To the Editor:
I am a former Warwick Beacon paperboy from the 1950s when it was delivered free to homeowners. I am a graduate of Nelson W. Aldrich High School, Class of 1954.
A few days after graduation I entered the U.S. Army and remained a member in uniform for 30 years; then switched to an Army Police Uniform for the next 28 years. I have continued my subscription to the Beacon for all those years. I am aware of how important the Beacon is, and through it everybody listens to your voice.
Over the years, I have remained close with Aldrich classmates and every five years was able to return to Rhode Island to celebrate an anniversary with classmates. We continue to have strong Aldrich ties and followed closely the debate earlier this year on which junior high school would be closed and naturally we were pleased that Gorton was selected. Then, within a few months it appears that the earlier plans were scrubbed and more drastic school surgery put on the table. It is to me, unthinkable, to once again repeat the mistakes of the past (the closing of Aldrich, Gorton and Lockwood High Schools) with the impending decision to close Aldrich JHS and convert Warwick Vets to some lesser school. “Happy” Scott, our beloved father and principal, and Dr. Bill Flanagan, principal when I graduated, would turn over in their graves at this news. The saying goes that past is prologue, and those in authority should learn the lessons of the past and consider the impact their decisions have on traffic, safety and the diminishment of traditional neighborhoods.
I urge you to lead the battle cry to Save Warwick Veterans as a High School and you can add this 60-year Army veteran at the top of your list against such a move.
Next year will be the 60th anniversary of our AHS class and for the occasion I hired a world famous artist in China to make a painting of our beloved school. I have the painting and now facing a dilemma as to what to do with it, because those in power at the last minute added Aldrich to the “hit list.”
Donald E. Devaney
Former resident of 121 Post Road (Pawtuxet)
Son of the American Revolution