HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS TREE AT ROTARY

 

 

 

                         There have been Christmas decorations at the East Longmeadow Rotary for over 50 years.

 

            At first, there was a manger scene, sponsored by Techni-Products Company.  Then the blue spruce tree was lighted, also by Techni-Products.  The placing of the lights was performed by Ed Moore, employee of Mass. Electric.   These were soon taken over by the East Longmeadow Lions Club, and have been maintained by the Lions ever since.

 

            Some unfortunate incidents have marked the occasion over the years.  The original manger was destroyed by fire at the site.  This was replaced, probably by Lion Jim Davis.  The manger and figures were stored in the Davis barn on Somers Road, but were destroyed about 25 years ago by a fire that also destroyed the barn and all the contents.  The manger was again replaced by Lion Jim Davis, and the figures were replaced by the Lions.

 

            The original blue spruce grew too large, and was taken down and replaced by a smaller one, which is the one here now.  Then, a large maple, which stood in front of the church, blew down in a windstorm, and took all the electrical connections for the tree and manger.  Through the efforts of Lion Dan Lacedonia, a new electrical system was installed. 

 

            The manger scene is annually taken care of by Jim and Sandy Davis, and the electrical work is performed by Lions Bill Dixon and Wally Clune, assisted, at no charge, by Steve Scliopou, of Community Electric. .  The pruning of the tree and the installation of the lights is provided at no cost by Tom O’Brien of Paul Bunyan Tree Service.

 

            The annual tree lighting celebration is a cooperative effort by many, including the Fire Department furnishing Santa’s transportation, members of the East Longmeadow High School band providing music, the Congregational Church providing the live manger scene and the refreshments.