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The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of June 23 to June 30, 2022
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

Murdock Class of 1970 Celebrates 50th Reunion and 70th Birthdays in "70 and 70" Bash

UUCW Lawn fair
Class of 1970 Unite! Members of the Murdock Class of 1970 gather at the home of classmate Joey "Alice Murphy" Vaine on Blueberry Island for the long awaited MHS 50th Class Reunion in a group photo where classmates will tell you when speaking with them that everybody to this day still truly cares about each other as if time had not passed and everybody was looking out for each other.
Photo courtesy of the MHS Class of 1970
UUCW Lawn fair
Reunion or Birthday? It's both! This cake enjoyed by members of the MHS Class of 1970 and their significant others, served as a reminder that the Class Reunion which was two year late, now had an extra special double meaning as many members celebrated their 70th Birthday in the year 2022.
Photo courtesy of the MHS Class of 1970

Fifty years in the making, a Five Decade Class Reunion, now there is something truly special! However, once the global pandemic came along in 2020, many things were delayed or cancelled outright. So how did the great members of the Murdock Class of 1970 make their reunion even more special once they finally could celebrate it two years late? How about the best way possible: making it a giant 70th Birthday Party as well, with the most awesome theme ever: "70 and 70" for Class of '70 and 70th Birthday!

Class member Larry Murphy described alumni of the Classes of 1970 and 1971 meeting once a week for sandwiches at the home of Peter Antonellis, for what they jokingly called a men's club weekly gathering. Classmate Shelley Feldman was in town visiting with classmate Nancy "Martin" Wolski, who Murphy describes as "very bright, very successful, a great laugh, and full of energy!"

Feldman would have none of the "men's club" business, Murphy said, and "crashed the party and took the place over! So while Shelly was there we talked about calling the reunion '50 plus 2' because of the two year delay and Shelly Feldman said 'NO NO NO! We are all turning 70 this year, so why don't we have a Birthday Party!'" Murphy said they then told everybody there and they were all very enthusiastic about it, and from there on, it all fell in to place and that's how it came to be. Discussion varied on which class member actually coined the phrase, but it was official, "70 and 70" after a two year delay was the way to go, and the rest was history in the making.

The planning committee was strong and the hours they put in many. The Reunion location was the shores of Lake Monomonac and Blueberry Island, home of classmate Joey "Alice Murphy" Vaine, a very busy medical professional, and her husband Steve, providing the key location for the long awaited Saturday, June 4, ultimate 50th Class Reunion party. Some forty classmates and about sixty people altogether attended. One former member of the Class of 1970, Phil Hill, whose family moved away before he graduated elsewhere, traveled nearly 1,300 miles just to attend--all the way from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Members gathered together for nearly twelve hours, enjoying stories, sharing old memories, telling tales of years past, even enjoying boat rides on the Vaines' party boat on the lake. Murphy joked that Steve Vaine served as "quite the lake historian" educating many on the history of the beautiful body of water with many things they didn't know about, from the rock pile in the lake to a former road, to much more.

Classmate Mark Maseau said, "One of the fun things I realized was, I connected with people I wasn't necessarily friends with in high school, which was interesting because I wanted to get to know them then, but our paths just never crossed." Murphy followed, "Mark just hit the nail on the head, because we had people we were seeing for the first time in over fifty years since high school, so it was more about reconnecting, than reminiscing." Manseau joked about reminiscing, while Murphy spoke of a great time just catching up on where the path of life took so many on their journey.

Class member Cindy "Ward" Dorval spoke of classmate Nancy Daneault of whom Dorval said, "Nancy is still working at our age, and I honestly think out of everyone there, had the most enjoyable day." Murphy and Dorval noted that as Daneault had a few mobility issues, their old fellow schoolmates were "all right there" to help each other if needed with anything, just the way it should be. Murphy, Dorval, and Manseau all agreed their class was very close and it showed to this day. Dorval said, "The fact that with some eighty members remaining and half of that showing up for their 50th reunion, it tells you something about how close we all really were."

