The smoker, dinner and entertainment hosted by the Bethlehem soccer boosters went across big in the Parish House of the Church of Nativity last night when close to one hundred boosters and guests pepped up things for the clash between Fall River and Bethlehem this afternoon.
By the conclusion of the festivities which lasted several hoarser the game had been played and Bethlehem had annexed the two points to make its position secure as leader in the American Soccer League race. The crowd hoped there would be waking up from a bad dream.
William Highfield, who for several seasons performed between the uprights for the national champions was chairman of the meeting. He is a real booster and as a toastmaster qualified with the same pronounced efficiency with which he served when a regular on the team.
The players, all of them with the exception of Robert MacGregor and Andy Rankin, were present as the guests of the club. They joined in the festivities by dispensing several vocal selections individually and collectively, starring their brilliant outside left, Malcolm Goldie, as soloist. “A wee bit of Scotch” was the flavor throughout.
The downpour of rain at the hour started for the opening festivities did not dampen the ardor or enthusiasm of the boosters and guests and they braved the elements to be there on time.
Rev. James Robinson, soccer enthusiast, was the first speaker directing his remarks along lines to encourage the boosters in the fine work they have been doing and congratulating the players on the excellent showing they are making. In concluding he quite modestly hoped that the score this afternoon would be 3 to 1 but this was overruled, someone suggesting that it be 5 to 0 when the Very Rev. D. Wilmot Gateson, of the Church of Nativity, suggested the numeral 7 as a sacred number and it was unanimously voted that Bethlehem register a “sacred victory.”
Vocal selections were sung by Robert McCurley and Malcolm Goldie. The singing by the “gang” was the real pep producer making things hum with “Bye-bye Fall River” a very popular selection.
Otis Cochran contributed to the mirth producing numbers with his pet selection “Puddin’” and his monologue on “Mr. Evans’ Dog Hospital,” the latter rendered in perfect English cockney dialect.
There were many other speakers some who talked a lot and others who did not talk enough. OF the latter was modest Willie Carnihan, captain of the championship soccer outfit. Bill at the time was more interested in tackling the victuals than in speaking to the “boys,” responding to the call of the chairman, however, with “I’ll do my talking after the game.” Mr. Daniels, a shop superintendent, spoke a few words of encouragement to the team but seemed more interested in “harping” on what his shop gang was gong to do to the Gene Collins outfit in the combat between the rival factions billed as one of the entertainment features between the halves of the game today.
Dean Gateson gave a few jokes on the bishop, spoke of clean wholesome sport as being part of religion and quite honestly admitting that because of the prevailing parish duties he has not been able to attend as many games as he would like. His talk was very entertaining, varying from numerous humorous interjections to a more serious vain.
Among those present was Bill Stark, for many years trainer of the club and now actively engaged as a member of the staff of physical instructors at Bethlehem High School. And Bill let it be known that he was there when he put across Kipling’s “Gonga-Din” in masterly style.
Just about this time things were beginning to hum, when someone reminded the toastmaster that the players had a hard game ahead and the feathers were more appropriate than dragging on a Bobby Burns. It was a wise suggestion, heeded instantly and the boosters broke up the meeting signing “Bethlehem Will Shine Tonight.”
Boosters, friends and players present were Dr. Robinson, Dean Gateson, Hy Salmon, Charles Crocket, E. P. Garrety, A. Paton, G. Crawford, W. Highfield, Thomas Kiefer, Harry Bennett, Horace Williams, Mr. Julian, Mr. Roesse, Mr. Gates, Mr. Gibson, Taffy Rollins, Robert McLaughran, Robert McLochlin, Charles Wilson, Warren Richmond, C. M. Stauffer, Thomas Weir, Lloyd Jones, O. J. Gold, W. H. Vannata, J. H. Carpenter, Walter Horn, T. H. Hartzel, E. C. Waite, Fred Pepper, A. Hewitt, W. Kurtz, R. Tice, R. Morrison, H. S. Bennett, Jr., C. Goff, Robert Hoffert, Mr. Serman, W. Forrest, Charles Chamberlain, James Sailey, H. Furry, Tom Drakely, H. Mann, D. Edwards, J. Barrie, D. Eadie, W. Allan, J. Ferguson, R. McDonald, T. Raeside, W. Carnihan, J. Jaap, T. Gillespie, J. Granger, E. Smoth, A. Stark, G. Forrest, J. Rollo, M. Goldie, R. Terris, J. Easton, L. Evans, W. L. Lewis, Mr. Lewis, Sr., W. G. Stark, J. H. Kessack, F. S. Nonnemacher, H. J. Harper, F. H. Overdorf, C. Moffat, R. H. Schottman, F. O. Ritter, T. I. Sieber, E. D. Stackel, and A. E. Funston.