The history of West Haven really began in 1638 when the early settlers landed in New Haven at what is now the intersection of College and George Streets. Land extending westward from the Quinnipiac River to approximately the foot of what is now known as Allingtown Hill and Cove River was purchased from the Indians and on May 20, 1645, additional acreage was obtained but this latter purchase caused a long dispute with Milford who claimed to have bought the same land. This whole area was called West Farms and it was originally used for cattle pasturage. Salt hay was cut there and oysters and clams were gathered from the waters of Long Island Sound. The year 1639 saw a footbridge built across West River to facilitate crossing. In 1640, these "common lands" were divided by lot and the following year a cart bridge was erected over the West River. The records reveal that in 1646 one Nehemiah Smith cared for all the town sheep in return for the use of certain west-side pasturage as his own.
The first dwellings were built for farmers, fishermen, oystermen and herders and were only simple huts. History does not record any permanent settlement here until 1648.
Town records of specific names of the earliest settlers are thought to have probably been destroyed during the British raid of 1779. Church records, though, from 1724 are preserved and it is known that in 1650 one George Smith and seven or eight other men and their families did build permanent homes in West Farms. Most of those who received allotments in 1640, however, still resided in New Haven.
Original settlers included the George Lamberton, Thomas Painter, Edward Thomas, Thomas (or Jesse) Stevens, Gregson, Fowler, Benham, Ward, Clarke, Brown and Thompson families. These were subsequently followed by James Reynolds, Newton Stevens, Eli Kimberly, Ezra Candee, Nehemiah Kimberly, Albert Candee, Isaac Hine, Joseph Prindle, Captains Icabod Smith, Anson Clinton and Albert Thomas, along with the four Ward brothers, Henry, Thomas, Elliott and Jacob.
The State Assembly settled the long-standing dispute between New Haven and Milford relative to land boundaries in 1674 by declaring Oyster River the Town Line. In 1680, the Third Allotment of New Haven lands included the territory from Malbon's Cove (Cove River) "so along ye sea to oyster river and thence upward by Milford Line until they come at least half a mile above ye round hills....and then to turn eastward and lay out unto ye Mill River." The veterans of King Philip's War received special consideration and were granted acreage in proportion to their length of service. Lands in the Jones Hill section were held as commons for pasturage and forage. Soon the number of families numbered about one hundred and from 1690 to 1720 road building assumed great importance. Pent Road (now First Ave.) was in use in 1687. Savin Ave. (also known as Pent Road) was traveled in 1698 and Cove River Road (now Platt Ave.) was used as a highway in 1699. Present day Sawmill Road, Meloy Road, Benham Hill Road and Jones Hill Road follow closely routes laid out in the period from 1680-1720.
By the time West Farms Community turned the corner into the eighteenth century, they became disenchanted with their lack of voice in the affairs of a growing New Haven and on April 29, 1712, petitioned New Haven for separate parish privileges, stressing the increase in population and the distance from their dwellings to the Center Church. New Haven, with a weather eye on the revenue involved in losing so many families, denied the petition. However, the petition was presented to the State Assembly in 1714 and in 1715 the Assembly created the parish of West Haven with bounds which included the present West Haven as well as the Town of Orange. Its simple parish government was formally organized in 1719 when it was incorporated by the Assembly. From that date, the town government had its real beginning.
In 1723, an Episcopal Church Society was founded and a church was erected in 1739-40. It was, however, not consecrated until May, 1842. The church closed in 1830 due to a lack of communicants, but was reopened in 1837. It was renovated in 1840 under the leadership of Rev. A. C. Chaplain and reopened on June 27, 1837.
From 1886 to 1895 during the pastorate of Rev. H.B. Whitney, many improvements were made including redecoration, improvement of the heating and the lighting systems, a new organ installed and a new rectory was acquired but it became increasingly apparent that a new church building was needed.
By 1907, under the driving force of Rev. A.J. Gammack, a fine Gothic church was erected on its present site and in 1917 a new parish house was built. Some of the timbers of the old church were used in the erection of St. Martin -in-the-Fields on the southeast corner of Washington Ave., and Park St. which was dedicated on June 19, 1911.