With so much planning involved in the event, conversations bounced back and forth about who did what to make it all happen. With both the class President and Vice President no longer among us, Murphy stepped into the organizational role, helping bring key action points of different groups together. Manseau was jokingly named the "CIA" of the operation using different social media and other forms of investigation to find fellow classmates all over the country. Dorval had more than her fair share of responsibilities as did others such as Feldman, Wolski, Phi Pineo-Coke, Cindy "Schoales" Morin who had the class banner made for the occasion, and others. Murphy pointed out that Wendy and Jim Diamantopoulos handled the money for the event, making sure it was well taken care of.

You can't mention the name Diamantopoulos and not talk sports for at least a minute. Both graduating in the MHS Class of 1970 and part of this reunion, James Diamantopoulos, and fellow basketball player and hardwood team member Mark Moreau both finished their careers as 1,000-point-plus club members for Murdock High School. Just one more incredible feat making this class reunion that much more special in a unique way. Murphy was also quick to point out, "Jimmy was also great in baseball and more as I remember." Murphy himself was a Center on the football team which that senior year went a very strong 7-2 on the season as they recalled. Again, something to be proud of, and it doesn't stop there!

Murphy, Manseau, and Dorval all pointed out that Class of '70 reunion host, Joey "Alice Murphy" Vaine was quite the athlete herself. She went on to become the first female member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) in Massachusetts. (Vaine did not respond to a request from the Courier for more information on this remarkable achievement by press time.) No matter how you look at it, the MHS Class of '70 had a strong athletic year in both men's and women's sports across the board.

At the 2022 Murdock High School Class Day, the MHS Class of 1970 donated two scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each, one each to a male and a female MHS student, to help them further their education. The donations for the scholarships were collected from the members of the Class of 1970 directly, in recognition of their own class reaching a reunion milestone. Murphy had the honor of making the scholarship presentations on behalf of the Class of 1970 to the two recipients from the Class of 2022, Daniel Fuller and Maria Vecchiarello.

Class members, no matter what their graduation year, will always have stories of their "favorite teachers" or "favorite teacher moments." Manseau felt it was very important to mention that the Class of 1970 invited several teachers from their high school days. One particularly beloved teacher was their freshman English teacher, Mr. Bruce Farnum.

Manseau said, "He brought so much positive energy to the classroom which always made us pay attention and learn. He was an innovator that was ahead of his time using AV equipment as an aid in getting his points across. He went to every basketball game and filmed them. He also directed our class in the Tournament of Plays our freshman year which was 'The Lottery.' We had so much fun working on the play that year, oh and we won."

Manseau added, "We liked him so much we dedicated our yearbook to him. Unfortunately he wasn't able to attend the reunion but only because he had moved and didn't get the invite until the last minute. But he sent Cindy and Wendy a beautiful hand written letter telling them about his life adventures after leaving teaching. He hopes to catch up with us the next time he's in the area." Farnum reportedly wrote a five-page letter, that members very much enjoyed taking the time to read.

In the Vaines' home was a photo memorial dedicated to the now deceased members of the MHS Class of 1970. Members attending took time at their own pace to visit the memorial and remember their fallen classmates, and share their thoughts and any memories as appropriate. The MHS Class of 1970 would like to commemorate the following class members who could not make the journey: John D. Blair, Mike Dunphy, John Fitzgerald, Robert Floria, Francis Hadmack, Cheryl Ann Hildreth, Francis Lafrennie, Alana Morlock, Gail Possiel, Robert Russell, Patricia Scarrell, Michael R. St. Pierre, Patricia Strout, Roland Woods, Paul Lefebvre, and more recently lost, Bruce Capman.

