FALL EDITION 2018
The Golden Burrs Events Committee members are pleased to bring you this 38th edition of the Class of 1958's newsletter.
In this issue under the "West Catholic Prep Banner" you will find the following: a report on the return of Christian Brothers to West Catholic;the West Catholic varsity football game reports; a report about the hiring of a new Coach for the WC Boys' Basketball Team; a report on the success of Burrs at the Beach; Brother Larry Dempsey's 60th Anniversary; a report on the death of Brother Patrick Power at age 105; and information about the West Catholic Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.
In the "News Features" section you will find a tribute to Charles "Chuck" Tuppeny '38, aka Brother Gedeon Luke.
We continue to search for classmates with whom we have lost contact. Sadly, we learned of the May 2012 passing of our classmate Robert W. George who came from MBS Parish.
Also, we found that Earl T. Ferguson Jr. passed away in October 2017. Earl came from Transfiguration Parish.
On Monday June 18, our classmate Edward D. Alioto, from MBS Parish, passed away after a long struggle with many health issues. Thankfully, Ed who was a loyal attendee at our annual luncheons, was able to attend the 60th Anniversary Reunion. Ed really enjoyed being with his fellow Burrs.
On Thursday August 16, our classmate Dennis J. O'Leary Sr. Esq. passed away. Dennis came to West from Holy Name Parish and was a frequent attendee at our annual luncheons.
Their obituaries are available on our website at: www.goldenburrs-1958.com
We conclude this edition with Mail received from our Classmates and Friends; a "Remember When".... article submitted by Frank Adolf about the Philadelphia Arena; prayers for classmates who are ill, remembrances and prayers for our four deceased classmates and Rich Buzza's "Final Thought".
EVENTS ASSOCIATED WITH WEST CATHOLIC PREP
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS RETURN TO WEST CATHOLIC
West Catholic Preparatory High School recently announced the addition of 7 new staff members, and 9 new faculty members for the 2018-19 school year. Among the new additions are four Christian Brothers.
Brother John McDonnell FSC, West Catholic Class of 1967 and former president of West Catholic from 1989-1999, is joining the Institutional Advancement office.
Brother Richard Buccina FSC, will return to West Catholic assisting in the Art Department.
Brother David Deradoorian FSC, will teach Theology.
Brother Kyle Mena FSC, will teach theology and assist in the Campus Ministry Office.
WEST CATHOLIC VARSITY FOOTBALL GAME REPORTS
submitted by: JIM LYNCH
August 24, 2018 - West Catholic 14 - Pottsgrove 15
report gleaned from Philly.com
The first quarter went scoreless for both teams.
Paramus scored a 70 yard rushing TD and a two point conversion with 10 minutes to go in the second quarter.
In the third quarter West Catholic's Jacir Savoy scored on a 85 yard kick return with 11 minutes to go. The two point conversion failed. With 6 minutes to go in the quarter Jacir Savoy scored on a 14 yard rushing TD. West completed a two point rushing conversion, putting the score at Paramus 8, West Catholic 14.
With 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter Paramus' Tahshawn Brinson scored on a 27 yard rushing TD and a two point rush was completed. The score was Paramus 16 - West 14.
At 6 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, West tied the game by adding two points on a safety, and with 3 minutes to go West added two more points on another safety for a 18-16 win over Paramus.
September 7 - West Catholic 40 - Hudson Catholic (NJ) 14
@ Rutgers U.
In this non-conference game, West scored TD's in both the first and second quarters, failing on the point after conversions. Hudson finally put points on the board in the fourth quarter with a 66 yard TD pass which cut the deficit to 12-7.
Following Hudson's TD, West Catholic broke the game open in the fourth quarter scoring 28 points. Hudson scored another TD making the final 40-14.
This game made it back-to-back wins for the Burrs.
September 15, 2018 - Archbishop Carroll 35 - West Catholic 36
gleaned from Philly.com
photos by Lou Rabito
This match was the Catholic League Blue Division opener for both teams. Carroll moved over from the larger enrollment Red Division after last year, increasing the Blue from seven to eight teams.
The Patriots under the leadership of first year coach Kyle Detweiler, put up 14 points in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Russell Minor-Shaw built on the led by hitting Dan Morgan for a 24 yard TD.
In the second quarter a West interception by junior Zahir Booker led to a 25 yard burst by senior Jacir Savoy for a TD, putting the Burrs on the board.
gleaned from WestCatholic.org
submitted by: FRANK ADOLF
After an extensive interview process, West Catholic Preparatory High School is proud to announce the hiring of Miguel Bocachica as the new Head Coach for the Boys' Basketball program. Miguel comes from Imhotep Charter High School as Assistant Coach under acclaimed coach, Andre Noble. Miguel is a graduate of Imhotep High School, a former Division I player, and plays professionally in Puerto Rico. We are excited to welcome Coach Boc to West Catholic Prep and are looking forward to a great 2019 season. Go Burrs!
