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“Parts, parts, parts!”: Bristol Area Lions Club Visits Masters Machine 04/11/2012

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To learn more about the community it serves, the Bristol Area Lions Club hit the road recently, touring Masters Machine Company in Round Pond. Hosted by company vice president George Masters, Jr., the Lions saw firsthand why Masters Machine’s tag line is “a measure of precision.”

Started by George Masters Sr. and his sons in 1957 in the historic Washington Schoolhouse in Round Pond Village, this “working machine shop” has grown into a facility that takes up over 100,000 square feet and employs nearly 100 people, including a third generation of the Masters family.

George Masters, Jr. explained that his company manufactures precision turned components for other companies’ products, most of which end up being used outside of New England. Certified as an ISO 9001 registered company, Masters Machine produces everything from truck transmission gears to fire extinguisher valves, and from cell tower cable connectors to military ship cargo storage system components.

The standard measuring guides found on every lobsterman’s vessel come from Masters Machine as well.

The scope of Masters Machine’s impact can be appreciated by the fact that its products find use in trucks, cars, jets, trains, ships, motorcycles, traffic lights, on Hoover Dam in Nevada, and even in France’s Eiffel Tower.

On any given day, one hundred different components are manufactured at the Masters plant. Each piece produced, and there are thousands manufactured each week, is inspected, washed, and double-checked for precise measurement before being shipped to the customer.

All design and building is done in-house. The company recycles as much as possible, from scrap metal cast off during manufacture to cleaning solution for machine parts to the cutting oil used to lubricate tools. George Masters emphasized that the success of his company is based on the collaborative effort of its employees, who undergo rigorous technical training to operate the facility’s complex machinery.

Following their tour, the Bristol Lions met back at Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor. Plans are set for the annual Elmer Tarr Roadside Clean Up on Saturday, April 21 at 8 AM. Any interested residents and organizations are welcome to meet at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor and to join the effort to keep the greater Bristol Peninsula free of litter. For more information, please contact Lion Stan Benner at 563-7172.

Also discussed was the 4th Annual Bristol Area Lions Foundation Golf Tournament, scheduled this year for Saturday, August 11. Proceeds from this important annual fundraiser support the Club’s academic scholarship fund and local charities. At the next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, on Monday, April 16, Lincoln County News’ “coastal economist” Marcus Hutchins will be the featured speaker.

To make dinner reservations for that meeting, please call 677-2095. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact John Janell at 563-7402.

Bristol Area Lions tour Fire Station 09/25/2011

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Bristol Lion and Fire Capt. Bill Crider presents Bristol Fire Chief Paul Leeman with a certificate of appreciation for his presentation.

On Mon., Sept. 19, The Bristol Area Lions Club met at the Bristol Fire and Rescue’s New Harbor station. This was one of several on site tours that the Lions Club has had in the past couple of years.

Bristol Fire Chief, Paul Leeman greeted and spoke to the group and conducted a station and equipment tour. Chief Leeman showed the large compliance manual that the fire department uses to conduct all operations and training.

Since the 9 -11 attack on the twin towers in New York City, fire departments have found themselves subject to more and more governmental oversight. Federal funding in the form of grants is available to help many departments but they sometimes have to conform to new training and certifications to be eligible for some grants.

The Bristol Fire Dept. holds a monthly business meeting the first Tuesday of the month, trains on the second, works on maintenance on the third with additional meetings and training on the fourth Tuesday if necessary.

Like all Lincoln County fire departments, the Bristol Fire Dept. consists of all-volunteer responders. Many members leave their regular jobs to respond to car accidents, fires, boating emergencies, etc. All members are on call 24-hours a day and respond when they can or if needed.

Bristol has stations located in New Harbor, Round Pond and Bristol Mills, due to the geographical size of the town, and the number of residences and businesses within five road miles of a station.
Chief Leeman said that due to the expense of buying and maintaining equipment it is impossible to have duplicate equipment in all stations in town.

This is also why rural fire departments now rely heavily on mutual aid from surrounding towns. The sharing of equipment that may only be needed once or twice a year allows departments to reduce operating budgets.

The Lions were shown the departments Rescue 1 that is set up as an ambulance, where patients are treated and made ready for transport and transferred to a CLC ambulance. The first responders are the medical section of the department and respond to medical emergencies as well as standing by at other call in case of injuries.

Rescue 2 is a heavy rescue truck and carries the “jaws of life”, water rescue equipment, traffic accident safety equipment, a cascade supply system for the air packs, and many other tools and equipment.

Tank 1 holds 2000 gallons of water, and Engine 1 carries 1000 gallons of water. Bristol also has a pumper and an 18’ Boston Whaler in Round Pond and a pumper and a tank truck in Bristol Mills.

Each station has a four- wheeler ATV is used for forest fires and search and rescue.

The Lions were impressed by the equipment owned by the town and how well it was maintained. After the station tour the members adjourned to the Willing Workers Hall for dinner and a business meeting.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions is on Mon., Oct. 3, at 6:00 p.m. when Animal Control Officer Mike Witte will discuss local wildlife. To make a reservation for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions, please call 677-2095. contact Andy Noyes at 677-2213.

Local Historian Visits Bristol Area Lions Club 05/20/2011

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At the most recent meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club, local historian Peter Hope presented research on some of the early communities of the Bristol Peninsula. A native not only of Maine but specifically of Pemaquid, Hope is keenly interested in capturing the collective memory of the area by gathering oral histories from longtime residents. Combining that information with facts gleaned from primary source material, he published a history of New Harbor in 2009 entitled, Two Harbors and a Hill, and he has now begun work on preserving the memory and history of Round Pond Village.

Hope was a local history buff from an early age, having written an honors thesis on Colonial Pemaquid even before interest grew in the site and before systematic excavations began in the mid-1960s. For 33 years he taught history at Camden-Rockport High School. There he incorporated the concept of interviewing into his lesson plans, starting an oral history magazine with his students and promoting oral history as a valuable primary source for research. Since retirement, Hope has been instrumental in starting up the Old Bristol Historical Society and building interest in both oral history and genealogy. Likening himself to a detective, wherein each little scrap of information helps to build a picture of a time and place, Hope is on a mission to preserve memories before they vanish.

For his current project on Round Pond, Hope shared some interesting statistics. Starting in the 1700s with only 23 families, Round Pond by the 1880s was a bustling village with a hotel, boarding house, quarry, general stores, lobster canneries, several boatyards and such supporting businesses as a sail loft, rigging loft, and blacksmith. More than 60 vessels were built in Round Pond between 1800 and 1880. During that time the output of a pogy factory on Back Shore Road, combined with other pogy businesses on the peninsula, made Maine the lead producer of pogy oil (used in paint and for lighting fuel) in the United States. And by 1906, Round Pond boasted nearly as many sea captains as well-known Searsport.

In the business meeting that followed Hope’s presentation, members discussed several upcoming fundraising events, including the Bristol Lions Club’s third annual golf tournament and silent auction on August 13, the annual summer-long raffle in New Harbor, a Treasures and Treats sale on July 28, and Saturday Flea Markets throughout the summer. All funds raised from these efforts will go to support the Club’s several college scholarships as well as a number of local charities.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club takes place on Monday, June 6, when Jim Connell will give a presentation on the decommissioned Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in light of Japan’s recent nuclear disaster. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, please call 677-2095.

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