
margin victory over Len Knobbs, '53, and Jim Bengough. '52. Joe
Campbell, '46, and Pat Boyle, '49, are returned to office as Assistant
Treasurer and Assistant Secretary.
Our First Golf Outing is held at
Torresdale-Frankford Country Club on Friday, June 26th. Forty duffers
tee off. Eleven are so exhausted after their 18-hole tour of the
Torresdale countryside that they couldn't stay for the Awards Dinner
that evening. President Fitzgerald and Chairman Bill Rueter, '35,
present suitable trophies to the champions in various categories.
The Halloween Dance on October 30th at
the Rifle Club is promoted as a costume party-dance. Chairman Rocco
Iacone, '55, appoints a committee consisting of our most eminent
senior citizens as costume judges - Father Brennan, '32, Mooney, '32, Cox,
'36, Darby, '41, and Fitz-gerald, '42. Their job is made easier when
only forty-two couples arrive.
Faced with lagging attendance at the
Communion Dinners, we return to the Breakfast theme. Four hundred and
twenty-one attend our Annual Communion Breakfast on November 29th,
honoring the Class of 1934. Mass is celebrated by Father Dan McLernan,
'34, long time soccer coach at North, and former alumni president,
Father Jimmy McGuire, '34, delivers the sermon. The versatile Father Jim
also handles the toastmaster chores at the Breakfast. The principal
address is delivered by another member of the Class of 1934, Ed McCabe,
President Eisenhower's associate counsel.
At our Annual Christmas Party, we host
five hundred and ten. "Kris Kringle" Sholly delights the small-fry with
his usual Irish blarney and gifts. Chairman Bygott and his committee
provide the usual refreshments in the cafeteria.
At the meeting following, the increasing cost of
running the Party is the main topic of discussion by the Board. John
King, '35, ventures the opinion that the money would be better spent in
establishing a Scholarship Fund for some deserving student. The seed is
planted! And it finds fertile soil in the minds of a few who nurture it
in their hearts and minds until it is ready to bloom.
In our eighty-two years, almost one thousand men have served
on our Board of Governors. Some have served as little as one month
while others have performed dedicated service for many years. We
would like to recognize the thirty Class Representatives who served
for twenty five years or longer.
Francis J. Devinney, '42
- November, 1950 to November, 1951; January, 1954 to September, 2011.
Patrick J. Boyle, '49 - November, 1954 - Present
Leonard F. Knobbs, '53 - November, 1956 - Present
Richard C. McGrath, '39 - July, 1943 to November, 1951;
November, 1952 to November, 1957;
November, 1958 to November, 1977; March, 1978 to February, 1998.
Deceased March 24, 2003.
Paul D. Quinn, '36 - November, 1948 to September, 2000.
Deceased October 20, 2002.
John S. Boyle, '39 - November, 1961 - September, 2008.
Deceased January 30, 2012.
John F. Handley, '58 - March, 1967 - Present John T.
Musial, '63 - January, 1966 to September, 1990; September, 1992 to
Present Raymond E. Rysak, '66 - March, 1969 - Present William J. McCormac, '61 - March, 1969 to March,
2011, September, 2011 - Present Joseph E. McKeown, '33 - November, 1950 to January,
1951; November, 1953 to September, 1996. Deceased September 29,
Lawrence A. Dolan, '37 - November, 1948 to September,
1957; November, 1957 to May, 1958; March, 1973 to October, 2005.
Deceased October 30, 2005.
Robert J. Fuessinger, '48 - November, 1952 to
September, 1993. Deceased August 15, 2006. Stephen A. Cardullo,
'72 - September, 1972 - Present Francis J. Gleason, '53 - November, 1960 to September,
2000. Deceased September 10, 2000. Joseph J. Mackin, '40 - November, 1947 to October,
1959; November, 1962 to March, 1972; March, 1977 to June, 1995.
Deceased June 23, 1995.
J. William Arnoldy, '38 - January, 1964 to August,
1998. Deceased August 15, 1998.
John R. Hanejko, '65 - November, 1978 - Present
Bernard J. McGuire, '50 - November, 1952 to November,
1958; January, 1959 to September, 1972; October, 1972 to November, 1975;
March, 1976 to June, 1985; September, 1985 to February, 1986.
Deceased August 5, 1987.
Joseph P. Brennan, Jr., '69 - March,
1977 to October, 2006; September, 2008 - May, 2011.
Edward J. Ganister, '32 - March, 1967 to January, 1999.
Deceased January 3, 1999. Anthony J. Colletta, '72 - March, 1973 to February,
1985; April, 1989 to November, 2008. Deceased November 19, 2011.
Michael A. Donofrio, '47 - November, 1955 to October,
1965; January, 1966 to February, 1967; March, 1967 to September, 1967;
September, 1989 to July, 2009. Deceased July 5, 2009.
Thomas M. Cleary, '47 - January, 1965 to February,
1996. Deceased January 18, 2001.
Edmund A. Markowski, Jr., '56 - September, 1977 to
September, 1992; September, 1994 to September, 2009.
Robert E. Kennedy, '54 - September, 1984 to February, 1994; May,
1994 - Present
Louis J. Peters, '31 - December, 1964 to September,
1992. Deceased December 31, 1993. William M. FitzPatrick, '59 - September, 1986 - Present William H. O'Connell, Jr., '34 - January, 1965 to
November, 1990. Deceased November 26, 1990.
Joseph T. Mulawka, '51 - September, 1987 - Present