31ST ANNUAL BURRS AT THE BEACH
June 24, 2018
submitted by: GEORGE LIGHT
pictures by: BILL MARELLA
To start off the "Burrs at the Beach" weekend, the West Catholic Alumni Association Veterans Committee coordinated with the office of Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano and members of the Southwest Football Coaches Association (SWFCA), The Disabled American Veterans and various other veteran service organizations to honor our own West Catholic Vietnam KIAs at the Vietnam Wall in Wildwood on Saturday morning, June 23rd, at 10 A.M.
The wall is located at Fox Park (adjacent to the Wildwoods Convention center) at 4500 Ocean Ave. The mayor and other Officials joined in honoring those Burrs who sacrificed their lives for our country. Also, wreaths were placed at the Korean and World War II memorial areas at the site in honor of West Catholic and other local veterans who served and sacrificed for their country and are no longer able to join in this weekend salute.
This is the least we can do to honor our Comrades, said Joe McGowan, CEO of the coaches association and a former member of the West Catholic basketball team and proud veteran in his own right. Pro Deo et Patria !
On Sunday, June 24 at 1:00 PM the annual "All Class Reunion" began at "The Inlet on Olde" (formerly Westy's Irish Pub) which changed ownership since last year's event. The Burrs at the Beach Committee was hoping for a good turnout in order to impress the new owners and they were more than happy with the attendance of 625 loyal Burrs and Burrmaids. which matched last years attendance.
The Inlet on Olde staff did a great job as several people made positive comments about both the quality of the food and the good service. One bartender remarked that this was the largest crowd they have had since opening under the new management.
The Boys' of 1958 were well represented by Pete O'Hara, Joe Storniolo, Bill Marella, Tom Sweeney, Denny Brennan, Ned Jones, Tom Hughes, Sam McGhie, Larry Signora, Angelo Sivieri, Bob Sproul and George Light.
If we missed your name it is because our normal "Spotter" and photographer, Johnny Staiber, was unable to attend because of recent surgery. As of this writing Johnny reported that his surgery was a success and that no further treatments are required.
Joe Storniolo, Tom Hughes, Larry Signora, Bob Sproul, Sam McGhie
Pete O'Hara (left)
West Catholic and the Christian Brothers were represented by the school president Paul Colistra, former president Brother Richard Kestler, and former principal Brother Kevin Stanton.
The Committee presented the School with a check in the amount of $ 13.500.00.
BROTHER LARRY DEMPSEY FSC
Our classmate, Brother Larry, celebrated 60 years as a Christian Brother this past summer. Larry entered the Brothers in June, 1958 and received his habit and religious name, Brother Lawrence Elrick, in September, 1958.
Larry and we wish you many years of good health and prayers.
Anyone wishing to send a card to Larry, his address is: La Salle Hall, 6001 Ammendale Road, Beltsville, MD 20705-1202
WEST CATHOLIC CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Cocktails 6 PM to 7 PM - Dinner starts at 7 PM with the Inductees presentation to follow.
Tickets are $40.00
For ticket info please contact: Brian Fluck firstname.lastname@example.org or buy your tickets online.... https://www.westcatholicalumni.org
WEST CATHOLIC SPORTS HALL OF FAME
CLASS OF 2018
Francis Kane '53 - Football, Track (Posthumous)
Bob Merenda '58 - Football, Track (Posthumous)
Bill Schoening '77 - Baseball, Sports Broadcaster
Michael Faherty '84 - Baseball, Football
Scott Thompson '87 - Baseball, Football
Brian Fluck '88 - Football, Coach
Brian Adair '90 - Baseball, Football
Robert Wharton '91 - Basketball
Sheena Howard '01 - Basketball, Soccer, Track
Curtis Brinkley '04 - Football
Our classmate, Charlie "W" Johnson, will be speaking about Bob Merenda's accomplishments in Football and Track.
Charles Chuck Tuppeny,38, also know as, Brother Gedeon Luke & Track Luke passed on January 8, 2018; age 97 years, 4 months in West Chester PA. The great Class of 1955 proudly remembers their famous Coach and Teacher who instilled perfect practice into the West Catholic Track and Cross Country teams. They captured multiple Catholic, City, and State Championships during the 1950s. Key contributors from this class who helped Brother Luke to accomplish these very impressive accomplishments were Jim Baldwin and Bob Farrell (cross-country co-captains) along with Dick Adams and Jim Shields (track co-captains).
