Fort Fairfield High School alumni recently donated time and funds to spruce up the town’s VFW hall. From left are Jim Grass, Rodney Jones, Hilda Lynch (on behalf of the Class of 1966), Brian Ross, Paul Rediker, Mary Rochford Hunter (on behalf of the Class of 1967), Michael Jones, and Hunter Chandler, grandson of Mary Hunter, who helped as part of his community service. (Courtesy of Hilda Lynch)

FORT FAIRFIELD – Former Fort Fairfield High School class members recently gave labor and a monetary donation to preserve the town’s VFW hall.

When the planning committee for the Classes of 1966 and 1967 gathered to plan their joint 56th and 55th reunions, they recognized that the VFW had suffered greatly from the restrictions of the pandemic over the last two to three years.  

The VFW has long served an important community function for local veterans but also as a center for wedding celebrations, class reunions, funeral receptions, club meetings and other community functions. During the pandemic the doors virtually remained closed and the flow of funding dried up, planning committee member Hilda Lynch said. The bills, however, kept flowing. 

According to Paul Rediker, Commander of VFW Paul Lockhart Post 6187, this winter will probably be the most difficult winter in over 40 years due to the increased cost of fuel and electricity and the decrease in funds.

The classes of ’66 and ’67 have a longstanding connection to the VFW Hall and the memorial erected on the site, and want them preserved for future generations. Many classmates are veterans of the Vietnam Era, and many of their fathers, uncles and relatives served during WWII and were responsible for building the VFW.  

As a gesture of thanks and appreciation to veterans, several classmates and their relatives volunteered their time and funds to restore the appearance of the interior of the building by replacing water-stained ceiling tiles in the bathrooms, washing walls and windows, cleaning the tables and chairs, having the floors cleaned and waxed, and even putting up new curtains. 

On the exterior, some of the wood trim and siding were painted and the rear side of the roof was patched; sufficient funds had not been available when the metal roofing on the front was done.  All these efforts breathed new life into the VFW and the hall sparkled the night of July 18 when the reunions were held.  

When members of both classes heard of the VFW’s needs, they donated $1,829 to help with winter fuel costs, operating expenses and repairs. 

More funding is needed, class members said. Just to complete the back of the roof will cost nearly $10,000, and it is hoped this can be done before winter. 
Anyone able to help should contact Paul Rediker at 207-476-6641 or jprediker@myfairpoint.net, or Mary Hunter at 207-764-1550 or lhunter31154@roadrunner.com.