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On the Bright Side

November 2, 2012

Bovina to unveil repaired WWII Honor Roll

Future generations will once again know about the contributions of Bovina residents during World War II thanks to a recently completed project. The unveiling of the refurbished Honor Roll of town residents, listing the 91 men and three women who served, will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Bovina Community Hall on county Route 6.

Town historian Ray LaFever, who began the project a year and a half ago, said the listing had stood near the former Bovina Public Library, since the 1940s, until it was moved into its basement about 20 years later. The building later became the Bovina Historical Society.

Two of the three living people he knows of — Stanley “Stub” Hewitt of Delhi and Gordon Rabeler of New City — will actually unveil the board, he said. Edwin Davidson of La Jolla, Calif., is also on the list.

LaFever has been historian since 2004. He remembers seeing the display at its original outdoor home as a child.

“It’s nice to have it done so people can see it again,” he said.

In discussing the situation with the town board, it was decided to display it in the entryway of the community hall. It made sense to have it inside so future generations can see it, he said, and it can also be moved easily.

He will have an alphabetical listing alongside the listings for easier identification, he said, and there are still about 20 names that he is seeking information on. He said he was hopeful that people who see the listing can help.

The funds to do the project were provided by former Bovina residents Jim and Tom Hoy. Bovina carpenter Dick Brannen was hired to stabilize the roll, putting it in protective housing and placing it in the entryway.

Brannen said he anticipates being at the ceremony.

“Anybody who fought for their country deserved the recognition,” he said.

He said he felt honored to be a part of the project. It retains the original look, he said, but placing it behind an acrylic cover will preserve it for posterity.

The town board with the help of the Bovina Historical Society is providing refreshments after the ceremonies.

More information on the honor roll can be found at http://bovinanyhistory.blogspot.com, by emailing LaFever at bovinahistorian@gmail.com or by calling him at 832-4609.

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