Reflecting on the reunion event, Dorval said, "Everybody contributed something. Even if you go back starting two years ago before it got delayed. Everybody contributed at least something to this. It's not just us three or the recent eight on committees, everyone contributed, and I think that is what made it all such a success." As an example, Manseau noted, "Norma 'Robichaud' Nicholson brought five scrap books which had photos, clippings from the old Winchendon Courier, The Gardner News, and more, and if you were at an event back then, and there was a picture taken, you were in there, it was that good. Things like that really helped make this reunion!"

70 70 Reunion
ABOVE: MHS Class of 1970 members displayed this new specially made "Class of 1970" banner at the reunion celebration, which according to members, will now be flown at any and all future class of 1970 reunion celebrations.

RIGHT: In Memory of those lost. This photo tribute was displayed in loving memory with both honor and respect, of those members of the MHS Class of 1970 who are no longer among us on this Earth, who could not physically attend the long awaited MHS 50th Class Reunion. Members attending took the time to look at the photos of their fallen classmates, and remember them so they would know they were not forgotten.
Photos courtesy of the MHS Class of 1970
70 70 Reunion
Wolski, a long time and much loved locally self-employed hair dresser who recently retired and closed her business, also got to finally enjoy this long awaited milestone reunion. Looking back, Wolski realized that while much has changed, many from her class have also stayed the same.

She happily explained, "It was such a perfect day, not too hot, not too cold, and there were boat rides on Lake Monomonac. But what was most important for me was I had not seen some of those people since the night we graduated from high school. There was one girl named Pamela who I was hoping to see who wasn't going to be able to make it who I hadn't seen since high school fifty two years ago, but she was able to make it and we recognized each other as soon as she got out of her car, and I was so excited as she was always so sweet and still is, so that was thrilling for me."

Wolski added, "Many of us were born here in town back in the old Winchendon Hospital, and went right through school together. Many of us went to elementary school together, and then all met at the fifth grade level and were together ever since. The town only had 4,000 people back then, so we all knew each other or of each other."

In closing Wolski explained, "It's so much different today, and not as tight knit as when we were growing up. Many of us made our First Communion together. I have a picture where I would say out of a hundred kids that were in our class, a good seventy five of them were in our First Communion picture, as opposed to my grandson just made his, and there were only two kids, him and one other boy. The point is when you grow up, and you're together all those years like we have been, you have formed some pretty tight friendships, pretty tight relationships, and even though you don't see each other if at all, even if for all those years sometimes, that bond is still there. There is nothing like an old friend to warm the heart, and it was a beautiful day and I am so glad our class was finally able to do it."

Summer Solstice Festival Bounces Back to Success After 3 Year Absence

Clark YMCA Summer Solstice Festival;
15 year old Gavin Zabik, a Murdock Freshman runner, crosses the finish line on Saturday, June 18, with a time of just 21:13 to take 1st place in the Morin Real Estate 5K Road Race Summer Solstice Road Race!
Photo by Keith Kent
Clark YMCA Summer Solstice Festival;
With dozens of vendors, there were plenty of items up for shopping grabs as hundreds of attendees enjoyed plenty of buying from personalized clothing and bags to handmade jewelry and much more.
Photo by Keith Kent

It may have been the first Summer Solstice Festival since 2019 after three years on hold due to the pandemic, but if there was any rust to shake off you wouldn't have known it. Dozens of vendors, live music, games for children and much more, all came together without missing a step on Saturday, June 18. Well over 500 people attended the 2022 Clark Memorial YMCA Summer Solstice Festival sponsored by Athol Savings Bank in Winchendon, bringing back some much needed Toy Town fun despite an unseasonally chilly start to the day.

Sweatshirts and jackets in the second half of June? Say it isn't true! But what began as a cold windy morning slowly warmed up to T-shirt and shorts weather for many by early afternoon. Attendees were slow to arrive, but the crowd grew to a "This is more like it!" attendance. Many in the fields could be heard joking, "Everybody decided to show up all at once!"