Charles (Chuck) Tuppeny was originally from Holy Spirit parish in Sharon Hill, PA. He came to West Catholic in the fall of 1934 and competed as a pole vaulter and in other track & field events until he graduated in 1938. Following graduation from West, Chuck joined the Christian Brothers Community, where he earned masters degrees from three schools. As Brother Luke he taught English and Theology at West Catholic Boys and several other schools. Beginning in the late 40s through 1959, he went on to become an outstanding coach in track & field and cross-country. After winning ten consecutive State Catholic Track Championships and eight city titles in cross-country in ten years as head coach at West, he decided to jot down his thoughts concerning track and field. His book, Coaching High School Track and Field was published by Prentice Hall Printing and went through four printings, selling 12,000 copies remarkable at that time as there were only 20,000 high schools in the country having track teams. Strangely most of the letters he received concerning the book were from foreign countries. Chuck had many great teams and many of his protégés went on to be not only great athletes but also outstanding leaders in their chosen fields of endeavor. He inspired some fellows who thought of themselves as back yard athletes, on to greatness. One of these greats was his younger brother Jim, who went on to become a successful coach at both Villanova and Penn.
Chuck Tuppeny served the Christian Brothers for 38 years; when he left the Brothers; went on his own. He met his wife to be, Janet a high school math teacher at a summer workshop at Villanova University. They later married during the Christmas holidays in 1974 and resided in Honey Brook PA in a converted school house. One thing Chuck liked about track & field is the idea that there are No Timeouts, if you get hurt or tired; although it is a team sport, you are basically on your own and success depends on the individual similar to swimming and sculling. He believed that an indomitable spirit and perseverance might be more important than record breaking.
In the year 2000, Chuck completed Memories of a Track Coach. Chuck gave his all, even in his later years by entertaining residents at several nursing facilities/community centers. He would perform an athletic dance for seniors. By putting the sports to music, feeling theres a certain rhythm to them. He also did his impression of many former stars such as Louis Armstrong, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante and Fred Astaire. A Golden Burr and West Catholic High School Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Chuck will be missed and yes, Remembered!
Special Thanks to Fran McGovern,55, Jim Shields,55 and Ben Kerr,95 for their assistance with gathering of this information. PLEASE Support Your ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. Ed Kerr,60
Joe Myers: Frank, I'm sorry to have to inform you that I will be unable to attend our 60th Reunion Dinner. I'm having some issues with my back, chronic situation, that make the 4 1/2 hr. drive down to Philly a most difficult proposition.
I'm very disappointed because I looked so forward to this event, having really enjoyed the 50th.
Just want to thank you and the Committee for all your good work over the years for all the members of West Catholic Alumni.
With best wishes for a happy reunion. Joe Myers, Class of 1958
Gerry Vernot: Frank. Just wanted to thank you and Frank Metzler for another excellent newsletter.
I don't know how much time you both spend working on it, but it certainly pays off in the result.
Thanks also for the nice presentation on The Robin Roberts Sports Club.
Have a safe summer. Best Wishes, Gerry
Dan Remy: Dear Frank, Please let me say that I truly respect you and have only admiration for the hard work and love you put into your News. I was sad that I could not attend due to my health not allowing such a long journey, but my heart was there that evening.
If you could, I am interested if Vince Reynolds was able to make it. I was happy to see that Sam McGhie was there as Joe Myers and I went to the Senior Prom in his car. He was a good friend of ours. What a Beautiful Prom that was! We were all in all of our sartorial splendor in our tuxes and our beautiful elegant ladies in beautiful dresses. What a display of West Catholic gentlemen we were.
Sorry about two things. Those who have passed on including Vince Leonetti, a truly nice guy and athlete and each face I recognized.
Thank George Light for being instrumental in getting our Print Edition back again. Seeing a computer screen is great, but simply holding the paper of so many years gave me the feeling of holding a great book in my hands.
I know that I was outspoken about the duration of the Reunion, but its root cause is being so far and isolated from guys I liked, loved, and admired during the BEST years of my teen-age life being part of the Great Class of 1958. The education, character, the Christian Brother example carried me all of my life.
Take Care, Live Long and Thank George Light for his Dedication to West, Dan Remy
Tom W. Mullen: Thanks for the info. The guys look great in the photo.
