, Gloucester, MA

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October 26, 2013

Talk of the Times: An O'Maley memorial for Al Swekla

Talk of the Times

One of Gloucester’s most long-term and most-respected educators, and the man who served as O’Maley Middle School’s first principal when it opened in 1973 will be memorialized in the school’s commons after a special dedication next month.

The Gloucester Public School District is inviting the public to the dedication ceremony in honor of the late Alphonse “Al” Swekla, to be held in the O’Maley Innovation Middle School Commons on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. Al passed away in January of this year.

The celebration of Al’s life, which included 39 years as an educator, then as a civil servant on the School Committee and other Gloucester boards, will include a musical tribute performed by the GHS Docksiders.

Coffee/tea, cake and Al’s favorite hermits will be served, according to School Committee Vice Chairwoman Val Gilman, who is serving as event organizer.

For further information, contact Gilman at

City Hall Halloween

Thursday, of course, is Halloween.

And the city of Gloucester is opening the doors of City Hall as an alternative to trick-or-tricking.

The City Council has cordially invited all goblins, witches, monsters and costumed folks of all ages to join them at City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium for what officials promise will be a “spooktacular” evening featuring a dance contest, games, a costume contest and more. Between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., parents are encouraged to bring their vampires, princesses and superheroes to celebrate free of cost at the Halloween event, which will be presented by Kids Unlimited and The Adventures of Scuba Jack. Charlie Fogarty will also provide his Halloween Balloons Extraordinaire, and everyone is welcome to take a swing at the pinata.

Marking our memorials

There are 23 memorial squares in Gloucester, 22 of them named in honor of individual veterans from the city who were killed in action during wartime, and the 23rd in honor of the American Legion.

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