In 1719, the first edifice of the Congregational Church was erected on land given to the community by Samuel Candee and Shubail Painter. It served as a place of worship and also for the uses of civil authority. Lacking a steeple with a bell, it was necessary to have a drum beaten to signal the call to service or civil affairs. There was no heat in the building. The year 1729 saw galleries constructed on both sides and at the rear. From 1734 to 1738, the church was without a pastor, Rev. Jonathan Arnold having turned to the Episcopal doctrine (as had his predecessor, Rev. Samual Johnson). The newly ordained Rev. Timothy Allen served form 1738 to 1742 when he, too, was relieved of his duties after avowing sympathy for the cause of the Episcopal Church. He was followed by Rev. Nathan Birdseye who officiated until 1758. The Rev. Noah Williston started in 1764 to serve a long and eventful period.
In 1764, a steeple was added and in 1774 a bell was hung. While trying to escape the British raid in 1779, the Rev. Williston fell and broke his leg. Adjutant Campbell prevented his men from shooting him and, in fact, ordered his surgeon to set the leg. Shortly thereafter, Adjutant Campbell lost his life in the vicinity of Allingtown Hill where a monument to his memory now stands.
The first meetinghouse served for 134 years. A new edifice was erected in 1851 and Capt. Icabod Smith pledged money for the purchase of a small portable organ which was saved when fire destroyed the building in 1859. The present church was built in 1860 and in 1867 a pipe organ was installed. In 1891, the interior was remodeled and in 1898, another organ was purchased from St. Paul's in New Haven.
A three-story red brick addition was added in 1915 to serve for Sunday School and recreational purposes.
The two-hundredth anniversary of the church's founding was celebrated in 1919 by a fund-raising drive for the purchase of a new $9,700.00 organ dedicated to the "Sons of the Church" who served in the World War.
In 1950, a storm toppled the lovely steeple but the parishioners and townspeople donated sufficient funds to replace it.
The first Methodist Episcopal Church at Center Street and Second Ave. was erected on 1870. Prior to that time, services were held twice weekly in the Thompson Block. An auditorium was built in 1881. Both wooden structures were razed and the present church was erected in 1916.
West Haven Catholics, prior to 1886, had to travel to either St. John's Church on Davenport Ave. or Sacred Heart Church on Columbus Ave. in New Haven. When a mission parish was established in West Haven in April, 1886, the first Mass was celebrated in Borough Headquarters in the Thompson Block. The corner stone of the first edifice of St. Lawrence Church was laid in 1886. In 1892, the West Haven mission reverted to Sacred Heart but three years later, on May 1, 1895, the Rev. Jeremiah Curtin was named first resident pastor of St. Lawrence where he served until his death in 1936. In 1903, the cornerstone for the present brick edifice was laid on Main Street at the corner of Union Ave. In 1910, St. Lawrence Chapel was opened "for the summer trade," as Father Curtin put it, on Summer Street and Savin Ave. This later became St. John Vianney Church and served until the present church was built in 1971.
St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church was an off-shoot of St. Lawrence. Established in 1916 for the convenience of the large number of Catholics in the northern end of town, its early masses were celebrated in Harugari Hall, Campbell Ave. Shortly after its creation, a one-story brick church was erected on First Ave. at Alling Street with a rectory on Alling Street. St. Paul's Chapel on Orange Ave. near Tuthill Street was opened in 1937 and another, known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, was built on Fenwick Street in 1924. The present St. Paul's on First Ave. was built in 1955.
Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in the Colonial Park area was organized in 1935 for the convenience of former communicants of St. Lawrence. Old Colonial Inn on Ocean Ave. at Tyler Street was remodeled and served until 1955/1956 when a building boom brought more Catholic families into the area than the old building could handle and the present complex was started on Jones Hill Road and Morgan Lane.
The First Baptist Church on Center Street was built in 1922, partially from money derived from the sale of the Baptist Church on Howard Ave. at Rosette Street which had disbanded. Prior to its erection, services had been held, since 1915, in the Masonic Temple and before then at the homes of West Haven residents.
Lutheran services in West Haven in 1910 were held in a building on Center Street near Union Ave. In 1913, services were in the Thompson Block. The Lutherans, as a parish were organized in 1920. The present church on Campbell Ave. at George Street was dedicated on November 16, 1924.
In 1890, a group of Allingtown residents erected a small church, the Gospel Union Chapel on Campbell Ave. near Orange Ave. On April 18, 1918, it was renamed the Union Congregational Church and in 1922, it was enlarged. It is now called The Christian Fellowship Church of God., Inc.
