Please allow me to clarify recent utterances in your paper! I hope the following information would put to rest once and for all the issue as to how the Father's Day activities were started in Frenchtown. Certain individuals will say otherwise, but without fear of denial or rebuke, I offer the following:
Father's Day activities in Frenchtown were started over 50 years ago as a single-day (Sunday) event by a group of men and women to honor all fathers. Mother's Day activities came some years later.
The day featured softball games, a French game of pallet, tug-of-war and several other fun-filled activities concluding with an end-of-day party in one member's yard at the base of Rue de St. Ann, commonly known as Church Hill. I remember as a young lad taking part in and witnessing this happy occasion. The men and women who started these activities shortly thereafter became known as The Frenchtown Civic Organization (FTCO).
Father's Day Sunday continued until 1971 when, over drinks in the world-famous Normandie Bar, Moby Dick Committee members — Allan Richardson, the late Tony Scarbriel and the undersigned — discussed the idea of having a three-day weekend event to honor all fathers. This became reality that year through the acquiescence and assistance of the Frenchtown Civic Organization and other hard-working members of the Moby Dick Committee. History was made as the activities went off with just a few minor problems. Needless to say, we were all proud and continue to be.
In 1972, the popular Frenchtown Fishing Tournament was started under Moby Dick's guidance with the able assistance of Gary Berne, Keith Olive, Anthony "Chester" Cerge, Armour Quetel and others. This continued for 13 years, after which the FTCO took over and continued the activities until The Committee for the Betterment of Carenage (CBC) took over some 10 years ago.
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony has always been and continues to be held under the guidance of the Frenchtown Civic Organization with assistance of members of the Moby Dick Committee.
These are facts, and anything said otherwise is just the fantasying of an Alice in Wonderland mind.
Benjamin Gagliani Jr.
Moby Dick Committee co-chair
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