Saturday, March 17, 2012

Francis S. Dane, Jr., Welcomed Home at Community Reception

This article about my grandfather is from the Lexington Minute-man, May 23, 1935:

"Francis S. Dane, Jr., Welcomed Home at Community Reception
Presented a Watch from Many Friends and Key to the Town.  More than 800 at Happy Meeting in Cary Memorial Hall.  Introduces His Dog and Speaks Most Entertainingly.

The town opened its arms last Friday evening welcome home from his two years in the Antarctic, its own representative, Francis S. Dane, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis S. Dane of Bennington road.

Some 800 men, women and children assembled in Cary Memorial Hall on that evening for one of the pleasantest community gatherings that the town has enjoyed for many a long day.  If there was any doubt but what the town was glad to see Dane back safe and sound, it was dissipated when a continued burst of applause greeted him upon his entrance on the platform, and the meeting was a decided success from the moment that infectious and friendly smile, that is always associated with Dane, greeted the audience. 

The stage was attractively decorated with apple blossoms, and at the back, the High School Band under Directory Withington was stationed.  These young musicians gave a splendid concert before the arrival of the guest of honor, and during the reception that followed the speeches.  They contributed heavily to the success off the occasion.

Boy Scouts under their Scoutmaster aided in seating the audience and keeping the lines at the reception.

Mr. Thomas S. Gringle, president of the Rotary Club, which initiated the whole idea, was a Master of Ceremonies and opened the program, explaining the pleasure it gave his friends to see Dane home again from his unusual exploit.

Chairman Charles E. Ferguson of the Board of Selectmen was the first speaker and gave the greetings of the officials of the town.  He spoke of the honor to the town of having a member on this epoch-making Byrd Expedition and told Dane that the town was his.  To prove it in concrete form he presented Dane with a huge wooden key to the town.  This he admitted unlocked nothing but that was because nothing was locked to him.  The key was made from wood from an historic elm tree that stood on the Battle Green.

Mr. Grindle then introduced Mr. Edwin B. Worthen who was most happy in his remarks.  He remarked upon the splendid background that Dane enjoyed and called attention to the warm place in the hearts of the townspeople that the whole family enjoyed.  He expressed regret that Dane had returned without a full grown beard for he said he always associated a beard with returning explorers.  Worthen then presented Dane with a beautiful gold watch, the gift of his many friends in the town.  This was given by no group or club but by old and young from all sections of the town.

Then Francis (for he is still Francis to most of us) spoke in a most ingraciating and simple manner.  He admitted the fuss that was being made over him was too much.  He wanted to go and he went and he had had a good time.  He paid tribute to Admiral Byrd in a heartfelt manner and spoke feelingly of the splendid comradeship of the entire personnel of the expedition.

He told of some of his own work with the dogs and the difficulties and pleasures of his experiences with them.  Of great interest to all present was his introduction of his own lead-dog "Pinoock" that had been with him from start to finish and was to remain with him.  It was a splendid specimen and seemed to enjoy the attention he was receiving. 

Dane introduced two of his companions on the expedition who were present, Mr. F. Alton Wade, one of the scientists and Mr. Stuart Paine, a dog driver and they were both given a hearty round of applause.

At the conclusion of the speeches, the entire audience greeted Dane personally, coming singly to the front of the hall and shaking his hand and receiving a personal word and that infectious smile.  In the receiving group also were Mr. and Mrs. Francis S. Dane and their two other children, Miss Marcia and Nathan.

It is too early to state Dane's plans, but for the present at least he will be busy with work for the expedition.  He has much work to do in the disposing of and settling the dogs brought back of which there were more than a hundred.

The whole affair was a high spot in the community life of the town, happily conceived and excellently carried out."

This photo accompanied the article with the caption below:
Admiral Byrd Antarctic Expedition II 1933-1935, Dog Driver Team, including Francis S. Duke Dane
Group of Byrd Expedition Dog Drivers.  Dane on Extreme Left

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Great photo you have here. Thanks for the share.

family tree