West Haven Jews, prior to 1929, had to travel to various temples of worship in New Haven or, upon occasion, hold services in private homes.
The Congregation Sinai on the corner of Washington Ave. and New St. has been, since its erection, the hub of many spiritual and civic activities.
Fairly recent additions serving our spiritual needs are St. John's By-The-Sea, St. Louis Roman Catholic Church (on the site of old Neilson farm), Faith Christian, Evangelical Free, Living Word Ministries, House of Jacob, Rehoboth Temple Church of God and West Haven Church of God.
Growth of Police and Fire Service
The growth of West Haven's Police force has kept pace with the population expansion. When West Farms was a borough of Orange in 1873, a police committee of three members had charge of local police. Constables performed police duties until 1897 when Robert W. French was appointed West Haven's first uniformed policeman. In 1898, John M. Loomis became the second member of the force. Loomis became the first Chief in 1908 and French became the second in 1921.
A Board of Police Commissioners was created by legislature in 1913. In 1921, the legislature established a police retirement fund and a 1937 amendment granted one-half retirement pay to the surviving wife or children on the death of a retired member of the force. Since then, our police force and police methods have kept pace with national improvement levels.
West Haven's first fire department evolved from a disastrous conflagration at a Savin Rock hotel called Hinman's Astor House in 1888. Sobered by the loss, due to the lack of fire protection, the citizens formed the first fire department, a volunteer company, and named Dr. William V. Wilson as chief. A "Button" hand pumper, manned by 30 men, 15 on each side, and two "Jumpers" (hose reels) were obtained and housed in a barn on Washington Ave. at the rear of Dr. Durell Shepard's Pharmacy on Elm St. Several fire hydrants were placed at the strategic locations around the center of town.
The year 1893 saw the erection of a Town Hall. The same year, a few fire alarm boxes were installed around town. These were later replaced by the Gamewell Alarm System.
In 1895, Miss Carrie Rockefeller was voted in as a regular member of Engine Company No. 1 "for her valuable services in helping to pull the apparatus." She may have been the first woman firefighter.
On January 15, 1892, two groups of firemen met separately to organize hook and ladder companies. The courts had to finally decide that one of them, the "Grahams" had actually organized thirty minutes sooner than the other company, the "Hooks". The "Grahams," sponsored by Sen. James Graham, bought a truck and built a firehouse on Washington Ave. adjoining the Church Press. When they disbanded in 1902, the "Hooks" took over. The "Hooks" first quarters were at Elm and Water Streets.
The North End Hose Co. No. 3 and the Seaside Hose Co. No. 4 were organized in 1895. North Ends were originally quartered at Spring St. and Front Ave., but were later moved up Spring St. opposite Oak-Grove Cemetery. Seaside (later Savin Rocks) were established in a fish market on Grove St. at the corner of Hill.
In 1899, the Volunteer Fire Police was organized to maintain order and discipline at fires and to prevent looting. They served well until disbanded in 1913 in favor of regular police.
Shortly after the appointment of the first board of fire commissioners in 1911, four pieces of Knox motorized apparatus were purchased, one for each fire company, making West Haven probably the first volunteer fire department in the country to be completely motorized.
Allingtown's first department was organized in 1907 and its first apparatus was hand-drawn and housed in a new building on Admiral St. A new horse-drawn combination hose and chemical wagon, built by C. M. Hamm "the village blacksmith" was obtained in 1909. In 1910, some hydrants were installed. Peter Wols was named first chief in 1913. Motorized equipment was purchased in 1915 and in 1928 a brick building replaced the old wooden one. A Gamewell Fire Alarm System was installed in 1913. Today, Allingtown has another fire station, well equipped, up in the Minor Park section of the city.
The West Shore Fire Dept. was organized in 1918 and John W. Curren was named first chief. First headquarters were in a shed at the rear of a building at Ocean and Prospect Aves. Mr. Frank Abbott gave the department the original wooden firehouse on Ocean Ave., just west of Dawson Ave. North Ends loaned a hand-drawn hose truck which served until 1920 when a motorized pump was procured. George Schlissel was named Fire Marshall in 1925 after the department purchased a second piece of motorized apparatus. In 1931, Captain Russell Bartholomew became the department's first full-time driver. Subsequently, Edward Granfield succeeded Curren as chief and was in turn later succeeded by Geirge Schlissel. A new brick building supplanted the old wooden one in 1936. In 1961, another fire station was erected on Benham Hill Road and this one has just been enlarged.