In no time at all, desolate vendor tents became busy, the bouncy houses filled with children's laughter, face painting booths grew lines, the Kiwanis were selling hamburgers and hotdogs raising money for their charities, and Toy Town began to look like its pre-2020 self, something quite welcome to many and hopefully here to stay.

As the morning kicked off with the Morin Real Estate 5K Road Race, Murdock High School showcased some future promise! Blasting through the finish line taking both 1st and 2nd Place were Murdock's own 15 year old freshman Gavin Zabik with a time of 21:23 followed by 15 year old freshman Jack Skawinski with a time he reported in the 21:40's. This was closely followed by 3rd place finisher 17 year old Nick LaPlaca of Monty Tech with a time of 22:12 rounding out the top honors. There were runners of all ages, even one mother who ran the race pushing her child the entire course in its baby carriage, achieving a great workout for sure!

On the field, vendors were selling all types of products. Specialty candles, the ever-popular marshmallow guns, custom clothing and hand-crafted jewelry and handmade products such as market and beach bags. You could buy unique toys and animal balloons for your children, or even get your child a temporary glitter tattoo.

Many different types of businesses and organizations were on hand, including United Parish, the Gardner Area League of Artists, Mediation Services of North Central Massachusetts and Toy Town Patriots. Also with booths were Krafty Coe Wood Working with unique custom designed wood products, the GFA Federal Credit Union, Patriot Designs and the Town of Winchendon Recreation Commission.

Representing the Clark YMCA itself on its home turf, the Clark Sharks swim team hosted a "Dunk Tank Fundraiser" braving the chilly morning start for the worthy cause, and when not in the tank they were working the field getting the word out that they were there to be dunked! Elsewhere on the field, there was face painting, bouncy houses, inflatable "Climb and Slides," and other attractions for children.

In the rear right corner of the track near the Daycare and Gymnasium Entrance, the Winchendon Fire Department was set up with a children's "Put the house fire out" interactive display. WFD Captain Brown along with department members worked with young boys and girls one by one, helping them properly hold a real fire hose and showing each one at a time how to turn it on and use it at very low pressure.

Clark YMCA Summer Solstice Festival;
From bouncy houses to inflatable slides, young boys and girls climbed up one side and slid back down the other on multiple rides to their excitement all day long at the 2022 YMCA Summer Solstice.
Photo by Keith Kent
Clark YMCA Summer Solstice Festival;
WFD Captain Bill Brown shows this young lady how to put out fires, as he directs her on how to aim the hose at low pressure, while she aims at all five targets knocking the red flames down to save the house!
Photo by Keith Kent
Each child wore an appropriate jacket and a red plastic fire helmet. With Captain Brown's guidance, each child would then aim the hose at four simulated red wooden flame targets seen in the windows and one on top of the house, knocking them down with the water as if to put the fire out. Once all five were down, the house was saved! Captain Brown said to one girl aged about 8, "That's great work, come back and see me in a couple of years and we'll give you a job!"

Across Central Street, things were just as busy. The Unitarian Universalist Church with its own vendor fair and food sales filling the church lawns was also booming right along. People could be seen all day moving back and forth, from one side of Central Street to the other between the church and the Clark, many far more than just once. What couldn't be found on one side of Central Street could most likely be found on the other side, be it goods, food, or entertainment. Many departed happy with something, and many more left happy, even if with only smiles.

Near the end of the Summer Solstice event, Clark YMCA Executive Director Michael Quinn was asked how he felt the event went, and how he felt about about Athol Savings Bank's supporting donation. Quinn replied, "Athol Savings Bank has been a tremendous supporter of not just the YMCA, but the community itself. They have been a generous title sponsor of this event for many many years and we're truly appreciative of their efforts. This event is a fundraiser event to fund our youth programs and opportunities for families in the community and their support goes a long way."

