World War I Program Scheduled

November 01, 2002 at 8:13 PM

       November is the month of Veterans Day and the month to remember those who have fought and died for the United States.

       The DuBois Area Historical Society will do its part by hosting a program from Louis Sewell, of Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Chef  de Gare, of the Forty et Eight honor society. The meeting on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the E.D. Reitz Museum, 28 W. Long Ave., DuBois, is free and open to the public.

        Sewell will present the history of the Forty et Eight. DuBois played host to the Forty et Eight state convention last Aug. 8-10.

        The Forty et Eight formally known as La Societe des Quarente Hommes et Huit Chervaux, is an independent fraternal organization of veterans. It was founded in 1920 by veterans of World War I. Membership is by invitation only to outstanding American Legionnaires.

        Now composed of the Veterans of both World Wars, the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts, it draws its origin from World War I when young Americans were sent to France to fight a war to end all wars. The narrow gauge railroads of France had boxcars (Voilures) that carried little more than half the capacity of American boxcars and these voitures were used to transport the men and horses to and from the fighting fronts.

        On the side of these little boxcars was stenciled the capacity of each. Holding either forty men or eight horses these voitures became the trademark of the organization. If you could laugh at the train ride from the coast of France to the trenches crowded in these little boxcars only recently vacated by eight horses, one could surely adapt to the changes in his life when he returned home. Membership in the Forty et Eight is by invitation only for recognition of service to the American Legion and/or its programs.

        Forty et Eight raises money to support several programs including Child Welfare; Nurse Scholarships; Research of Tuberculosis, Leprosy, Childhood Diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis; Special Olympics; Youth Sports; Boys & Girls State; Flags for First Graders, Junior Olympics; Law Officer of the Year, Hero of the Year, POW/MIA, V.A. Voluntary Service Program and Americanism.

        Over 40 members and guests attended the Society’s 21st Annual Dinner meeting in October. Scott Hangartner of DuBois was the guest speaker, talking about “A History of Bigfoot in Pennsylvania and Around the World.”

        This will be the final meeting for 2002. Programs will continue in 2003: Feb. 26 – Bill Hand, “Major McCreight, an Early 20th Century DuBois Leader”; March 13 – Gary Gilmore, “Presettlement Forests:  What John DuBois Saw”; April 3 – Jeanne Curtis, “Making Pysanky” (Ukrainian Easter eggs); May 29 – Galen Kilmer, “DuBois Area High School Local History Projects.” All are free at 7:30 p.m. in the E.D. Reitz Museum, 30 W. Long Ave., DuBois.

Category: News