Archive 2008 - 2019

Buntings Denied

by Raymond Moloney


Dear Board of Selectmen,

The Holliston Fire Department is a group of dedicated men and women who have volunteered their time and services to the town for many years. This includes time spent in training, being on call, fighting fires and over the years improving and building neighborhood fire stations.

For example, the East Holliston station is known as the Gates station because Clarence Gates organized and supported the station to house the first fire truck for this section of town. Engine 3 assembled that first fire truck. Another example is in Braggville on land donated by George McCormick where the building was constructed by the Kampersal ''boys” to house an engine in this end of town in order to reduce the insurance rates on local property.

Many of the past and present members of the volunteer department have given their time and continue to sacrifice personal and family occasions to serve our community.

I suggest that retired volunteers be recognized by the townspeople when they pass into the next life. This can be as simple as hanging mourning buntings on the exterior of the Central Fire Station on Central Street. This is a display of honor to respect the time dedicated to the town by the deceased, which will be of minimal or no cost to the town. This and other meaningful remembrances have been the custom in this town in the past.The current protocol decrees that only current members of the department will be so honored.

Current protocol is not to deploy the buntings for retired or former members.

I conducted a survey recently of the present force and requested their opinion on continuing the practice of the past 45 years of honoring former members of the department. The results were overwhelmingly in support of this practice.

I have checked the policy of neighboring towns and note that Holliston is the exception.

I respectfully request that the Board of Selectmen review this protocol.


Raymond Moloney, Retired Holliston Fire Chief

The reponse I received from the Board of Selectmen follows:


This is an interesting story about some former fire departement personnel and their dedicatiion to the town, an example of those deserving buntings.

Comments (4)

Unfortunately there are a lot of traditions that go unseen in Holliston

Brett | 2013-06-04 04:49:41

must be one of those mind numbing pc policies that make no sense. I can't see the Chief being against something so honorable unless he was forced to do so.

Sean | 2013-06-03 12:26:04

You failed to mention in your letter to the selectmen that the East Holliston station was on land donated by my father and uncle ---Tito and Joseph Rossini

Rita Rossini Baker | 2013-06-03 05:29:30

As a Holliston citizen, I would be interested in hearing from Chief Cassidy as to the rationale for the current policy on hanging mourning buntings on the Central Fire Station and, specifically, why the policy no longer includes retired or former members of the Holliston Fire Department.

Susan Haley | 2013-06-03 04:22:08