Monday, April 26, 2010

The Governor Dummer Academy Rifle Club

For many years, Governor Dummer Academy students were able to participate in the Rifle Club. Created at the tail end of World War II, the Rifle Club had 40 members in its inaugural year (the academic 1944-1945 year). The 1945 Milestone notes that the Rifle Club had “thrived beyond expectation,” and that the club’s shooting range “on the hill south of the hockey pond has been used steadily all the year in spite of the fact that the shelter did not survive the gales in January.” The club’s affiliation with the National Rifle Association (NRA) enabled it to purchase ammunition and to present awards to junior members. Over the course of the club’s first year, 135 awards were distributed and “some very skilled marksmen” had been developed. The club then turned toward the task of arranging matches with competing schools.

A preview of one upcoming Rifle Club season is published in the October 27, 1951 issue of The Archon:

Rifle Club Season Opens with a Bang!

This year the Governor Dummer Rifle Club promises keener, more active competition than ever before. With a roster of better than thirty-five members, eager for action on the range, the club is already making plans for upcoming activities. On the first school weekend some of the b

oys volunteered to help Mr. Christopher G. Stoneman, the master in charge of the rifle range, clear the weeds off the range in preparation for future use. At the first official meeting of the group as a club, an election of officers for the coming year was held. The result of this election established L. Franco Derba as president and Alexander A. Hose as secretary. There are reports of a good schedule in National Rifle Association competition with .22 calibre [sic] rifles, and all members of the club will have ample opportunities to shoot for N.R.A. ribbons.

The Rifle Club appears to have had a 20-year run, as evidenced by the fact that each Milestone from 1945 through 1964 had a page dedicated to club’s activities. No such entry appears from 1965 forward. Check out the some of the photographs of students and faculty during the Rifle Club’s existence, below.