St. Casimir’s group reached milestone in ‘56

June 27th, 2015 1:16 am

First Posted: 6/5/2013

Question #1:

By whom was Pittston “invaded” in 1966?

1956 – 57 YEARS AGO

Branch 25 of the Lithuanian Women’s Alliance of St. Casimir’s Church in Pittston celebrated its 20th anniversary. Mary Katkowski and Ann Petrukonis, of Pittston, were recognized for their faithful service at a dinner to mark the occasion. The first American Lithuanian Roman Catholic Women’s Alliance was founded in 1914. The primary role of the alliance was to head parochial schools and establish institutions of mercy, such as hospitals, orphanages, and nursing homes.

The Jenkins Township High School Diamond baseball team completed one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history. Many fans were sure they would long remember the winning season. Members of the team were James Houston, Jimmy Callahan, Chester Remas, William Humko, Guy DePascal, Andy Shultz, Al Romanowski, Mike Griglock, Joe Silenskie, Bill Timek, Bob Brannon. Ed Seprish, Stan Gibbletts, Robert Alexis and Bill Gaffney. Walter Morris was team coach.

1966 – 47 YEARS AGO

Mayor John B. Salek appealed to many civic clubs and organizations in Duryea Borough to help with the beautification and maintenance of the Mosier Cemetery. Pioneers from the Revolutionary, Civil and Spanish American American wars are buried at the site which had fallen into disrepair over the years. A meeting was set by the mayor who requested one representative from each society, church and organization in the borough to attend. Log on to to see a listing of the names of those buried in Mosier Cemetery.

Five city teachers received master’s degrees at the University of Scranton. Marie Campenni received a degree in Secondary Education, Mary Elizabeth Connors was a recipient of a degree in Secondary Administration and Supevision, James V. English received a Master of Arts degree in History and Government, James A. Gilmartin earned his degree in Secondary School Administration and Supervision and Edward F. Hart received a degree in a correlated program of History and Education.

Question #2:

It is the custom of the Sunday Dispatch to publish the graduating class photo of each area high school in its annual graduation edition. However, in 1976, what caused the Pittston Area High School grads photo not to appear in the special edition as did those for Wyoming Area and St. John’s High Schools?

1976 – 37 YEARS AGO

Over 450 children participated in the Colonial Olympics, a community-wide sponsored athletic event at Charley Trippi Stadium. Youngsters from 5 to 18 years of age competed in sack races, mile runs and even a hamburger-eating contest. Proceeds from the event were to benefit the Coal Miner Statue Fund. Pittston Area School District donated the stadium, Wyoming Valley Track officials volunteered to referee and Burger King donated 350 hamburgers for the eating contest. Art Fanelli, manager of the Pittston Super Saver, donated watermelons for an eating contest. Co-charing the events were PA track coaches Joe Costello and Joe Orlando.

Bridgette Ristagno, Suzanne Peifer, Ellen Goham, Patrice Goham and Rick Novak were the first YMCA-sponsored synchronized swim team members to compete out of state. Known as the Catalinas, the team coached by Linda Scaz performed at an event held in Summit, NJ. Introduced in 1907, Australian Annette Kellerman attracted national attention at the New York Hippodrome as the first underwater ballerina. In1975, the first Masters National Synchronized Swimming Championship was held in Reading. The U.S. wins gold in all events at the II World Aquatic Championships in Cali, Colombia and at the VII Pan American Games, Mexico City.

1986 – 27 YEARS AGO

Mary Ann Ryzner and Martin Hanczyc reluctantly announced the end of the annual Healey Park Summer Picnic. Ryzner, playground director, and Hanczyc, playground chairman, found it increasingly difficult over the years to entice people to staff the stands as well as patronize the picnic. The cancellation left many in doubt of the survival of the decades-old park. Today, Healey Park is alive and well in Duryea and lists as its assets a walking trail, basketball court, playground and pavilion with tables and benches.

Answer 1:

Dressed in costumes, representative of 1866, Plymouth residents “invaded” Pittston by the scores to invite members of the community to their centennial celebration. Former Pittston resident Edward Burns, mayor of Plymouth, arranged a motorcade to parade through Pittston, then stop to personally invite shoppers and business owners to Plymouth’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Answer 2:

William Watson Sr., editor of the Sunday Dispatch, apologized to Pittston Area seniors and their parents for the absence of their class photo in the annual Sunday Dispatch graduation issue. He went on to say “ it’s not our fault.” The rented caps and gowns were not delivered to the students until well after the Dispatch publication went to deadline. Watson promised the photo would appear in the next issue.

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.” - Thomas Henry Huxley in an address to the students of the Faculty of Medicine at University College, London, May 18, 1870, on the occasion of the distribution of prizes for the session.