Steven Heights, formerly in the York Street area, has a fine modern building on Meloy Road; and with the Savin Rocks (until recently housed in Park Street and presently seeking a new home) and the Second Avenue Station, our circle of fire protection is excellent.
West Haven schools of one sort or another date back practically to the very beginning of West Farms. According to records of the Ecclesiastical Society of the First Congregational Church, a schoolmaster was paid 60 pounds per annum, the biggest part in staples such as meat, vegetables, butter and flax.
In 1805, the Southern District urged that a new school be built on the Green. This was voted down initially but subsequently agreement between dissident factions was reached and in that year a school was built and, in fact, stood on the Green until 1857. It stood empty from 1849, however, as classes were consolidated with those in the Union Avenue School.
A typical country school was Waldense, established in 1829 at Morgan Lane and Benham Hill which was initially supported by a dozen families with each family responsible for sharing, in part, the boarding of the teacher. The original school building proved to be too small and a few years later a larger one was built on the same site. This one served until 1897 when the building was moved to 319 Savin Ave. and a still larger school built. It closed for good in 1920 and children in the Western District then went to the new Colonial Park School.
From such meager beginnings, there evolved a more advanced educational system with well defined school districts and neighborhood schools. Today, of course, sociological pressures have outdated neighborhood schools in favor of more integrated schools and bus transportation.
Private schools of note included the Seaside Male Seminary, operated from 1859 to 1878 on Washington Ave. at New St.; the Park Hill Ladies Seminary on Church Street near Savin which catered to young ladies from 1845 to 1875; the Commercial and Classical Boarding and Day School for boys at 415 Savin in operation from about 1855 until the late 1870's and the Phelps Nursery School, started in 1934 and conducted for many years at the old Phelps home on Campbell Avenue and Elm St.
Catholics instituted a parochial school system of education by establishing the St. Lawrence Parochial School in 1917, followed some years later by Notre Dame High School in Allingtown, Our Lady of Victory School on Jones Hill Road and St. Louis Parochial School on Bull Hill Lane.
1861 saw the establishment of a shipyard on Water St. at the foot of Main St. by W. M. Gessner, a shipbuilder from Fair Haven. In 1865, he took in his brother-in-law, John E. Mar, as a partner and the business became known as Gessner and Mar. It boasted two shipways and from 1880 to 1893 became the most important industry in town while building three and four-masted schooners.
With the gradual depletion of local timber and the coming of steam, the shipbuilding began to decline, turning to barge construction, repairing and refitting and eventually to the building of pleasure craft.
In 1927, the Yale Flying Boat Service took over the site, but failed, and in 1931, the West Haven Shipyard, Inc. succeeded them and did a thriving business for many years.
In 1855, George Kelsey came to West Haven from Middletown and became affiliated with the West Haven Buckle Company. In 1885, he reorganized The American Buckle Company. In 1867, he owned controlling interest in the West Haven Horsecar Line which ran to Savin Rock. In 1869/70, he built a 1500 ft. pier off Beach Street and inaugurated a ferry service to both New Haven and Lighthouse. The same year saw him erect the Seaview Hotel, the famous bandstand and fountain in "The Park" and the Observatory atop Savin Rock Proper. This was the start of Savin Rock Park as an amusement center which attracted thousands of fun-seekers and had a profound effect on the economy of West Haven.
The golden era of "The Rock" began with the opening of "White City" just after the turn of the century, a decade after the new magic of electricity brought light and power to the community.
As an entertainment center, Savin Rock, with its myriad rides, theaters, restaurants and hotels, seemed a glittering land of happy make believe. Despite numerous devastating fires and storm damage from the Sound, "The Rock" always seemed to bounce back and become revitalized. One had the feeling that it would go on forever. Alas, it did not, but it left indelible memories for those who knew it.
West Haven's first theaters were in Savin Rock and there were many of them including Wilcox's, Blake's "Savin Rock Theater," Murphy's "Nikelet," The Orpheum, Clifford's, Mitchells and Airdome among others.