Regarding the weather and the turnout Quinn added, "This is great! This is the first Summer Solstice we have had in a few years due to the pandemic, and even though it started out cool this morning, it's great to be able to put this on again and see all the kids having fun and families enjoying having a day together." Joking about the Clark Sharks fundraising in the cold morning air, Quinn added, "Everybody knows sharks like cold water!" In closing Quinn said, "This is the first time in three years we were able to host this event for the town. It was a little cold and a little windy this morning, but we are just happy we are able to be here, and we can't complain!"

Clark YMCA Summer Solstice Festival;
Off to the races! This girl is quick on her feet as she quickly accelerates out of the gate at the Summer Solstice children's division race along the YMCA track taking a commanding early lead determined to make her mark.
Photo by Keith Kent
Clark YMCA Summer Solstice Festival;
Making many laps around the track all day and almost always the children's favorite, the train ride makes its way around the track past the live musical entertainment section as parents and kids alike take a quarter mile tour past the Clark Sharks dunk tank fund raiser, WFD interactive workshop, and much more.
Photo by Keith Kent

UU Church Lawn Fair Draws Shoppers, Music-Lovers and Appetites

UUCW Lawn fair
The Winchendon Garden Club raffled off a large selection of themed baskets
Photos by Jill Sackett
UUCW Lawn fair
Felicity Tetteh displays "Fendya" - her own line of cosmetics and accessories
Photos by Jill Sackett

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon's legacy of holding lawn fair fundraisers dates back to the very first year the church was built. On August 3, 1867 a grand auction was held to dispose of the tools and materials that had accumulated during construction. The following year, a three-day fair was held for the express purpose of raising funds to purchase their E. & G.G. Hook pipe organ. The organ was installed in 1867 and is still playing today.

And so it goes...every summer UUCW has held at least one lawn fair to raise funds for their substantial operating expenses and building repairs. This year's Lawn Fair was held on Saturday, June 18 concurrent with the Clark Memorial YMCA Summer Solstice fair across the street. The church lawns were filled with crafters, retail vendors, non-profits and food concessions.

UUCW Lawn fair
Sew Dandy offered colorful sun hats and plushies
Photos by Jill Sackett
UUCW Lawn fair
Straight from Rietta - Tony's Stuff attracted many youthful shoppers
Photos by Jill Sackett

The cool and overcast weather did not dampen spirits, nor did the dusty condition of Central Street, as the fair enjoyed a steady stream of hungry shoppers. Crafters offered hand-made cutting boards, lawn décor, painted furniture, sun hats, pottery, floral wreaths, totes, resin art, grinders, and more. The Winchendon Garden Club held their ever-popular basket raffle, and the Friends of the Beals Library displayed an impressive selection of gently-used books and DVDs. Others sold popular items such as Avon, Scentsy, croc charms, novelty cards and plushies. Bargain hunters cleared off the church Freecycle table. The HEAL Winchendon Youth Changemakers sold iced coffee while Shanes Food Truck ran out of fried dough and the church hot dog stand enjoyed brisk business.

Winchendon Winds professional concert band performed in the church sanctuary at 11 a.m., and their marches and show tunes streamed out of the open doors to the delight of those outside.

All in all, it was "something for everyone" and a wonderful day to be in downtown Winchendon.

UUCW Lawn fair
GALA Artist Avera Morrison shows off miniature ceramic "planters" and cups
Photos by Jill Sackett
UUCW Lawn fair
Robert Rutka's outdoor thermometers and other whimsical creation are a perennial favorite
Photos by Jill Sackett

Toy Town COVID Rates Rise for 2nd Consecutive Week; Local Area Slightly Down

After spending four consecutive weeks close to 9 percent COVID average positivity, then dropping to 5.48 percent on June 9, Winchendon has begun to increase its positivity rate again with its low vaccination percentages. The most recently released data by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has documented a tested positivity increase of 14 percent in the last 14 days, now registering at 6.32 percent.

In our ten town area, the average is now down from 7.73 percent on June 2 to 4.70 percent, as seven municipalities decreased and three increased in positivity. Along with Winchendon, Ashburnham increased from 3.95 to 5.62 percent, and Westminster to Ashburnham's south increased significantly from 6.50 to 9.60 percent positivity based on just 250 molecular tests. Had there been more testing done, that number would probably be higher.

