Accident and Fatality Mar Connecticut Convention
Fire Chief James Grote, of Chester, was elected President of the Connecticut State Firemen’s Association at its annual convention which closed a three days’ session at Stamford, Conn., on August 18.
Other officers named were Edward Turbert, New Haven, Vice-president; Charles H. Brundage, New Haven, Treasurer; John Moehring, Stamford, Secretary, and the Rev. Michael J. Thompson, Niantic, Chaplain. County Vice-presidents named wore Hartford, Patrick Hayes of West Hartford; Fairfield, Harold Gillespie of Stamford; New London, Paul E. Maurice, of Baltic; Tolland. Howard Reynolds of Eagleville; Windham, Joseph Langelier of North Grosvenordale; New Haven, William Casey of Derby: Middlesex, Frankly n Dunn of Middletown and Litchfield, William J. Canty of Burrville.
The death of a parade marcher and two other untoward incidents marred the wind-up of the convention. Walter W. Scott, 65, of Silver Sands Road, East Haven, a member of the Lancroft Drum Corps, collapsed while his unit of the parade on Saturday was passing through Atlantic Square in the center of Stamford. Taken to Stamford Hospital, Scott was pronounced dead.
Also taken to the hospital for treatment was Bernard Fitzsimons, a member of the Bristol Fire Department, retiring President of the Association.
Photo Courtesy of Omaha World Herald
Fireman Fitzsimons broke his arm when he slipped and fell on a short ladder while descending from the reviewing stand at the end of the three and a half hour parade.
Stamford Central Fire Company had to answer an alarm during the height of the parade, but a hook and ladder truck and two other pieces of apparatus managed to parallel the parade for a block along Elm Street without difficulty. The fire was in a restaurant on Canal Street.
During the business part of the convention the delegates voted to organize “vigilante” groups in the state’s communities to prevent illegal lotteries and raffles. The action came after lack of state sanction of games of chance featured in past years at fairs and bazaars conducted by volunteer firemen.
The issue has been a burning one with Connecticut firemen for several years, since a move for strict enforcement of Connecticut’s anti-gantbling laws started in Fairfield County and spread to other parts of the state. At this year’s session of the State Legislature, firemen and other supporters obtained passage of a bill legalizing lotteries, raffles and certain games of chance when conducted by non-profit organizations, hut Governor John Lodge vetoed the measure after the Legislature adjourned.
Members of the “Vigilante” Committee include Chief Benjamin Mangels of Rowayton; Asst. Chief George Kelsey of Darien; Henry L. von Wingelo of Norwalk; Norman Logue of Glenbrook, and Scott Bean of East Norwalk.