Charles Porrini Class of 1949: Frank, Thanks for the Golden Burrs Newsletter. This was a long one, 32 pages. I see you and Penny both have your picture in this one. Now I'll have to sit down and read it. Charles
Brother Kevin Stanton: Thanks Frank. Enjoyable reading as always. I have passed it on to my sister, Rosemary, who I'm sure has already shared it with your '58 counterparts from 45th Street. Best wishes for a good summer ahead. Br. Kevin
Fran Lawless '68: Rich, Thank you once again for forwarding the class of '58 WC newsletter. I am from the class of 1968, just now coming up on my 50TH year since graduation.
Frank and you & the rest of the contributors to your class are one of a kind. There are icons connected in time & space from your era that I remain in awe of. I caught only glimpses of the age, I remember only bits and pieces. Such as listening late in the evening to Jean Shepherd on WOR radio as he weaved his tales of a 1940's childhood intermingling reality and fantasy into unforgettable stories coming across the airwaves along with crackling electrons all the way from New York City.
Or reading Jack Kerouac to get not just a glimpse of what the Beat Generation was, but how we became the people we are and the country that evolved after that momentous World War.
My own family of siblings attended West Catholic too. My sister Joan, class of 51. Bob, class of 55. Kathy, class of 61.
Rosemary, class of 72. From de Sales & MBS parishes.
More than anything in your newsletter I read of those that are no more. You searchers. Looking for lost sheep, sweeping through obits far and wide. Uncovering names of those whom are no more, discovering the broken chains of next moments once connected to this life.
Know too that you are without follower in your journey and in your journals. No other does what you do. Reads. Studies. Documents. Records. Presents. I wish you could do this until I can read no more. But it's not to be. But stay true.
Joe Gavaghan: Hey Frank, How are you doing these days? I haven't had a working computer since the end of May until yesterday. As a result, I just read the current newsletter. As always, plaudits to you and your overworked and underpaid staff of reporters & photogs. How is John Staiber doing after his surgery and doesn't Jack Neuschel live in Minnesota, Michigan or elsewhere in the upper Midwest? I seem to recall that was where he is. Say hi to Penny. Cheers, Joe
EARLIEST MEMORIES FROM THE 1940's and 1950's
submitted by: FRANK ADOLF
REMEMBERING THE PHILADELPHIA ARENA
gleaned from Wikipedia
On February 14, 1920, George Pawling opened the spacious PHILADELPHIA ICE PALACE at 4530 Market Street in West Philadelphia to serve the City as its major Entertainment and Sports Center. Pawling planned on his building being the top boxing venue with a seating capacity of 8,500 and held his first boxing show on May 19, 1920.
After running three successful cards and closing for the summer, they reopened on September 8, 1920 featuring Harry Wills vs. Sam McVey which was halted in the 6th round with the referee disqualifying both contestants for not trying. As a result, matchmaker Jack Hanlon was fired. After fulfilling their signed contract for the following week, Pawling closed down his boxing operation until that department was "restructured."
Pawling re-opened for boxing a year later on October 6, 1921 and ran until November 17, 1922, when a new group of investors headed by Jules Mastbaum took over and renamed the building The PHILADELPHIA ARENA. The Arena would become Philadelphia's major boxing venue for most of the next 60 years (with more than 600 total fight cards), yielding only to the outdoor ballparks in the summer and Convention Hall, opened in 1932, in order to facilitate projected bigger crowds for important title bouts or major matches.
One of the first teams to make the Arena home was the Yale university men's ice hockey team. Yale did not have a suitable on-campus venue in 1920 and played home games in Philadelphia. During the 1920-1921 season, Yale, Princeton, and Penn made the Arena their home ice.
After a record breaking season in 1930, the Depression really cut into activity and profits at the Arena, until World War II broke out and war workers earning good wages, made watching the fights at the Arena, under the direction of Herman Taylor, and the other local clubs (including Convention Hall) a weekly staple and successful enterprise until the Network TV era of the 1950's. The Arena continued to host world class shows, but began to lose ground to the Spectrum in the 1960s and 1970s.
The arena was the site of several historic sporting events, including the professional debut of Sonja Henie, fresh from her triumph in the 1936 Winter Olympics. Roy Rogers, cowboy movie star, performed in his first rodeo at the Philadelphia arena in 1943. The Roy Rogers Rodeo played the Arena every season for more than 20 years, and in 1946, when a young cowgirl died after riding a bucking bronco, her funeral was held there. Rogers and the Sons of Pioneers sang "Roundup in the Sky", and after the closing prayer, everybody rode out to the cemetery. It was also the home of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Banquet. Professionally, the arena was the home of the Philadelphia Quakers of the NHL in their only season, 19301931, as well as home ice for several minor league hockey teams such as the Philadelphia Arrows, Philadelphia Ramblers, the Philadelphia Comets, the Philadelphia Falcons/Philadelphia Rockets and the Philadelphia Ramblers (EHL), as well as the Philadelphia Warriors and part-time home of the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA when the Philadelphia Convention Center was unavailable.
