“Sixty years after its dedication in 1920, the Waverly Community House thrives– only one in a handful of such facilities still in existence in the United States today. One needs to spend only a short amount of time on any weekday afternoon in the Community House Lobby to feel the deep rooted sense of stability fostered there by the close fellowship of people of all ages–a scarce phenomenon in today’s fast paced, fragmented society.” (Abington Voice, 1980)
In the summer of 1980, the Waverly Community House held a week long celebration to honor the anniversary of its official dedication ceremony, which took place in 1920. The commemorative ceremony was in the form of a week long arts fair and ran from June 15th- June 22nd, with multiple events scheduled for both adults and children to enjoy. On June 15th, the gathering kicked off with a watercolor demonstration by well known artist Valfred Thelin who was also a signature member of the American Watercolor Society. Other events and programs included: an organ recital given by Barbara Harbach and Jack Hennigan, a “program of music and song,” presented by Thomas Fallon, John Hyer, and Roosevelt Newson, a “words and music” presentation given by Christine Donahue and Richard Wargo, and various additional performances and exhibitions aimed to honor both the arts, and the talented local artists who participated in the event.
The occasion’s final day contained a “Rededication Ceremony,” during which, a speech was given by Captain Peter Belin regarding the Waverly Community House’s extraordinary historical significance. This service was followed by an old fashioned band concert, reminiscent of the performance by Lawrence’s Band during the 1920 dedication. The Waverly Community House was also added to the Pennsylvania Inventory of Historic Places in 1980, which made for a very special birthday present. Local newspaper publication, “The Voice” produced an 8-part series on the Comm, its history, and the anniversary celebration which served as a fitting conclusion of the festivities.
The Waverly Community House’s 60th Anniversary Celebration is simply one example of the institution’s dedicated staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, and valued community members gathering together to honor the historic cornerstone of the community. As the centennial anniversary of the 1919 laying of the Comm’s cornerstone approaches, this post serves as reminder of how much the Waverly Community House has meant, and continues to mean to the treasured members of our local community.