Bar None Fellowship Survives
By Pat Lewandowski
from the Athol Daily News
No. Orange– In a day and age when the demands of our busy life often cause us to lose touch within our own community, one local group has continued to maintain a strong base of friendship and fellowship each month for 43 years.
The Bar None Fellowship held its first recorded gathering on November 16, 1954, at the Community Church of North Orange and Tully with William Blackmer serving as its first president, Rose Taylor as secretary and Rev. Harrison as pastor of the church body.
As the name declares, the group “Bars None” and welcomes friends and neighbors alike to participate in its monthly meetings of food and friendship.
In February 1956, the group sponsored a going away party for the Rev. Harrison with 60 attending. In the turbulent 1960s the average attendance was 25-35. Presently, between 22-25 members participate monthly.
A suggestion was made at its January 1969 meeting be Secretary Charles Barber, that a note be sent home via the school children to invite all in the community to attend the monthly gatherings of dinner and fellowship.
At present time, husband and wife, Bob Michaud, and Diane Salcedo, serve as treasurer and secretary with the Bar None continuing to hold meetings in the Community Church of North Orange and Tully.
The roster includes a mixture of neighbors of all ages and interest, along with many members of the Community Church.
Each month an appetizing meal is prepared by different volunteers within the group with a program to follow. No charge is made for the meal, but a donation is made to offset the monthly expenses of the shared meal.
In times past programs included numerous community service groups such as the fire department and Boy Scouts, musical entertainments, hobby presentations along with slide shows of European countries and tours of the United States presented by members who have traveled.
The next get together of the group is scheduled for October 21 at 6:30 p.m. with a Swedish meatball dinner prepared by Doris Bittenbender.
The program to follow will be presented by Mark and Jeannette Fellows of Chase Hill Farm in Warwick. The Fellows along with seven other farm families have joined the Pioneer Valley milk Cooperative launching “Our Family Farms:” milk products to over 100 local stores.
Throughout the years the group has been referred to a the “Bar None” fellowship, society of club. But by whatever name remembered, its goals remain the same –to draw together people within the local communities for a tasty meal, a short program and some friendly conversation “barring none.”