From Gazette editions of January, 1962:
The latest addition to the Island’s intertown, fire-fighting brigade is the new maxim pumper, delivered a few days ago to the town of Oak Bluffs. This pumper has a 750 gallons per minute capacity, and carries a reserve water supply of 500 gallons. Voted by the annual town meeting, it replaces an older piece of apparatus of similar style and capacity.
Always up in the forefront in developing the town’s fire department, Chief Nelson W. Amaral points with justifiable pride to his five pieces of apparatus, All new, four pumpers and an aerial ladder truck.
Two important business transfers are nearing completion in Vineyard Haven, the sale by the Colby Construction Company of its Red Hill plant to the Goodale Construction Company, and the purchase by the present owners of the former establishment, William A. Colby Sr. and Jr., of Vineyard Utilities on Union street, Vineyard Haven.
Transfer of title to the Colby plant, which will include the plant, real estate and all accessories, will take place on February 1, and the Colbys, father and son, will assume management of Vineyard Utilities on March 1.
The Colby business was established about 1945 and has been developed into a plant of impressive size, manufacturing cement products of various kinds and pressed bricks as well. Robert Goodale has been closely associated with the company in business for a number of years. Vineyard Utilities was established by Henry Cronig about thirty years ago, handling bottled gas and appliances of various kinds, which burn gas and oil. It was shortly after World War II that Mr. Cronig opened the Main street establishment, and it remained there until a few years ago when it was moved to Union street.
Both these businesses may be included in the list of the Vineyard’s “Big Business,” having been developed and expanded in various way since their establishment. The Colby plant is modern in all respects and is impressive in size and the amount of its equipment. As for Vineyard Utilities, it has serviced the Island for years.
With their next Blue Cross bills, members of the Martha’s Vineyard group will be notified of the discontinuance of the Island group and their transfer to the statewide category of direct payment members. There is some irony in the change, since it is being made primarily because of the high utilization of Blue Cross on the Vineyard and the consequent high cost shown by the group experience. This experience has led to substantial increases in the group rate, and would have necessitated further increases.
But as direct payment members, the same individuals will pay smaller premiums, they will be eligible for a prolonged illness certificate or change to a $15 or $18 plan — not now permissible — and the benefits will be exactly the same except in one respect. Instead of eligibility for 10 hospital days, the non-group members will be eligible for 40 days.
The dissolution of the Vineyard group will not affect the various individual groups on-Island. These groups are the hospital itself, Martha’s Vineyard National Bank, Regional High School, Vineyard Gazette, Dukes County, Avery’s, W. A. Colby, Harborside Inn, and the towns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury.
The Martha’s Vineyard group was formed in the early days of the Blue Cross, for the reason that there were few establishments employing a large enough number of persons to meet the minimum requirement. It has grown to a membership of about 800. No group is rated on its usage unless it exceeds 75 in number. Any number smaller than 75 is considered statistically insignificant. But when larger numbers are involved, the actual usage is rated, and changes are made in the rates to cover the use made. At Nantucket a condition existed in which usage was so frequent the rates threatened to become prohibitive; it was decided to dissolve the group and throw the Nantucket members in with the members in the state at large.
Of the many kind deeds which the Foote Memorial of the M.S.P.C.A., and its devoted staff have performed through the years there can be none more rewarding than that by which Boodle, a Siamese cat, was reunited with his family. It was Sonny Jackson Jr. who engineered the whole thing and whose memory served when he was told about a stray cat and remembered that Boodle had been missing since the fall. He appealed to the Gazette for aid in getting in touch with Boodle’s family, the William Peltz’s, Lambert’s Cove summer residents. Few could remain unmoved by Mrs. Peltz’s description of the reunion: “Boodle rushed from each dog, cat, child, adult, familiar chair, purring and meowing like a basso profundo, skating along on her ear, and rolling all the way over. I’ve never seen an animal express such complete happiness.”
Compiled by Cynthia meisner