Looking Back


Oct. 6, 1993

Aldermen voted 5-1 Monday to put Robert Smith on the Nov. 2 city ballot as the Republican candidate for Westbrook mayor. In doing so, they set aside a problem with the nomination papers – they weren’t endorsed by the party’s chairman or secretary. Kenneth Lefebvre, council president, asked the council to approve a committee study of ways to avoid a similar problem. Lionel Dumond, Ward 1 alderman who is co-chairman of the Westbrook Republican City Committee and one of three who could have endorsed Smith’s nomination papers, apologized for not making sure the papers were signed.

Jeffrey Grossman, Boothbay Harbor’s town manager, was named Monday as the new administrative assistant to the Westbrook mayor. He will start work Nov. 8 and be paid $1,000 a week plus benefits worth $23,100 yearly. He succeeds Peter Eckel, who resigned to work for Cellular One in Westbrook. Grossman has more than 10 years of municipal experience in towns including Southborough, Massachusetts, and Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Susan Rossignol, the city’s finance director, will continue as acting administrative assistant until Grossman starts work.

William O’Gara said this week he would stop working for the Maine Turnpike Authority if he were elected as Westbrook city clerk. O’Gara said he is a part-time toll-taker for the turnpike, working on call. O’Gara is a Westbrook state representative. He also said he would not run for a new term in the Legislature if he is elected city clerk.

Charles and Sandra Sendzik, 31 Spiller Road, Gorham, were surprised on Sept. 12 by their daughters with a party for their 30th wedding anniversary. They were married Aug. 31, 1963. The party was held at the home of daughter Michele and her husband Don Landry, Windham. Other daughters in on the surprise were Regina, with her finance Craig Lefebvre, Gorham; Tami and her friend Scott Baker, Dover, New Hampshire; and Stacy, Gorham, and her friend David Sanborn, Limington.

Leona Southard, 141 Cressy Road, Gorham, was presented a plaque as Woman of the Year at a state meeting of the Eagles Auxiliary. She has belonged to the Westbrook Eagles for more than 40 years.

Oct. 8, 2003

It’s been more than a month since Linda Condon woke at 4 a.m. to what sounded like an explosion and found a car practically on her back porch and sod strewn across her garage roof. It might not have been so bad if it hadn’t been the second time in a month that a car had launched off the corner of her yard at Pierce and Cumberland streets and landed a few feet from her house. Now, Condon is trying to get the city to put a guardrail at that corner. The city has begun determining what the best solution to the problem is. But for Condon’s peace of mind, the city can’t move fast enough. At a City Council meeting Monday, Councilor John O’Hara urged other councilors to “fast track” a solution to the problem.

A new latex surface put on the Gorham High School track had to be ripped out over the past two weeks because of bubbles appearing underneath the surface. Repairs, which could cost up to $100,000, cannot be made in time for next spring’s track season. “It’s unfortunate, because it means the track team will not be able to have any home meets for the whole season,” said Paul Kelly, business manager for the school department. He will be seeking direction from the School Committee tonight on how to proceed with the company, Maine Tennis and Track, which installed the surface last year.

Erik Carson is Westbrook’s new director of economic and community development. He replaces Mathew Eddy, who resigned in July. Carson, confirmed by the City Council on Monday, said he’s “tickled” to be working in Westbrook.

In a special service Sunday, the Rev. Thomas B. Chittick was installed as the 13th pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, 612 Main St., Westbrook. The Rev. David Thorpe, dean of the Maine Conference, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Windham, officiated. Chittick, a Gorham native, follows the Rev. Bruce Meyer, an assistant pastor, and the Rev. Allen Barnes, who retired in January of 2002 after 22 years.

Horace Wilson of Gorham was inducted this year into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in Tokyo. It’s Wilson who taught Japan to play the game. Born in Gorham in 1843, Wilson grew up to be a college professor. In 1871, the Japanese government, in its effort to modernize the long-isolated nation, convinced him to move there. Wilson joined the faculty of Kaisei Gakko, which later became the University of Tokyo, and taught math and English He also taught baseball, and by 1872 had the first game underway. He organized teams, found a field, paced off a diamond and managed somehow to get balls, bats and gloves. The game caught on, and in a decade baseball had spread all across Japan.

Joe’s Sanitary Market operated at 846 Main St. for many years. Pictured from left in this 1951 photo are Philip Vincent, Margaret Chaisson, Laurette (Vincent) Lemieux and Roland Lemieux. The store closed several years later and the building was converted to offices and connected to a new medical and professional building next door. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.