The Newsboy Statue

Speech delivered by Mike Fern, Newsboy Statue Committee Chair, Bangor Daily News, on Friday, May, 9th, 2003.

The Newsboy Statue, Great Barrington, MA View a gallery of photos here.

I want to thank all for attending this event today and have a few words before we turn the fountain on.

In 1895, Col. William L. Brown erected a lasting tribute to his passion and profession - the newspaper industry. More importantly, he chose to honor not himself, but rather a group of people who he determined were an integral part of his success in this profession: The children who sold newspapers on the street.

So I ask, what has really changed in the past 108 years? Nationally, children still represent a large portion of our delivery and sales efforts. While sales methods have changed and you may no longer hear the words "Extra! Extra! Read all about it!" being screamed on a street corner, children of today still go about the business of delivering newspapers, and they do it quietly and often without any recognition for the tradition they represent to our industry.

This tradition is why we are here today. The statue and fountain before us continues to honor that tradition.

Today, we are here to celebrate not only that tradition, but the collaborative efforts and partnership that have helped us preserve and protect this lasting tribute. This partnership, first formed in the early 1990's to restore the fountain to what you see today, involves the New England Association of Circulation Executives, the Town of Great Barrington, and the Great Barrington Historical Society. Through the original visions of James Parrish, Gary Levielle, Frank Gennarelli, Barrie Hughes and Joseph Kellogg, this partnership set out to make sure the fountain would remain a lasting tribute to the residents of Great Barrington and the newspaper industry.

The partnership has endured, and while some faces have changed, notably Burke LaClair's and my own, the spirit of the partnership continues.

This partnership has allowed the creativity and ingenuity to solve a long-standing issue that has prevented the fountain from operating as it was designed and intended 108 years ago. And this partnership will continue beyond today.

The installation of this water system came about because of several people whom I'd like to briefly thank:

1st - Burke LaClair. In addition to his duties of running the town, Burke had to put up with me bugging him for the past 5 years.
2nd - Bruce Collingwood. Bruce was the original town engineer who envisioned the system and started the process by estimating what was needed for it.
3rd - Tim Drumm. For carrying the vision through to it's eventual conclusion by designing and installing the system.


Now, let's get this fountain turned on...

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