Throughout the history of the Arena, such legends as Sugar Ray Robinson, Lew Tendler, Gene Tunney, Joe Frazier and Primo Carnera fought there. Several championship wrestling matches occurred there, both for the NWA and the WWWF (including Stan Stasiak winning the WWWF championship belt in 1973, the only time until 1977 the belt ever changed hands outside of Madison Square Garden).
Roller Derby also was held there, through the team named the Philadelphia Warriors, not connected with the basketball team, owned by Bill Griffiths, the owner of the Los Angeles Thunderbirds and Roller Games.
In 1947 the Arena was sold to Triangle Publications, along with the NBA franchise and the Philadelphia Warriors Basketball team. This transaction made TV station WFIL-TV (Channel 6), owned by Triangle Publications, the first joint ownership of a major professional sports team and TV station. In 1958, a group headed by Tyrrell purchased the Arena from the Walter Annenberg Foundation, to which ownership had been transferred by Triangle Publications. At the time of Tyrrell's retirement in 1965, the Arena building was sold at auction to James Toppi Enterprises, a sports promotion concern.
The building fell out of popular use in the 1970s, due to the opening of the Spectrum in 1967. In 1977, the deteriorating building was auctioned off again. It was renovated and renamed The Martin Luther King Jr. Arena.
On August 24, 1983, the Arena was destroyed by arson and eventually demolished.
Some outdoor arenas may have held the biggest of the big boxing events throughout Philly boxing history, but the Arena is probably the venue that consistently had the most important venue of them all.
PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS
WE REMEMBER and ask for your prayers for those who are ill, especially Dave Crines who is recovering from a stroke, Jim Prendergast who is recovering from shoulder surgery, Tom Henry who is fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma, Bob DiRita who has been sidelined for the past few years with health issues, Vince Reynolds who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, and John Staiber who is recovering from surgery.
WE REMEMBER and pray for all of our deceased classmates, especially Bob George, Earl Ferguson, Ed Alioto and Dennis O'Leary.
ROBERT W. GEORGE - MAY 27, 2012
EARL T. FERGUSON JR. - October 21, 2017
EDWARD D. ALIOTO - JUNE 18, 2018
DENNIS J. O'LEARY SR. ESQ. - AUGUST 16, 2018
May Bob, Earl, Ed and Dennis rest in peace.
submitted by: RICH BUZZA
Well the summer is over and the heat and drone of the ever running air conditioner is a long gone memory, although I did have some problem getting to sleep without the comforting sound of the window air conditioner (no I do not have central air conditioning as I have hot water heated radiators.) I do know one couple who are not bothered by the heat as I see on Facebook that our own Bob "Doc" Dougherty and his wife Ann are on a vacation touring England, Ireland and Scotland. They have posted some great photos of their trip so if you are a Facebook fan take a look at Bob's Facebook page.
I always get a little gloomy when I remember our latest Reunion gathering in May and remember the guys with whom I had some great conversations and here in September are no longer with us. Maybe most of you know this but I think it does warrant repeating now and again that, for the past few years, our Golden Burrs Committee member Jim Clark makes an effort to attend the viewing of each of our classmates and through the generosity of one of our fellow graduates of West, presents an original West Catholic pennant to the family of the deceased. We, as a committee, consider this our special way to honor our fellow classmate. Also, each deceased classmate is enrolled in the St. La Salle Auxiliary where the Brothers offer their prayers and Mass attendance for all those who are enrolled.
As always, our Golden Burrs committee will be meeting soon to start planning for our 61st Reunion Luncheon and by the way Frank Metzler is planning a special three day celebration for all the men who joined the Christian Brothers' Novitiate in 1958. From what I hear these guys are coming from all across the country, so it looks like they are going to have a great time.
As I say every year at this time, it is time to get ready for the hunting season so Don Barna, hope to see you sometime on the mountain.
God Bless WEST CATHOLIC! Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever.
KEEP THE SPIRIT ALIVE!
THIS E-MAIL IS BEING SENT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE WEST CATHOLIC BOYS' CLASS OF 1958 AND FRIENDS OF THE CLASS. IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE OUR COMMUNICATIONS OR IF YOU ARE RECEIVING UNSOLICITED E-MAILS FROM ANYONE PERTAINING TO THE CLASS OF 1958, PLEASE NOTIFY FRANK ADOLF AT: