Sunday, September 26, 1971

Old blue laws make Sunday the dullest

Two Johannesburg men appeared in Johannesburg Magistrates Court recently charged with “assembling at a public place for the purpose of attending or playing in a golf tournament.”

A joke? No. The Sunday Observance Act of 1896, still on the books, prohibits the playing of sports on Sundays in the Republic. It also forbids a lot of other things and turn Sunday into the dullest day of the week.

The Sunday Observance Act is a hangover from the staid days of the Volksraad (Peoples Council) of the South African Republic and was promulgated in the “Staatskoerant” (Government Gazette) of Nov. 13, 1896.

The law prohibits Sunday cinemas, dancing, working, driving a car or motorcycle, mowing the lawn, weeding or watering the garden, billiards and snooker. Devotees of the miniature golf game putt-putt can play but they break the law if they keep score, because the game then becomes a competition.

The old laws produce some anomalies. The National Football League could stage matches on a Sunday, but the Sunday Observance Act prohibits the professional clubs from collecting money at the gate. However, to take part in one of Johannesburg’s most popular Sunday sports, watching the planes land and take off at Jan Smuts airport, one has to pay 10 cents to enter the airport concourse. On weekdays anyone may visit the airport free of charge.

At the South African capital Pretoria, students of the local university asked for permission to perform a charity concert on Sunday. Permission was granted but the actors were not allowed to put on costumes.

Although they will not admit it publicly, police sources indicate they would like to see the Sunday Observance Act either scrapped or modernized.

100 years ago as presented in the September 1921 editions of the Rome Tribune-Herald

All Rotarians who attended the recent weekly luncheon were pinched on a charge of doing business without license and marched to the new county jail. The arrests were made in an official manner by Sheriff Wilson and Chief of Police Harris, who were armed with the proper legal documents.

It was suspected that the charge on the warrants was a subterfuge, however, invented by Sheriff Wilson to get some of the members of the club to see the new jail, of which he and other county officials are exceedingly proud. After the Rotarians had been shown through the new building and had viewed the spotless cells and equipment of the “Bastille,” they were released on their own word that they wouldn’t try to get back in by any other means than by invitation from the sheriff.

Monday, September 27, 1971

Police, even photographer, witness attempted theft

It’s difficult to steal a huge $12,000 tractor with the owner, four Floyd County policeman, the county agent and several thousand fairgoers looking on, but three area men tried Saturday night, officials say.

Allegedly the three drove up to the gate at the fairgrounds on East First Street in a ton-and-a-half truck with John Deere Co. decals on the doors and announced they were there to pick up a tractor which had been on display as part of the agricultural exhibit. It looked official enough, so they were allowed onto the grounds.

They drove the truck to the area where the farm equipment was on display and left it. But, Paul Smith, Floyd County agent, was in charge of the exhibit, and he immediately became suspicious.

As the three left the area with a bundle of clothing under their arms, Smith had them followed. The three walked through the carnival area, changing clothes twice before returning to the truck approximately an hour later.

In the meantime, the owner of the tractor, Norwood Griffin, had been notified. He looked at the truck and realized it wasn’t his.

County police also were notified and were waiting for the three men when they reappeared at the livestock barn.

Using a winch, the three pulled a new John Deere tractor up onto the bed of the truck and started to drive away.

They were stopped. It seemed that everyone but the three men involved knew what was going on. There was even a photographer standing by to record the arrests.

Police took into custody Ernest Sewell Young Jr., 27, Rte. 2, Centre, Ala.; Norman Larry Kerr, 26, Rte. 1, Cave Spring, and James Harold Kines, 32, Rte.1, Centre, and charged them with theft by taking. They were later released from the Floyd County jail under $25,000 bond.

Incidentally, Sgt. Coy Smith of the Floyd County Police Department, who participated in the arrests, is in charge of security for the fair.

Arresting officers besides Sgt. Smith were Sgt. Houston Freeman and Sgt. Benny Smith. Chief Investigator Bill Riley also assisted.

Wednesday, September 29, 1971

GE workers awarded pay for layoff

General Electric Co. in Rome has been ordered by an arbitrator to pay approximately $95,000 in back pay to virtually all production and maintenance employees after final adjudication of issues arising from a series of weekend strikes in 1968.

The award requires GE to reimburse employees for all pay lost as a result of the disciplinary layoffs imposed for their participation in the series of strikes.

Two companion cases which grew out of the 1968 strikes, one involving an unfair labor charge filed by the company against the union and the other over a state court injunction which temporarily stopped the strikes, have already been resolved by the National Labor Relations Board and the federal courts. These case rulings also favored the union.

The latest ruling ordered GE to reimburse all employees within 10 days after receipt of the award and to remove all records and disciplinary action in the case from their personnel files.

GE had charged that the strike action violated the 1966-69 national contract with the union by introducing wage issues and filed an unfair labor practices charge against the union.

The GE union is local 191, International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers.

Thursday, September 30, 1971

Pharo has only respect for Friday’s foe

If you think that coach Ed Pharo sounds like a broken record when he starts talking about the McEachern football team – you’re right.

Pharo, who’s developed winning football teams at Rockmart for the past three years, has nothing but respect for the McEachern club and he doesn’t hesitate to let it be known.

“They are by far the best football team we’ve played this season,” he said in the general summary of the opposing foe Friday night. “They are big and real good, plus they are the defending champions,” Pharo commented.

In a similar situation last year, Rockmart and McEachern moved into the game with a perfect record subregion-wise and the Indians came up with a 14-7 verdict. That was the lone loss suffered by Rockmart during the 1970 campaign, and it knocked the Jackets out of the Region 4-A North title chase.

The only difference in the situation is that the game will be played at Rockmart instead of McEachern. That home field advantage may be the difference in the final outcome.

“McEachern has nine defensive starters returning and six offensive boys around so you can readily see that they have a good football team,” Pharo said. “You would have to say they have a tremendous football team.”

Pharo said McEachern has the perfect example of a well-balanced team. The Indians are big, experienced, have good speed, have a good passing and running attack, play tough defense, have a kicking game, with more overall depth than last year.

This description of an opponent ordinarily would scare most coaches and although Pharo does respect McEachern, he doesn’t fear them to the extent of being scared.

After all, the Jackets have been faring well on the field this year as their record indicates. Rockmart is 4-0 for the year with wins over Paulding County, Cedartown, Cartersville and Darlington.

The defense grabbed the spotlight in all four victories while the offense averaged 19 points per game in the four outings.

100 years ago as presented in the September 1921 editions of the Rome Tribune-Herald

Fifty percent of Chicago’s policemen are involved in the illegal transportation and sale of liquor, Chief of Police Charles Fitzmaurice declared.

A thorough cleanup of the department with a view of ferreting out the guilty parties was ordered by the chief. Immediate removal of officials found engaged in illicit booze traffic was promised.

The chief’s assertion came with the announcement of the dispatch of letters to United States District Attorney Charles F. Clyne and John H. Alcock, first deputy superintendent of police. In his communication to the district attorney, Fitzmaurice requested Clyne turn over to him evidence federal agents gathered in dry law violations in which policemen were implicated.


Four telephone operators, the night shift at the Southern Telephone Exchange, worked with precision and intense energy recently to give service that would have been a student test for the full day force of 14.

Hundreds of telephone calls were made during the Bowie Stove Plant fire to ascertain its location. Some were to the operators and others to residences in East Rome. It was humanly impossible for the four operators to answer all of the calls during the peak of the load. They did the best they could without losing their temper. They didn’t have time to call for reinforcements. At one time the switchboards were solid masses of connected phones, many of which the operators had not had time to disconnect.

Manager Jay M. Harris was called from his bed by irate patrons who said they couldn’t get service. He couldn’t get a connection himself, so he rushed to the exchange to find out the trouble. It was plain enough.

Mr. Harris called the news office and asked for a reporter to see how hard the girls were trying to give service. He saw and was amazed. He and Mr. Harris tried to help by pulling out some of the masses of connected chords. They did help some, but they also might have disconnected some that should not have been. If you were cut off in the middle of a conversation, cuss the green helpers, not the operators.

The operators have instructions not to give information about the location of fires. It takes too much time. With the number of calls they had they couldn’t have done so, even if they had not been so instructed.


World Baseball Series details will be received here by Hawkins Brothers beginning the first week of October and continuing until the series ends.

The details will be received and given out at the Woodman Hall on Broad Street, over the McDonald Furniture Store.

By special arrangements with the Rome News the details will be furnished by United Press leased wire.

All who heard the details last year will remember the speed, accuracy and clearness of detail with which the reports were furnished by the United Press.

Announcement of the admission price will be made later.


Recommended for you