Decreasing were Ashby from 7.95 to 7.07 percent, Gardner dropping from 4.58 to 3.13 percent, Templeton decreasing from 3.21 to 2.53 percent, and its school district partner Phillipston dropping from 3.17 to just 1.79 percent positivity. In the Athol Royalston Regional School District towns, Athol with a population of 11,500 residents went down from 3.60 to 2.90 percent positivity, and Royalston decreased from a higher 6.25 to 5.08 percent. Hubbardston also went down from 4.55 to 3.70 percent positivity.

During June, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has decreased from 7.51 percent on June 9, to 6.56 percent on June 16, to a 5.66 14 day testing average as of Thursday, June 23. Boston with a population of some 1.5 million residents during the college and university academic calendar year registers at 6.54 percent, Worcester at 3.57 percent, and Springfield at 6.64 percent positivity. Closer to home, the Twin Cities of Fitchburg and Leominster show 4.34 and 4.60 percent respectively.

Also at this time in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, those fully vaccinated now register at 5,403,357, those fully vaccinated with at least one booster dose register at 3,106,608, and those in Massachusetts fully vaccinated with two booster doses now show as 560,610.

The Winchendon Recreation Department will be co-hosting (with Woo Trucks) a "Food Truck / Battle of the Bands Festival" at G.A.R. Park on the evening of Friday, June 24. Please expect it to be crowded if the weather is nice, as with any summer season event. If you are either immunocompromised, or have any pre-existing health conditions, please take what ever precautions you personally feel are in your own personal best interest if attending the event open to the public at large.

Keith Kent
Board Of Health
Town of Winchendon

Help the Town of Winchendon Update its Housing Production Plan by Sharing Your Input

The Town of Winchendon has requested assistance from the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) to update its Housing Production Plan (HPP). The purpose of the HPP is to develop a proactive strategy for planning and developing affordable housing consistent with the state's Chapter 40B statute and regulation. The HPP is required to include a comprehensive housing needs assessment, a list of affordable housing goals, and an implementation plan to realize the goals.

This survey has been developed to assist with the housing needs assessment and solicit public input to be included in the HPP. We appreciate your opinions and want to assure you that all answers are anonymous. In addition to the survey, MRPC will be collecting and analyzing demographic, housing, and income data to determine needs of the population of Winchendon. Results of the data analysis and survey will be presented at a Planning Board meeting in the fall where goals and objectives will be discussed.

Please see link below to complete. Thank you for your participation!


new municipal parking lot
The new municipal parking lot on Pleasant Street adjacent to the police station is shaping up. It will help replace the onstreet parking being eliminated in the newly redesigned Central Street.
Photo by Inanna Arthen
deserted steps in the woods
This former front porch to nowhere nestled between the intersection of New Boston Road and Royalston Road South along a popular waterfront path at Lake Dennison, serves as a reminder of a time when privately owned cottages stood along its shorelines some 70 years ago. Upon the completion of the Birch Hill Dam in Royalston in 1941 creating the locally well-known flood control area, nearly 30 homes in sections of Winchendon and parts of Royalston were removed to help protect the lower portions of Athol and Orange, Massachusetts from devastating floods such as those which took place in 1936 and 1938.
Photo by Keith Kent
water sports at Lake Dennison
water sports at Lake Dennison

360 Degrees of Kite optical illusion!

At the Salisbury Beach State Park on Monday, June 20, a hand-made circular kite mystified many beachgoers as it floated behind the dunes from the parking lot behind, rising up and down in the wind. The kite which was composed of individual sections each with a cloth blade in the center providing lift, was connected to many nearly invisible to the eye individual strings which allowed it to rotate in a circular pattern also providing for lift. Appearing to many as up to 100 feet tall in the distance, the kit according to its operators and owners from North Andover, MA, was only 25 feet in diameter, as is more apparent in the second photo with cars below it for scale. The owners have flown the kite and others in locales as far away as Myrtle Beach, SC to the enjoyment of many to watch.
Photos by Keith Kent

water sports at Lake Dennison
water sports at Lake Dennison

Mushroom Ladder!

