In her place sister PDP Joyce Gouin, along with her daughter, Lesley Dean and her niece PDP Beth Jones, presented this year’s flag to the Oxford County Agricultural Society. But this was no ordinary flag, nor ordinary story.

Sister Joyce had three brothers, Rodney, Keith & Dwight Grover. All three “boys” served their country in WWII. Keith, a Lieutenant in the 318th Infantry of the 3rd Army gave the ultimate in Falaise, France in August of 1944.

Rodney and Dwight came home from service in the Pacific and went back to jobs in the Lumber business and their “hobby” of Harness Racing.

Rodney had been a major with the 14th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group behind the lines in the Philippines on the island of Luzon. Living off the land for several months he was quite ill and was hospitalized at Spring Point for a long period on his return to the states. On September 16, 1959 while racing at the Oxford County Fair Rodney suffered a heart attack. Each year afterward until the moving of the fairgrounds there was a memorial race in his honor. This year his sister Joyce Grover Gouin and his daughters Corille Bresette and Kathleen Grover along with other members of the family have donated the funds to reestablish the memorial race, which will be held on Saturday this year.

Dwight, who was a US Marine Corps Sargent, served throughout the Pacific Theater including China & Bougainvillea, passed from us on May 19 of this year. A lifelong Horseman, gifts in his memory were made to the Fair Association for the building of a paddock at the new racetrack he was so looking forward to.

Oxford County Fair has been without Harness Racing for 39 years. The Association will be erecting a flagpole on the midfield in Honor & Memory of all the County’s Veterans. Joyce, her daughter Lesley Dean and Dwight’s daughter Mary Jones are all members of the Daughters of Union of the Civil War, On June 27 of this year the DUVCW presented Race Director Phil Jackson with a Flag to be flown at the new track.

With a paddock in Dwight’s honor, and Rodney’s Memorial Race reestablished, it just seemed natural. And so with the family’s blessing and the DUVCW Maine Department’s indulgence, the first flag to fly there will be Keith’s Gold Star Flag.


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