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Walworthians: Lincoln Auxilary

The Walworthians

 

A collection of telephone interviews published in the Wayne County STAR Newspaper and Wayne County MAIL Newspaper, 1994-209

by Kate Chamberlin

 

Lincoln Auxiliary: 50 Years Strong

April 15, 1999

 

 

In 1949, when the phone rang in Clarice White’s home. It would also ring in two other homes. The members of the newly formed Lincoln Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary would dash to the Lincoln Fire Hall to sound the alarm.

They would mark down the location of the fire on the chalkboard so as the men arrived, they’d know where to go. The Auxiliary president was also trained as a fire truck driver, in case one was needed.  If the Fire Chief called in a Code 5 alarm, the Women’s auxiliary would swing into full gear to support the fire fighters.

The Lincoln Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary is celebrating 50 years with the same steadfast mission established in Charter President Clarice White’s home during their first meeting on February 28, 1949. The method of communication and transportation have changed a bit, but the two-fold organization of fire fighters and auxiliary work in harmony.

The first officers were President Clarice White, Vice-President Till Boyd, Secretary Bessie Baker and Treasurer Eleanor Johncox. There was a $2 joining fee which was paid by 41 charter members.

The current officers are President Connie Spencer-Plant, Vice-President Hazel Kurrasch, Secretary Nancy Gotte and Treasurer Robbie Gallagher.

Their mission was, and still is, to serve the fire department. They do that by assisting in fund raisers, providing food and refreshments at fires and department meetings.

Some of the Auxiliary’s fund raisers have been the Annual craft sale at the Wayne Central Middle School (usually in November); for 32 years they have been assisting with the chicken barbeque; assisting with a pizza booth at the Wayne County Fair; carnivals, turkey parties and even a car raffle.

In recent years, the Ladies’ Auxiliary has sponsored an awareness program by having children come meet Santa Claus (usually in December). The fire fighters wear their gear and explain to the children what they do, show them the equipment and how it works.

“It’s very satisfying,” Anita Amsler said. “I remember one bonfire that the men fought in freezing conditions. The equipment was different then and they came in with frozen gloves. We actually had to mold their frozen fingers around a hot mug.”

Amsler and Joyce Pugsley agreed that the biggest change in the auxiliary is due to the change in women going out into the work-force. Women aren’t as available to do volunteer work the way they used to be. The current membership in the Lincoln Auxiliary is 26 members.

Various auxiliaries all have cordial relationships and assist each other when multi-alarm fires occur. One community would be the hostess with the others pitching in. In this way, the fire fighters can receive the support they need.

Of the 41 dedicated charter members, fourteen of them will be recognized during the banquet at the Ontario Golf Club on April 17th. Charter Members June Foote, Bessie Baker and Till Boyd will be honored for not only being charter members, but for still being active members!

Thank you, ladies of the Lincoln Fire Department Auxiliary for a job well done.

2018 Up-Date:  So, now they’ve been established for 69 years and still going strong.