Nature has seemingly formed its own unique type of natural ladder out of extremely large mushrooms on a tree along Russell Farm Road in Winchendon, as some 13 plate size mushrooms have formed a 7 foot tall display for those walking or driving by, with many of the mushrooms each measuring well over a foot in width. The large fungi display can be viewed about 0.5 miles from the intersection with Otter River Road on the left hand side, if traveling towards Mill Glen Road.
Photos by Keith Kent

towhee in Lake Dennison State Park
A Male Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), which is a large New World Sparrow. Photographed on a tree branch just inches above the ground, the Towhee perched itself directly above where it happily discovered a deposit of grubs for a high protein mid-afternoon nourishing meal on Sunday, June 19 near the shoreline of Lake Dennison. Eastern Towhees nest in either low bushes or on the ground under shrubs, and are also known to be solitary birds.
Photo by Keith Kent
Family group of geese and goslings
Viewed recently in this less often seen long procession, 13 young goslings, known as a "Gaggle or Flock" are escorted by three adult Canada Geese along the banks of the Otter River on the far western border of Winchendon in the Birch Hill Wild Life Management Area, about a half mile directly behind the New Boston Cemetery. The Gaggle which was just a hundred feet later followed by a duck and three ducklings, continued to proceed upstream under the current operational railroad bridge, onward into neighboring Templeton.
Photo by Keith Kent

Subway June 2022 New Steak Teriyaki Sub

Central Mass Tree

Be sure to check out our Classified and Employment Ads on the Events Page!

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Transfer Station Summer Hours

Beginning June 2, the Transfer Station hours are:
Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.

653 River Street
Sticker price: $70
Pay-As-You-Throw bags required

Dive into the Beals Memorial Library's Summer Reading Club

The Beals Memorial Library in Winchendon invites the whole community to set sail for some good books this summer by joining their Summer Reading Club! This year's theme is "Oceans of Possibilities." The library will have fun programs, activities, stories, and more for the whole family to enjoy. Register now to participate!

From June 27 to August 6, the Beals will be celebrating and promoting literacy with their Summer Reading Club, open to participants of all ages. Children who sign up can read and record up to 9 hours this summer and for every 90 minutes of reading, they'll get to spin the wheel to win some fabulous prizes! Teens and adults can join in on the fun, too! Read, record, and rate up to 10 books this summer. For every book you log, get one entry for a chance to win a prize of your choice from a selection of amazing prizes! Teen and adult participants who read 10 books will receive a special browsing bag to fill with a bag of books from the library's book sale.

Splash into the library's summer programs by joining them on Wednesday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. on the library lawn for the Beals Beach Bash! There will be music, crafts, lawn games, and more! Be sure to wear a swimsuit and bring a beach towel for some water fun.

Registration for the Summer Reading Club is open now and can be done in person or online at bealslibrary.beanstack.org/reader365.

The Summer Reading Club's programs and events are sponsored by the Friends of the Beals Memorial Library and the Winchendon Cultural Council. Some of the prizes this summer were generously provided by Subway of Winchendon, Lickity Splitz, Brooks Auto Services, Toy Town Barber, and the Glen Caffé.

The Beals Memorial Library is located at 50 Pleasant Street in Winchendon. For more information, call the library at 978-297-0300 or visit their website at www.bealslibrary.org/summerreadingclub22.

