Historical Society Recognized For Veterans Room

November 19, 2009 at 9:47 PM


DuBois Area Historical Society President Evo Facchine (left) accepts a certificate from Col. Del Spafford. 

        Col. Del Spafford, U.S. Army retired, presented DuBois Area Historical Society President Evo Facchine with a certificate recognizing the Society’s efforts to honor and remember  area veterans through it Veterans Room in the E. D. Reitz Museum, 28 W. Long Ave., DuBois. The surprise presentation was part of an eventful Third Annual DuBois Area Historical Society Luncheon held at the DuBois Diner.

            The certificate is a statement of support for the guard and reserve presented by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates and James Rebholz, national chairman for ESGR signed the certificate presented to Facchine.

            ESGR recognizes outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflict through mediation; and develops and promotes a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates and James Rebholz, national chairman for ESGR signed the certificate presented to Facchine.

           The DuBois Area Historical Society honors and supports veterans and their contributions through the Veterans Room located in its museum at 28 W. Long Ave., DuBois. Facchine, the Society founder, was the driving force to establish a room at the museum, themed toward all who have served their country in the armed services.

            Facchine designed and led the renovation of a room in the museum to accommodate the Society’s collection of military items. Assisting with the construction work over a two-month period were board members Rob Peoples Jr., Beecher Klingensmith, and Eugene Aravich, and volunteers Ed Watson and Jack Harvey. The official opening of the Veterans Room to the public came during the DuBois Area Historical Society’s open house in September 2007.

            The Veterans Room includes uniforms, replicas of military aircraft; maps showing travel routes of local military units, and photographs. Of great local interest are lists of area veterans who served in the military; unusual items such as the cover of a “Newsweek” magazine featuring Clarence “Clink” Micknis, a DuBois radio personality on the Polka Party on WCED, and photographs of who is believed to be the first West Point graduate from DuBois; and much more. The collection continues to grow through the donation of artifacts by area residents.

            Spafford, for the past nine years, has been a volunteer investigator/ombudsman in the ESGR section for the U.S. Department of Defense. He spent 34 years in the U.S. Army, 18 years working with weapons of mass destruction – nuclear and biological warfare, and 16 years in the artillery. He retired in 1988 and moved back to DuBis with his wife, Joan, and family.

            The Society also held its annual election at the luncheon. Evo Facchine was reelected to a fourth, two-year term as president. Also accepting two-year terms and retaining their current positions are:  David Beer, director of buildings and grounds; Todd Thompson, historian; Carolyn Rhodes, director of youth; Rob Peoples, representative for Union Township; and Galen Kilmer, representative for Sandy Township. Joining the board for two-year terms are:  Tom Rubritz, representative for City of DuBois, and Todd Shindledecker, representative for Winslow Township.

            Twenty-eight members and guests attended the luncheon for a program, “The Evolution of Downtown DuBois,” presented by Julie Stewart, Downtown Program Manager for Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group.  Her presentation was divided into two parts.

            First she presented a slide show from 25 years ago, showing the appearance of buildings and streets in DuBois during the initial revitalization program. The send half of her presentation was a CD program of current efforts at revitalizing downtown DuBois. Stewart also provided a “goodie bag” from Downtown Revitalization for all in attendance.

            The luncheon concludes the DuBois Area Historical Society’s events for 2009. Activities will begin again on Feb. 4, 2010, with the annual dinner at the DuBois Country Club. Local historical fiction author P.J. Piccirillo will be the guest speaker, on the topic, “Writing Historical Fiction.”

Category: News