December 10, 2009


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The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
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The Creche is back

Volunteers look over the placement of figures in the Chestnut Hill community crèche, which is once again in front of Sovereign Bank, 8623 Germantown Ave.  At work last Monday were Antoinette DuBiel, Palladio owner Jay Susanin, and property owner Michael Young. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

Last year, a week before Janine Dwyer was preparing to set up the community crèche – the miniature scene depicting the birth of baby Jesus – the structure’s normal spot in front of Chestnut Hill’s Sovereign Bank branch was filled with a large white bear statue purchased during the community’s AbZOOlutely2 fundraiser.

That year the annual caroling at the crèche event, which Dwyer has led for many years, was forced from its traditional spot to a cold Monday night performance at the Fountain Plaza behind Borders Book Store. Dwyer was surprised and displaced but not despondent.

“I just decided then that, somehow, the situation would take care of itself,” she said Dwyer’s assessment turned out to be correct. The bear statue was moved, and Monday morning she and a group of volunteers began to install a restored crèche in its traditional spot again.

ZBA decision on Good Food Market ‘not unusual,’ attorney says

The surprise variance denial that ended the four-month Good Food Market saga has forced the Chestnut Hill Community Association leadership to closely examine how it vets applications for zoning relief.

In a crucial first step, CHCA president Walter Sullivan last week invited Carl Primavera, a renowned land use and zoning attorney with Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg & Ellers, to brief the board’s land use, planning and zoning subcommittee on the intricacies of the city’s zoning-review process.

GFS cross country finishes 21st in the nation

A pep rally the day before departing for the Nike Cross Country Nationals, the contingent from Germantown Friends School included (from left) David Waterman, Coach Rob Hewitt, Evan Caldwell, Ross Wistar, Gus McKenzie, Sam Butler, Tom Waterman, and Cameron MacTavish.

Well after most autumn athletes had hung up their uniforms, the boys’ cross country team at Germantown Friends School kept on running. Performing in elite races on the two Saturdays after Thanksgiving, the Tigers took their final bow on a national stage.

55 years later, a fallen firefighter gets his due

Police stand at attention during a plaque dedication on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for Captain Louis Mortimer, a firefighter who died in 1955 while on duty at Chestnut Hill’s Engine Company 37. More than 30 members of Mortimer’s family attended, including his widow, Eleanor Mortimer, 88, seated, third from left. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

Fifty-five years ago, Captain Louis R. Mortimer, a husband and father of four, fell down a set of stairs at Chestnut Hill’s Engine 37 station on West Highland Avenue. He was taken to Chestnut Hill Hospital where he died from head injuries seven days later.

Since that day, his wife, Eleanor Mortimer has fought to have her late husband recognized in some capacity. Last week, on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 2, Mrs. Mortimer was finally able to see her husband honored at a rousing ceremony attended by many local community members and well over 30 members of the Mortimer family, who came from as far as California to attend.

A wide consortium of city and local figures put the ceremony together. Locally, Hill residents Frank Galioto and Francis “Stretch” Hendrie, both board members of the Chestnut Hill Bocce Club, spearheaded an effort to raise close to $2,500 for the plaque and a luncheon afterwards for the Mortimer family.


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