Manuel King promotes summer reading club
Winchendon Library Director Manuel King and library mascot Hardcover are excited to set sail for summer reading, starting June 27!
Photo courtesy of Beals Memorial Library

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Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Senior Center Seeking Food Donations

We've been so successful we need your help. We love helping our seniors, so now our Food Pantry is running low. If you can do it, we'd love your help replenishing it with such commodities as: Hormel 'Compleats' meals; Chef Boyardee ravioli, spaghetti & meatballs, etc; applesauce; canned vegetables; juice boxes; Ensure; spaghetti sauce; Cookies; Crackers; small (individual) packages of cereal, etc. And anything you think would help. Thank you very much! Bring donations to the Old Murdock Senior Center, 52 Murdock Ave., Winchendon.

Winchendon Farmers Market Accepting Applications for 2022 Vendors

The Winchendon Farmers Market is accepting applications for vendors for the 2022 season. You can download the form at Winchendon Farmers Market Application (PDF), fill it out and mail the form with the table fee to the address on the form, or drop it in the dropbox at Town Hall. The market days and times for 2022 are Thursdays from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information, see www.winchendonfarmersmarket.org.

Report a Pothole to the DPW

You can report potholes directly to the DPW using this form on the town website:


Winchendon Town Hall & Transfer Station Now Accepting Credit/Debit Payments

We are excited to announce that the DPW, Treasurer/Collector's Office and the Transfer Station can all now accept in-person credit and debit card payments. This means next time you need to purchase or pay for:

Trash bags
Transfer station stickers
Excise bills
Tax bills
Water & Sewer bills
And more

You can pay with a credit or debit card! (subject to a convenience fee).

Applications Available for Senior Tax Work-off Program

The Senior Work-Off Abatement Program is a program allowing the Town of Winchendon the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills of its senior residents in exchange for credit toward the resident's property tax bill. The purpose of this program is:

  • To employ qualified senior citizens who will apply their earnings toward payment of a portion of their property taxes;
  • To increase senior citizen involvement in local government; and
  • To enhance municipal service by using the skills of resident senior citizens.
Qualified and income-eligible residents will accrue the Commonwealth's minimum wage per hour ($13.50/hr) toward a maximum credit of $1,100.00 per household during the fiscal year. The criteria for this program is:
  • You must be 60 years old or older
  • Homeowner in Winchendon and occupy property
  • Annual income below $40,150 if single; or below $45,900 if married.
Applications for the program are now available in the Town Manager's office or on the town website, and will be accepted until the eight slots are filled. There are different types of positions that are available depending on the preference and qualifications of the resident and the needs of each department. Types of past and current positions have been: Custodial services, clerical help for both School & Town, library aides, Senior Center aides, cable station operator, Bike Path clean up, painting, light outdoor work and classroom volunteers. Click here for more information and a downloadable application.

HEAL Winchendon Offering Financial Coaching Workshops

HEAL Winchendon, in conjunction with the Winchendon CAC, is offering a free financial coaching program to any residents who are interested. The program runs for eight weeks with a flexible schedule and is available in both English and Spanish. Coaching will be scheduled at the Winchendon CAC, 273 Central St. To enroll, fill out the form at HEAL Financial Coaching Sign-Up (Google form) or call 978-621-4524.

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Toy Town FYIs

2022 Dog Licenses Now Available

2022 dog licenses are now available. You may purchase at the Town Clerk's office using check or cash, or you may purchase through the mail, Town Hall drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed and neutered dogs are $10.00. Non-spayed and non-neutered dogs are $20.00.

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

United Way Day of Caring September 16

Local non-profit agencies should start planning potential projects now for the United Way's 27th annual "Day of Caring" event on Friday, September 16, 2022. Agency project registration opens on June 13. To register, visit volunteer.uwncm.org.

Qualifying agencies have teams of volunteers assigned to their site to assist with various projects. For updates and further information, see uwncm.org.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of May 9, 2022

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Committee - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 13 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Historical Commission/Historic District - 1 Alternate vacancy
Library Trustee - 1 vacancy
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 middle school student vacancy

Zoning Board of Appeals - 1 pending vacancy as of June 1, 2022 If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

Complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for May 10, 2021 (PDF).

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