Hello fellow Berlinites. A celebration took place in Berlin on the 60th Diamond Jubilee of Sister Anne Therese on February 6, 1977. Sister Anne was a French teacher for 62 years and a nun in this city for 40 years. Thirty of these years were at St. Joseph School on 3rd Avenue.
Her life in Berlin had been enjoyable and she loved the mountain scenery, along with amicability of the local citizens. Mostly though, it was her students and the subsequent mutual admiration they and Sister Anne had for each other that were most rewarding to her. Many former students would still call her asking for prayers and employment help.
This great Berlin educator deserved all of the honors that she received as she taught one year at Notre Dame, six years at St. Regis Academy and a year at Guardian Angel, besides her 30 years at St. Joseph's School. How many people can remember this outstanding Berlin educator, as she must have touched many lives in Berlin's parochial schools.
How about a business that some people still refer to as Food Trend? Locally we had two of these stores, one in Berlin and one in Gorham. The one in Gorham closed, but the one in Berlin became Irving on the corner of Pleasant and Green Streets. Food Trend was a combination grocery and self-service gas store and it opened for business on Feb. 2, 1978. It was formerly a Dairy Queen.
Owned by the Dead River Company of Maine, the Food Trend was the second such store in the area. The Gorham Food Trend opened its doors in the fall of 1977. According to Paul Morris, who was the assistant manager in Berlin, Food Trend would be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. The manager of the store at this time was Mr. Roland Goulet. Many of us remember Food Trend very well, because it was the newest convenience store in town.
Another business that is no longer with us was a place called Collins Corner. It was located on 743 Third Ave. It was later called Collins General Store. Primarily a meat store, the new store became a complete general store featuring clothing, boots, tools, hardware, firearms and ammunition. Owner Dan Collins also maintained the grocery, meat and deli sections of the store, however. In the 1950s it was called the Tri-Corner Market operated by Mr. Phil Fortier. There were other owners, but today it is just an empty lot.
Also in February of 1978, City Marshall Carl Giordono officially announced his retirement. He was to be replaced by Assistant City Marshall Paul Morin. Morin had been selected from several candidates, including one from out of town.
A short story was related about these two officers that I would like to share with my readers, as the changing of the guard took place on Saturday morning, Feb. 18. This short recollection was then written about both officers.
Morin, who was then 43, had been with the department since May 22, 1957, when he became a special officer. Previously, he had served with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. His military training included specialized study in automatic weapons, bomb detection and disarming.
He had been certified as a police firearms instructor by the FBI for at least 15 years. He was also on National Rifle Association certified chief hunter safety instructor for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Morin became a sergeant with the local police department in May of 1973 and was promoted to assistant marshal in May of 1975.
Giordono was 53 years old at the time of his retirement, and all 30 years of his career was with Berlin Police Department. From his early days as a patrolman on the beat to his tenure as chief, Carl had watched Berlin evolve from a somewhat rowdy mill and logging town of 20,000 people, to a smaller community of about 15,000 people pestered with vandalism.
Carl was a Detroit, Mich., native and to him New Hampshire was some place up north. Then, he signed up for military police duty in New England during World War II. He was stationed at an Army base in Massachusetts at the time.
Mr. Giordono's introduction to Berlin came when he served 2 1/2 years as an MP at Camp Stark, watching over German POWs. He spent his leisure time here in Berlin where he met his wife Rose.
The Giordonos returned to Detroit after the war, but decided that life in the White Mountains was a lot slower pace than that of the big city. Carl worked construction jobs, until he landed a patrolman's position with the Berlin Police Department.
The marshal spoke about the police officers of 1978 and said that he had to combine a good education with the skills of a psychologist, social worker and at times a priest. Qualifications were different when Giordono joined the force in the late 1940s. Then, a police candidates' physical size rather than intellectual caliber was the primary consideration.
Berlin's five Main Street beer joints and several bootlegging operations were an attraction to the numerous construction workers and lumberjacks in the area. Many of them liked to blow off steam when the weekends came around. The site of a policeman's uniform was often enough to provoke a spirited celebrant to prove his macho abilities against an officer, but most of the rowdies lost. The trend by 1978 had changed.
Even though prohibition was a thing of the past by the late 1940s, illegal liquor operations still existed and occasionally the local police had to assist federal agents with after-hours raids. By the mid-1950s, when the courts cracked down on bootleggers, this came to an end.
This city's police protection in the late 1940s was provided by five patrolman on walking beats and a single cruiser. The former chief recalled the beats that were covered. They were the East Side, Berlin Mills, Upper Main Street, Green Square and Pleasant Street.
Communication back then would probably be the considered primitive compared to today's standards. The cruiser was equipped with a two-way radio and the men on the beat used telephone boxes to contact the station. The station contacted the officers by lighting red lamps signaling the patrolman to call in to headquarters. Cruiser patrol was provided only on weekdays and the vehicle sat in the garage when the driver took the weekend off.
By 1960, changing attitudes about authority added a new dimension to police work. Kids were now less self-confident about blue uniforms. Years ago, when people saw a police officer they got out of the way.
Even when a police officer retires today, they will tell you how their work has changed in just 20 years, especially from 1978 to now.
I will continue with the happenings and history that took place during the year 1978 with my next story.