The annual convention of the Berks County Firemen’s Association, held in Allegheny Hall, Reading, Pa., on December 19, was opened with an address of welcome by William P. Helder, who, in greeting the seventy or more delegates, said: “The city of Reading recently underwent a campaign in which it decided the true worth of the volunteer firemen. There is no more noble word in the entire dictionary than ‘volunteer.’ When applied to a soldier, it means a man who is willing to fight for the principles which he believes to be right, even though in performing his duty he slays his fellow man and brings distress. When that word is placed before firemen it stands for all that is noble. He is the man, who, without pay or thought of reward, offers himself for the protection of life and property. He asks no thanks, only credit, for what he does, and paraphernalia for the protection of both life and property. In this organization of volunteer firemen there is a feeling of goodfellowship that exists in no other fraternal organiation. Go where you will, and you find loyalty and hospitality, and so today we bid you welcome to this feeling.”

Two Meetings Each Year.

The convention was presided over by W. W. Wunder,. the president, and the first business transacted consisted of amendments to the constitution and by-laws, changing the number of meetings each year from four to two. The annual meeting date was changed to the third Saturday in January from the third Saturday in December, and the semiannual meetings to be held on such dates as may be designated by the town or borough inviting the association. The next meeting is to be held in Kutztown, on July 3, 1915, when a centennial celebration will be held in that town. The convention adopted a resolution offered by G. W. Bause, or Wernersville, to draw up specifications for a safe and sane Fourth of July, which will be presented to all town and borough officials of towns preparatory to an ordinance being adopted as stated therein. The secretary of the association made a motion, which was adopted, by which the assistance of schoolboys throughout the county will be solicited in the prevention of fires. Each boy can become a member of the Fire Prevention Auxiliary of the Berks County Firemen’s Association. Cards and badges will be given to the boys and there will be awards of merit for assistance rendered.

President Wunder’s Addrass.

Two sessions were held, and President Wunder delivered an address at the afternoon session in which he said, in part: “This association was organized for the purpose of considering matters that will bring better protection against fires and the adoption of such methods as will result in their prevention. Also to plant fire protectiop in such localities where there is none, and communities with protection are urged to secure more up-todate equipment. When the county association was organized, there were 39 companies in the city and county. Today there are 41 and 37 of these are affiliated with the association. We have established a county-wide safe and sane Fourth of July, as well as cleanup days in spring and fall. Our object is to convince the people that our association stands for the good of the public. We had circular letters sent to school directors and Sunday school superintendents against the use of inflammable Christmas decoration, and we desire to call the attention of the public to the careless carrying of matches. Too much publicity cannot be given the work we are doing in bringing to the attention of the public the importance of cleaning up all waste rubbish and inflammables about buildings and to see that hot ashes are not thrown against wood fences and into boxes. These are some of the causes of many unnecessary fires. I would recommend as a matter of additional safety the fireproofing of children’s clothing, by a solution of ammonium phosphate in a gallon of water.”

Election of Officers.

The officers were re-elected and. because of the change in date of meetings, were elected to serve until the annual meeting in January, 19J6. They are: W. W. Wunder, president; William Palm, P. M. Odeair, E. C. Trafford and Warren Weller, vice-presidents; S. L. Parkes, recording secretary; N. Robert Tomlinson, financial secretary, and Walter S. Frees, treasurer. Addresses were made as follows: Frederick C. Moore, Hartford, Conn., “Automatic Sprinklers;” H. W. Spang, New York, on “Electrical Wiring and Equipment as Pertaining to Fire Prevention;” “Practical Fire Fighting,” by George Nallinger, Philadelphia; “Firemen’s Safety and Fire Prevention,” John S. Spicer, Department of Labor and Industry, Harrisburg; “Fire Marshal’s Duties,” J. William Morgan, deputy state fire marshal, Harrisburg. The fire company of the Borough of Mt. Penn was elected to membership in the association.

Delegates in Attendance.

The following delegates from Reading fire companies were present: Rainbow, William Nye; Junior, George A. Market; Reading Hose, Daniel Beaver, M. Luther Mason, Edgar Sounders; Friendship, Warren Royer, F. C. Eisenbise; Liberty, J. B. Wise, George O’Reilley and George Morris; Washington, Walter Coleman; Keystone, W. W. Wunder; Hampden, J. F. Ancona; Marion, G. D. Fisher; Schuylkill, Valentine Hain, Henry S. Heeth; Union, Harry Ludwig. County Delegates, from outside df Reading, who attended were: Birdsboro, William K. Young; Boyertown, Friendship, Warren Weller; Blandon, E. C. Trafford, Henry Heinley; Hamburg, Clark Saylor; Kutztown, John D. Geiger; Lyons, Jacob Grim, E. L. Parkes; Mohnton, No. 1, farry Hornberger; Friendship, Amos Burkholder, Claude Palm; Shillington, William Palm; Sinking Springs, Abraham L. Crouse, Patrick Meade, G. C. Reeser; Reifton, Irvin Goodhart; Shoemakersville, A. F. Zuber, Charles Machimer; Temple, G. S. Miller, B. Miller; Wernersville, G. W. Bause. Peter M. Gise; Womelsdorf, J. Y. Petticoffer, S. S. Kreitzer.


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