Along Campbell Avenue we had the Orange, near Court St., the Cameo, opposite the Green and the Rivoli, opposite the Post Office. Allingtown had the Park and later the Forest plus an open-air drive-in near West River. The only survivor is the Forest.
In 1901, "Captain" Al Widmann obtained a charter from the General Assembly for a daily ferry service between Savin Rock and Lighthouse Point. Two new piers were built, five vessels put into operation and for thirty-three years the service continued without any accidents.
The year 1910 saw Widmann establish an annual cross harbor swimming race starting at Savin Rock and finishing at Lighthouse Point. When the pier at Lighthouse collapsed in 1934 and spilled many spectators into the water, Widmann with drew his sponsorship. The race continued however, as an A.A.U. event under the auspices of the New Haven Register until the start of World War II. In 1954, the race was held as a special event on Abe Ribicoff Day sponsored by the West Haven Democrats.
In 1977, the City of West Haven collaborated with the Coast Guard Flotilla 17-11, with aid from private citizens, and revived the once popular event which has been held annually ever since.
Alex Sullivan was the oldest, and most prolific winner, turning in ten wins from 1925 through 1941. His time of 51:00.8 set in 1933 is still a record. Sue Slavin holds the women's record of 57:29 set in 1978. Tom Arduini, at fourteen, was the youngest ever overall winner in 1983.
Baseball enthusiasts, before 1870, were able to watch games at Savin Rock in an area bounded by Beach, Summer, Palace and Grove Streets. After Kelsey took over this area, the baseball park was moved to the future site of White City. In 1902, to accommodate the building of White City, the old ball park was moved west to a triangular area bound by Savin Ave., Oak and Marsh Streets. By the mid-twenties, the creaky old park was razed and Weiss Park, off Woodin St. in Hamden, was dismantled, set up in the triangular area and renamed Donovan Field.
Baseball, football, Police Field Days, boxing, midget and stock car races were enjoyed here. It was a normal happening for a husband to have his wife and kids roam through "The Rock" while he enjoyed a Sunday game at the ball park.
While Donovan Field yielded to renewal in the mid-sixties, we have many athletic fields today. Painter Park, our most famous, has been the site of the "Twilight League" for over fifty years.
In the early twenties, the West Shore Fire Department began a long tradition of Independence Day celebration with a small carnival. Its success inspires the volunteers to expand it in size and in just a very few years, it became a three day affair replete with fireworks, games of chance, a dance held in the firehouse hall with a giant bonfire climaxing the festivities. As time went on, it reverted back to its original one night stand, the bonfire became a casualty, for safety reasons, and after 1970 the carnival was discontinued.
The year 1909 saw the erection of a fine new library on the corner of Campbell Ave. and Elm St. It has since been enlarged considerably and we now, also, have the Ora M. Mason Branch in the West Shore and the Louis J. Piantino Branch in Allingtown.
West Haveners may well remember certain happenings which while lacking overpowering social significance, did titillate our sense of civic pride. The inventor of the lollipop was a West Havener named Oscar Reynolds who called it "taffy-on-a-stick;" in 1931 the first "electric-eye" doors in America were installed in Wilcox's Pier Restaurant; in 1933 our own Marian Bergeron, daughter of a local policeman, was crowned Miss America and was the youngest ever to be so honored; the year 1960 had our Maureen Sullivan crowned as America's "Junior Miss."
Our town has had many fine old historic homes, some architecturally simple and others quite ornate in the Victorian style. One stands out in memory above all others for sheer opulence -- The Wilson Waddingham mansion which graced our area for less than one generation. Built for a man who sought and found his fortune in gold and cattle out west, it stood facing Elm St. between Second and Third Ave., with property extending to Fourth Ave. and back to Wood Street.
The mansion, built in the late 1800's, was comprised of forty-four rooms, all with the very best materials and furnishings available and it cost half a million dollars, a staggering sum at that time. The first contractor, possibly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job, disappeared one day, along with a substantial sum of money, and Waddingham was forced to procure the services of another contractor to finish the job. The first contractor was eventually found dead with the missing money in a secret tunnel under the mansion.
Waddingham eventually lost most of his money and sold the place to a casket manufacturer from New Haven. On October 16, 1902, the former "showplace of New England" burned to the ground in a raging fire that smoldered for three days. Bricks left intact were used to build the row of houses on the east side of Third Ave., north of Elm St.
