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Ancram welcomes 86th convention back to town

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ANCRAM–The Columbia County Volunteer Firefighters Association’s 86th annual convention will be hosted by the Ancram Volunteer Fire Company, Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30.

About a thousand people are expected to visit Ancram during the convention, which was first hosted by the town in 1927 and again in 1933, 1942, 1979, 1991 and 1998.

The first session of the two-day event opens Friday, 7:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Ancram Town Hall, 1416 County Route 7, and the second session gets underway Saturday at 10 a.m., at the same place.

Association President James MacArthur from the Ancram Fire Company will preside over the two sessions. Mr. MacArthur was elected at last July’s convention in Ghent. He moved up through the association ranks, as director for six years and then into the vice-presidents positions.

During the first session, Convention Chairman John MacArthur from the Ancram Fire Company, will open the convention. County Chaplain William Van Alstyne will deliver the invocation. The gavel will be passed to Association President James MacArthur to conduct the meeting.

A roll call of officers, directors, past presidents and fire companies will be completed by Recording Secretary Jeff French. A memorial service will be conducted for all deceased members of the association and for the members from the Firemen’s Home, who died during the past year.

President MacArthur, Recording Secretary French, Acting Treasurer Richard Van Deusen from Claverack will deliver their annual reports.

Yearbook Co-Chairmen Joseph Loeffler, Sr., and Angelo Nero, both from Valatie, will report on this year’s yearbook proceeds, a report from Parade Co-Chairmen Lisa Funk and Stephen Mitchell, both from Ancram, follows.

Attendance awards will be given to the following companies: Valatie $125, Mellenville $75 and Philmont $50. These three companies had the most members in attendance at quarterly meetings.

Red Hats will be passed, as done annually, for donations to the Firemen’s Home. The money collected pays for the annual Christmas Eve party held at the home.

Refreshments and entertainment, provided by three comedians, close out the evening session.

Saturday begins with breakfast at 8 a.m. at The Pond restaurant, County Route 3, Ancramdale, for officers, directors, past officers, delegates and alternates. The second annual meeting session opens at 10 a.m, on the grounds of the Town Hall, with President MacArthur presiding.

Annual reports will be heard from the Chairman of the Board Peter Hunter from Kinderhook and Financial Secretary Frank Bevens of Valatie. Reports will be given by the following committees: Red Knights, By-Laws, Auditing, Resolutions, Fire Chiefs Association, County Fire Police, Fire Advisory Board and by delegates, who attended the Hudson Valley, Hudson/Mohawk and FASNY conventions.

The Election of Officers will be conducted and the following endorsements have been received: President Joseph Loeffler from Valatie, First Vice President Craig Haigh from Rogers Hose in Hudson, Second Vice President Peter Hunter from Kinderhook and Treasurer Richard Van Deusen from Claverack.

Other endorsements are for Recording Secretary Jeffrey French from Mellenville and Financial Secretary Frank Bevens from Valatie.

At noon Saturday, the annual parade lines up in the vicinity of Hall Hill Road and County Route 7, step-off is at 1 p.m. Currently, 54 units have signed up to march in the parade, which proceeds along County Route 7, through the hamlet to the Town Hall grounds, where food and drink will be available and 45 trophies will be awarded.

The parade’s route on County Route 7 and State Route 82 from Elsohn to Wiltsie Bridge roads will be closed from about noon to 2:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 28, 7 p.m., prior to the start of the convention, the Ancram Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary hosts a wine and cheese social at the Town Hall. The event is open to all auxiliary members and women firefighters throughout the county. 

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