(Headline from The Geneva Republican Newspaper, July 9, 1943, the same year the Geneva Historical Society was formed.)
This is a post in celebration of the Geneva History Museum’s 75th anniversary, 1943 – 2018.
At the annual family picnic of the Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co. held last Saturday in Good Templar park, the company was awarded the government star for outstanding production of war materials. This award at present held only by three war production plants in the state was presented to the company seven months after the Army-Navy “E” flag was presented on October 9th. (The Museum is proud to have this flag as part of our collection.)
The presentation of the star climaxes two and one-half years of rapid and continued growth since the local plant made its first delivery of war material in January of 1940. If the company keeps up the present temp of production during the next six months, another star will be added to the banner.
Circuit Judge Charles A. O’Connor of Aurora, was the principal speaker of the day. He addressed the employees and their families in the park and congratulated them on the fine record of achievement.
“The government honors you in presenting this award,” he said, “but you are in effect honoring yourselves, for you are the government. That is what we are fighting for. You can well be proud of the fine job you are doing in the war effort.”
Judge O’Connor complimented the management and the war employees and said that it would have been impossible for the company to make the production record and receive the star award without the full cooperation of everyone.
The picnic which started with games and races in the morning and ended with dancing in the park pavilion is an annual affair for all Burgess-Norton employees and their families. One of the outstanding events of the day which drew a crowd of over two thousand to the park was the baseball tournament between the different departments of the plants. The women of the two plants also engaged in a softball game. There were pony rides and train rides for the youngsters and they proved very popular. All refreshments and rides, etc. were free to the picnickers. Both dinner and supper were furnished by the management.