Harlem Globetrotter Visits Pelham Elementary School
by Len Lathrop
Students at Pelham Elementary School were treated to the basketball magic of the Harlem Globetrotters on Thursday, April 7. Number 22, Herbert “Flight Time” Lang, was at the school to speak to the students about the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. This was a community event brought to the students by your Pelham~Windham News and Western Union.
While performing basketball tricks, such as spinning the ball on your fingers, shooting with the ball on the back of your neck and in between the usual Globetrotter shooting and circle passing games with student participants, “Flight Time” spoke about the CHEER program. The CHEER program was developed by the Globetrotters in conjunction with the U. S. Department of Education. The program focuses on cooperation, honesty, effort, enthusiasm, and respect/responsibility.
The gym was packed for both performances. Students were sitting on the bleachers and the floor to accommodate the 900+ students.
Three cheers for an assembly that was great fun and taught a lesson.
Community Mourns the Loss of a Religious World Leader
by Karen Plumley
Pope John Paul II died on Saturday, April 2 at the age of 84 after many years of health problems including Parkinson’s disease. In the end he underwent two hospitalizations in which he fought bouts of septic shock from an infection and finally succumbed to organ failure following a heart attack. This suffering was nothing new to a man who endured the anguish of losing both parents and his brother before he turned 22 years old and witnessed first-hand the Nazi occupation of his home country of Poland.
Inevitably his personal experiences in life gave him the unique quality and sincerity needed to be an unparalleled religious leader who reached out to touch the hearts of individuals regardless of race, gender, or religion. “He made great strides in the unification of the world, being the first Pope to visit Jewish Synagogues and Muslim Mosques”, said Reverend Robert Guillemette, pastor at St. Patrick Church in Pelham. Guillemette articulated that the Pope was a man with vision who touched the church community with his profound message, “teaching us to respect one another, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and giving us all one common purpose”. Guillemette had the opportunity to meet Pope John Paul at the 2002 World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada. There, he claims to have witnessed a man with great charisma, and was “personally awestruck” by the experience.
“This week’s mass of the dead will be focused on the Pope”, described Reverend Guillemette, as the church observes the traditional nine days of mourning for its lost leader. St. Patrick’s doors are adorned in black to commemorate his passing.
“He was a prophet to the world, a man for the times”, expressed Monsignor Donald Gilbert, pastor from St. Matthew’s in Windham, who also met the late Pope during a sabbatical in Rome in 1985. “He was a man of great talent and applied that talent in critical places such as opening up religious dialogue with Jewish leaders and facing down communism”, Gilbert said.
St. Matthew’s will be honoring the late Pope at its regular Friday morning mass. It is also on Friday morning that the Pope’s funeral will take place and it is expected to draw the largest assembly of people in the history of the Vatican.
Pope John Paul II, who may be elevated to sainthood, is already being acknowledged as “Pope John Paul the Great”, an honor that has only been given to two other predecessors in the history of the Catholic Church. He was considered a conservative Catholic with views on abortion, gay rights, and the ordination of women that angered some. However, he remained true to his faith and traveled to over 129 countries, more than any other pope before him, tirelessly and selflessly preaching diplomacy, reconciliation, and peace. “His message was not always readily accepted”, said Gilbert, but he tended to “compel us to look inside ourselves”.
Pope John Paul II leaves his 26-year reign as the third longest in papal history. He leaves with a message of hope: to “savor every season of our lives as a gift filled with promise for the future”. And he also leaves some mighty big shoes to fill.
Auction to Benefit Museum a Success
by Lynne Ober
Every year members of the Hannah Dustin Quilt Guild make “small quilts” that are donated to their annual auction to support the New England Quilt Museum.
“This year we have over fifty items so far,” said Carol Durand, Hannah Dustin member and organizer of the auction. “Members make quilted tote bags, small wall hanging quilts, place mats, baby quilts. The ideas are endless,” she smiled. “One of our members lives in Canada and she even donated a quilt.”
The guest auctioneer was Jennifer Gilbert, Executive Director of the Quilt Museum, who admitted that she’d never been an auctioneer before, but “Carol told me this was a fun group and I’m looking forward to participating.”
The quilted items were displayed on a table prior to the start of the auction. The display was beautiful and the difference between the quilted items was exciting. Christmas items were displayed with baby items, household items and bags. Member Kathie James, who has had quilts displayed at the New England Museum, donated a wall hanging inspired by oriental art. Terri Griffin donated a Santa wall hanging. It would be difficult to choose which quilt to bid on.
Because all the auction items and materials to make the items are donated by the members, all proceeds go directly to the museum. “In the past we’ve raised hundreds and hundreds of dollars for the museum,” said Durand. “This year we raised over $1,800 for the museum. We were thrilled,” stated Durand.