Inside New Gloucester

53

1943 air crash memorialized

Tragedy struck over the skies of New Gloucester’s Intervale region 75 years ago.

On Oct. 3, 1943, British pilots Lieutenant Commander Alfred Jack Sewell and Sub-Lieutenant David James Falshaw Watson took off from Brunswick Naval Air Station to practice training maneuvers. Apparently one plane came up under the other, causing a collision that resulted in the deaths of both pilots.

The plane crash occurred over the meadow behind Everett Stinchfield Blake’s farm on Penney Road. Blake’s son, Phil, presented this story to his fellow members of the New Gloucester Veterans Monument Committee, who decided that the two WWII British allies deserved to be recognized on the town’s Veterans Monument.

Rupert and David Watson learned about the tribute to their uncle through internet research. When Rupert and his wife, who are from New Zealand, were visiting his brother David in New York, they decided to visit the Veterans Monument. They contacted Jean Libby from the Veterans Monument Committee in advance.

On Sept. 19, Phil Blake’s son, Tom, presided over a gathering of the three members of the Watson family, plus 20 New Gloucester Historical Society members and local dignitaries to honor pilot David James Falshaw Watson and present the trio with memorabilia from the monument’s dedication ceremony in 2014.

Potluck and Coffeehouse

Bring family and join friends for a Community Potluck Supper in the vestry of the First Congregational Church, 19 Gloucester Hill Road, from 5:45-7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Dinner is free; bring something to share if you can. During dinner, Susie Percy, director of SMART Child and Family Services, will speak about her organization and the services it provides to Maine families.

Stay awhile and hear music by New Gloucester-based Bald Hill Band. These surprisingly hip purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana  will kick off the Village Coffeehouse concert series. The band will be performing in the church sanctuary starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the door will be $10 per person.

Fire-Rescue Chicken Barbecue

The New Gloucester Fire-Rescue Auxiliary 39’s annual chicken barbecue will be held Sunday, Sept. 30. The buffet starts at noon and will stay open until the chicken is gone. The cost is $8 each for adults and $4 for children.

The barbecue will be held at Thompson’s Orchard, 276 Gloucester Hill Road. Take this chance to reconnect with friends, while your kids have an opportunity to play games.

Fall Festival of Books

The Fall Festival of Books and Bake Sale at the New Gloucester Public Library is coming right up.

On Friday, Oct. 5, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the First Dibs for Kids Book Sale will take place. Children’s book prices will be 25 cents for hardcovers and two for 25 cents for soft covers. Adults must be accompanied by a child to shop.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, from 8 a.m. to noon, books, CDs and DVDs will be sold at great prices. Most softcovers will be sold for 25 cents each and most hardcovers for 50 cents. Treasures also await, buried inside the Buck-a-Bag Satchels.

Don’t forget to stop by the bake sale, stocked full of homemade treats. Call 926-4840 for more information. The library is at 379 Intervale Road.

Legislative candidate forums

Get to know the candidates running to represent New Gloucester in the Maine Legislature. Forums with legislative candidates for House and Senate are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Road.

Ned Claxton and Ellie Espling are running for the Maine Senate District 20 seat, representing New Gloucester, Minot, Mechanic Falls, Poland and Auburn. Amy Arata and Misty Coolidge are candidates for House District 65, representing New Gloucester and part of Poland.

The public is invited to attend. In advance, send questions you would like the moderator to ask to newgloucesterquestions@gmail.com.

The forums will be broadcast live on NG Cable TV Channel 3 and are organized and hosted by the Town’s Candidate/Referendum Issues Committee. The program will be available as video-on-demand at newgloucester.com.

Rupert Watson, left, Tom Blake, Phil Blake and David Watson, along with others, met Sept. 19  at the New Gloucester Veterans Monument to see the inscription for the Watsons’ uncle, a British WW II pilot in the Royal Navy who perished over the skies of New Gloucester during training maneuvers in 1943.