Nineteen members and three guests attended the Association's 28th meeting on Wednesday, October 14th. The meeting was followed by a lunch of meatball and eggplant parmesan subs with pasta sides, prepared perfectly by our own Brian Forsyth and his staff at the Elks. Next meeting is a breakfast meeting: Thursday, January 14th at 9 a.m.
October's meeting minutes are available by accessing the "MEMBERS ONLY" page in the menu above.
Photo snapped by Paul Rapanault
Back row: Ralph Purificato, John Poe, Harold Mangler, Paul Frodel, Bill LaVelle, Tom Doherty, Jim Leddy, Ray Dobbs, Bob Viglione and Dave Johnson. Seated: Rev. Owen Sanderson, Bob Mordecai, John O'Hare, Doug Yocher, Chick Manware and Gil Spencer.
Jimmy Dunlop, John O'Hare and Bob Mordecai
Bobby V, Guests Paul Rapanault and Rich Beirne from UPFFA, and Johnny Poe.
Augie Williams, "Froggy" Frodel, Ray Dobbs and Bobby V
Jim Leddy, John O'Hare, Bill LaVelle, Tom Doherty, Bobby Viglione, Doug Yocher and Ray Dobbs
Paul Rapanault, Johnny Poe and Rich Beirne / "Red" Ralph Purificato and Paul Frodel in back
Chick Manware and brew
Brian Forsyth on the LH side / Augie, Vic Mitchell and Gil Spencer
Digging in after the meeting
Gil Spencer and Bill Bossoli
Co. 5's 1930 Maxim
This birthday cake for Gil Spencer, one day early, just happened to appear right after Wednesday's HFRA lunch at the Elks. The next day, Gil ran into former HFD Firefighter Bill Bossoli at Miller Library. It was Gil's 80th birthday, but Bill had reached that milestone over 16 years earlier.
Right after Gil joined Co. 5 in 1951, Firefighter Bill Bossoli gave Gil Spencer his first ride on a fire engine, Mt. Carmel's 1930 Maxim pumper. Bill was assigned to Station 5 with fellow career Firefighter Joe Dukat. The three of them were responding to a brush fire on Brooksvale Avenue.
Gil recalled that the Maxim's 80-gallon booster tank required frequent refills from the hydrant on Brooksvale near the railroad tracks. It was quite an experience. With young Spencer aboard for each refill, Firefighter Bossoli enjoyed flirting with danger. Returning to the fire scene with every full tank, Bill narrowly navigated the ancient pumper around a rocky outcropping at the righthand hairpin curve on Brooksvale, inching ever closer with each refill. "How close was I that time?"
Bill Bossoli has lived in Mt. Carmel since he was born in 1919. He joined Co. 5 in 1938 and then the career department in 1950. He was sworn in with Richie Lostritto and five others (see group news photo posted on the October 2nd update). Bill, an expert watch repairman, left the department six years later to pursue a career in the private sector. He has been a contributor to the website.
Since 1911, Gil Spencer, his father, his grandfather and his son, Batt. Chief John Spencer, have contributed more than 125 years (and counting) of active firefighting to the Town of Hamden.
At Wednesday's meeting the Association welcomed its newest member, Bill LaVelle, who served on the department during the 1960s. Bill was appointed on December 11, 1961 with Paul Wetmore, Sr.
and George Patten. Welcome Bill!
Tom Doherty and Bill LaVelle. They both worked together in the early 1960s at Headquarters on old Platoon 1.
December 1967 - Ff. Bill LaVelle, flanked by Ffs. Hugh McLean and Gerry Wolf, as Chief Leddy looks on in the background.
The guys at HQ are pictured below fifty years ago working hard to polish "Car 41," the department's 1962 Rambler sedan, newly assigned to Marshal Purce. The Rambler served Chief Leddy for three years previously as "Car 40."
From left to right, Ffs. Hugh McLean, Tom Doherty, Jerold Bradbury, Bill LaValle, and Dick Stacey.
Here is the first of seven images from a catalog of Maxim fire apparatus that were marketed in the mid-1960s. This pumper has the same "nose" as Hamden's two 1968 S Models, but with a somewhat longer wheelbase.
Hamden's 1968 Maxim 1000 GPM "S" Model (Photo by Joseph Wegloski courtesy of Daryl Osiecki)