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After twenty-five years.

The gathering on Jan. 4 (1918) of fourteen members of Medford's first city government, with the auditor and collector who have served continuously, was surely a pleasant and notable occasion. That so many have survived the stress of the years and enjoyed the reunion, is worthy of notice in Medford annals. They were Aldermen William Cushing Wait, Walter F. Cushing, Lewis H. Lovering and J. R. Teel, with Richard Gibson, E. C. Ellis, George T. Sampson, Herman L. Buss, William H. Casey, Allston H. Evans, N. E. Wilber, E. F. Kakas, Charles H. Loomis and E. I. Langell, of the council. As their former clerk Langell called the roll, fitting notice was taken of “Those who answer not, however we may call.” Auditor Cummings and Collector Hayes were guests of the evening. After the dinner came the “smoke talk” with “everybody in it” and a final word by chairman Loomis to close the “First Session.” Judge Wait presided over the “Second Session” opening court (?) with words of greeting. Councilman Evans paid tribute to Medford by reading original verses:--[p. 18]


     There's a Medford in Wisconsin,
And there's also one in Maine,
     And in Maryland for Medford
We do not look in vain.

Even Oklahoma
     Boasts a Medford of her own,
But about one in Arkansas
     Nothing here is known.

In Minnesota and New Jersey,
     And in Oregon as well,
Still we find the name of Medford,
     Still we find its mystic spell.

The famous vintage “Medford”
     Is known from shore to shore,
Carried in our Mystic ships
     In the good old days of yore.

A city eighteen ninety-three,
     We started it on its way.
At the end of a quarter of a century,
     We are here to celebrate the day.

But there's only one real Medford,
     Which in all ways can surpass
All the many other Medfords,
     Here's a health to Medford, Mass.

Alderman Cushing's subject was the “Board of 1893” , and the survivors have now no excuse for not making a record, as he presented each with an up-to-date fountain pen. Next Councilman Loomis read

Then and now.

The passing years no halting know,
But onward hold their even way;
No protest or regret from man
Has any power to make them stay.
So we who met in Ninety-Three
With problems deep and hard to strive,
Look back tonight on by-gone years,
And count them, twenty-five.

[p. 19] Those were the days of comrade's cheer,
Of friendship's loyal, helpful aid;
Tonight, all are not gathered here,
We mourn the breaks the years have made,
We span the time with kindly thought,
While memories bright their radiance cast,
And clearly from those distant days,
Shine records of the past.

But since those days what have we gained?
What civic lessons have we learned?
Increased in numbers, and in wealth,
Have we “C rewards of merit” earned?
Huge piles of brick and stone we've reared,
Streets, boulevards and parks laid out;
But in the rush of rapid growth,
Have ideals met their rout?

In earlier days good — will prevailed,
Forbearance toward each other;
Perchance we sometimes disagreed,
We hailed each still as brother.
We had no Aldermanic scraps,
Nor mob-like Council Meetings,
When angry members yelled and fumed,
We believed in courteous greetings.

But in these later restless days
A change we note has come about,
Some legislators seem to think
To be impressive they must shout;
And if a man should choose to vote
Upon the side which they oppose,
Make him a target for abuse,
No decency he knows.

In earlier days we had our fights,
To win we did our very best.
Whichever side the victor proved,
With wishes good was promptly blessed.
The winners reaped their earned rewards,
The losers, glum, of course, might feel,
But victors did not loudly boast,
And losers did not “squeal.”

No public servant can succeed,
If fiercely fought at every step.
Success, cooperation needs,
With mutual work., and lots of “pep.” [p. 20]
We can not always think alike;
We can at least the game play fair,
And if opponents come half-way,
Let's treat them “on the square.”

Harsh judgments often are unjust,
Distorted facts their poison spread,
Much that is heard in politics
Far better had been left unsaid.
For oftentimes the loud-mouthed man
Who leads in sinister attacks,
Himself no public place could fill,
He brains and courage lacks.

So as we scan these later years,
Regretfully we fail to see
Wherein the quarter century passed
Has gained us civic harmony.
And as we ponder on this fact,
With me, my comrades, you'll agree,
No better Council since has sat
Than that of Ninety-Three.

The ever versatile councilman from ward six made some observations upon his bailiwick, as only Wilber can do. Evidently this reunion was a sort of love-feast, and those present had no cause to be ashamed of their record in performing the new duties to which they were called in ‘93. If some successors did not as well, the lesson should come home to the voters who elect them.

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