Twenty years ago — 1998

After a successful 22-year career heading Chautauqua Opportunities Inc., Richard Alexander recently took over the reins of the county’s Economic Development Department and its Industrial Development Agency. During his tenure at COI, Mr. Alexander oversaw the growth of this community action organization from a staff of four and an annual budget of $400,000 to a $12 million per year, multi-faceted non-profit organization with more than 500 employees.

Thirty years ago — 1988

The Faculty Dames Association of Fredonia State University College honored Lois Harp at its annual fall banquet at the Topiary Tree Restaurant. Sallie Pullano presented Mrs. Harp with the first service award named in her honor — the Lois Harp Service Award. For 20 years, Mrs. Harp has visited the Chautauqua County Home weekly to play the piano and distribute cookies made by area women. More recently, she has added weekly visits to the WCA Home in Fredonia. Every other week, she visits St. Vincent’s Home and St. Columban’s-on-the-Lake.

Forty years ago — 1978

Attendance figures and cost deficits indicate that Catholic secondary education in the Diocese of Buffalo is in dire trouble, but the spirit and faith of the more than 200 people attending a recent town meeting indicated, in the words of one mother and staunch supporter, “There will be a Mindszenty.” The meeting was conducted by the Rev. Donald S. Fafinski and Edward Eaker, both CMHS alumni. Mr. Eaker stated, “Frankly, we know the problems. What we must know now is WHY aren’t the kids coming to Mindszenty? Why is Catholic education on the decline? And what are we going to do about it?”Bishop Edward Head’s decision on whether or not to close Cardinal Mindszenty High School will be announced in January.

Fifty years ago — 1968

The Woodcliffe Orchestra of Dunkirk, in operation continuously since 1924, is the subject of a feature story in the October issue of “International Musician,” the official journal of the American Federation of Musicians in the U.S. and Canada. A picture of the orchestra, which currently is playing Saturday nights at the Town and Country Restaurant in Dunkirk, accompanies the article. Members of the quartet are Henry Ebert, Anthony Strychalski, Jack Barnes and William Ebert. It is thought to be one of the oldest continuing orchestras in the United States.