Gregory Morrissey had the honor of having been our last First Selectman and our first Mayor. He was elected in 1959 as First Selectman and became Mayor in 1961 under a charter charge, which included the creation of a 13 member City Council.
New Haven College moved onto Allingtown's old County Home property in August 1960. The last 26 years have seen much educational and physical expansion and it now boasts university status.
In 1968 Miles Laboratories became part of West Haven's industrial family when they moved Dome Chemicals, which they has purchased in 1959, to the old Rully property on Morgan Lane. During 1980, they changed the name to Miles Pharmaceuticals (now Bayer). Their industrial growth and local physical expansion since locating here have been a big economical plus for our City.
In 1969, the new bridge over the West River on Kimberly Avenue was opened in August, replacing the old lift bridge which caused great delays from time to time.
In 1971, Mayor Alexander Zarnowski had 170 emergency call boxes put in service.
In 1973, Jerome Germain designed a new City flag. It depicts one of our citizens looking out at the British fleet in our harbor on July 5, 1779, from a lookout point on Savin Rock. It bears the words "Nil Desperandum" (never despair) and, of course, the year of our first settlement (1648) and the year of our incorporation as a Town (1921). It was accepted by Albert Forte, City Clerk, on May 21, 1973, when it was dedicated and placed in our City Hall.
However, a new era in history of Savin Rock and the City was already well under way by the time the new flag was adopted. The final demise of the Savin Rock amusement area in the late 50's and early 60's helped trigger a massive Redevelopment effort, and at one time plans for scores of apartments were proposed. But a dramatic shift in the public's attitude set the stage for a struggle between developers and preservationists that has continued to this day. In 1974, a city-wide referendum called for a halt to most construction in the redevelopment area, and preservation of the remaining shoreline as open space. City Officials have been negotiating with the original developers in an effort to resolve this issue ever since.
The battle over redevelopment has been a dominant political and social issue from the start, but it has not kept West Haven from maturing into a full fledged city.
In the last 25 years, the Lincoln School has been converted into the Blake Administration Building, the Forest and Noble schools have been converted into community centers, and the Union School has been converted into housing for the elderly.
Several other elderly housing complexes have also developed in recent years, including Gregory D. Morrissey Manor, dedicated in June, 1986 in honor of the late Mayor; Surfside 200, and the Allingtown Elderly Housing Complex. Two other schools, the Giannotti School and the First Avenue School, have recently been converted by private developers for business and residential use. The fate of the old Armory, also sold to developers, is not yet clear.
In 1971, we had our fiftieth anniversary celebration of our separation from the Town of Orange in 1921.
Our big celebration came in 1976 when we had the Bicentennial reenactment of the landing of the British during the American Revolution. It was a huge undertaking, but with the collaboration of many civic minded patriotic citizens and organizations, it was an event to be long remembered. We had a big parade, a play about the War, a skirmish in our Green and a visit from the Queen of England whose royal yacht came up off First Avenue. This has all been videotaped and is preserved for posterity in our local Library. In this year, a stone was placed in the cemetery adjacent to the Congregational Church in honor of the men of West Haven who fought in the Revolution.
In 1983, with the help of a $521,250 Grant from D.E.P. obtained by the grants-in-aid Office, we opened our beautiful new Bradley Point Park. We also dedicated an imposing flag pole in memory of William A. Soderman, our only Congressional Medal of Honor winner, who fought in World War II. The Daughters of the American Revolution, (Eve Lear Chapter) placed a plaque on a monument at this spot to commemorate where the Invasion took place in 1779.
Hurricane "Gloria" visited us, not by invitation, in 1985. While not as devastating as the 1938 storm, it did bring winds of 90 miles an hour and our City was blacked out in spots for a week. Some 2500 people were without power. Damage was great, but our people responded as they always have, and we soon were back on track.
We have thriving businesses in our City which are too many to enumerate, but which contribute much to our lives, i.e., employment, taxes, enjoyment of life and countless other values. We are indeed grateful for them all.
No one can foresee what vicissitudes may lie ahead for us in the next twenty-five years, but we must remember the motto on our flag, "NIL DESPERADUM", never despair.
JCollins / ThistleGroup.
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Started on: 02 September 2002
Last revised: 28 April, 2008 by ThistleGroup.