AREA — OCEA-R, Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, met at the South Paris First Congregational Church on April 19. President John Kimball called the meeting to order shortly after 11 a.m. The usual business was conducted. They were updated on the legislature’s consideration of issues affecting retired teachers. A discussion was held around the options for a new book for distribution to the public libraries sometime this fall. OCEA-R purchases and distributes a children’s book to all the public libraries in Oxford County every year.

John Kimball reported that he plans to attend the annual convention in Augusta and urged the group to have a table at the event that will highlight the activities of the OCEA-R.

Members of the church provided a delicious Italian dinner after the short business meeting. At approximately 1 p.m., a program was presented by Laura Brown of the Poland Spring Preservation Society. She traced the history of the Poland Spring Resort from its humble origins to the famous resort that has hosted, among its many guests, a significant number of famous individuals, including Babe Ruth, President Howard Taft, and President Warren Harding.

The resort created its first golf course in 1896. She told of the awful fires that destroyed more than one impressive building on the grounds. The preservation society has raised funds to restore some structures and plans more improvements. The resort is open for business.

OCEA-R’s next meeting will be May 17 at the North Waterford First Congregational Church. Sign-ins will begin at 10:30 a.m. The business meeting will start at 11 a.m., followed by lunch and a program to be announced. Activities were interrupted by the COVID pandemic and there is the hope that any retired teachers or anyone who worked for one of the county’s school districts will consider joining the group.

All are welcome, including custodians, bus drivers, librarians, ed techs, and anyone who has been part of the school community.

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