Soar with the Eagles
by Cate Murway

So, after 100 years, are the Boy Scouts still relevant?
February 8th, 2010 marked the centennial of Boy Scouts in America, one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. More than 110 million boys, young men, moms and dads have been members of the BSA but even with such a momentous celebration as this, in many ways, it is a struggling organization. The scouting program still specializes in promoting survival skills and enjoyment of the outdoors but the enrollment numbers have seen continuous annual plunges. Not as many boys are interested in the program and fewer parents are making the choice to enroll their sons in Scouting.

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, Bt, OM, GCMG, GCVO, KCB [1857 –1941], also known as B-P or Lord Baden-Powell, was a lieutenant-general in the British Army, writer, and the founder of the Scout Movement.designed to instill character, citizenship, personal fitness, and leadership in boys through a structured program of outdoor activities.
Stephe Baden-Powell was awarded a scholarship to Charterhouse, a prestigious public school and his first introduction to Scouting skills was through stalking and cooking game while avoiding teachers in the nearby woods, which were strictly out-of-bounds.

Boy Scout membership topped 1 million in1925.
The Cub Scout program began in 1930.

For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country.
John F. Kennedy [1961-1963] was the first Scout to become President. He was a member of Troop 2 in Bronxville, NY, from 1929 to 1931 and a leader in the Boston Council. 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt [1933-1945] was the first to enter the White House with a record as an active Scout leader. He was president of the Greater New York Council of the BSA.
Gerald R. Ford [1974-1977] was the first Eagle Scout to become Vice President and later President. He began his Scouting career in 1924 as a member of Troop 15, sponsored by the Trinity M.E. Church in Grand Rapids, MI. The Grand Valley Council at Grand Rapids, MI, recognized him with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in May 1970 for his service to the nation and community.

Scouting in Pennsylvania began its long and rich tradition in 1908 in Pottsville, PA when the Pennsylvania State Police Superintendent, Lynn G. Adams, formed a troop using Baden-Powell's handbook, Scouting for Boys.
Boy Scouting is still filled with excitement, growth and challenge today, building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society. 181 scouts have become astronauts.
So, what’s missing? You!

Scouting is one of the crucial social ties that constitute neighborhood, community and nation. 
Cub master Robert C. “Bob” Strack, Jr. encourages new members. Come in comfortable clothing and join the 22 Cub Scouts, grades one through five, when they meet at the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library or in the St. Mark School gym on Wednesday evenings at 6:00PM. The Grundy Foundation sponsors the Pennsbury Council Pack #212. They will soon be starting a Boy Scout troop as well. Call 215.781.6699 for information. 
The 1st graders are dubbed “Tiger Cub”; the 2nd graders are “Wolf Cub Scouts”; the “Bear Cub Scouts” are in 3rd grade and the 4th and 5th graders are “Webelos”.
Meetings also include location visits to local businesses and the Bristol Fire Company #1, Station 51 on Market and Wood Streets to learn useful knotting skills.
Learn how to do this, it is important. It is one of man's most primitive tools. 
Or take a hike with your den and explore nature. Fishing and warm weather camping is always part of the agenda.

2% of the Boy Scouts currently attain the honor of Eagle Scout.
2,043,375 Eagle Scout Awards, the highest advancement rank, have been earned with the 21 merit badges including Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation and Citizenship in the World. The first Eagle Scout was Arthur R. Eldred in1912.
The benefits of the award are the skills and experiences achieved while earning it.

A pre-1950 framed Eagle Scout logo/graphic has recently been donated to Scout executive, Magne G. Gundersen on behalf of the BSA Bucks County Council #777.

Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” recipient for heroic achievement and conspicuous gallantry as a machine gunner, U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the 6th Task Fleet, Fred Bennett Hems, Sr., and his 3 brothers, WWII and Korean 6th Marine Corps division veteran Roland J. Hems; the late retired veteran, Elwood A., as well as his late twin, Ellsworth C. Hems, G-3-1 Korea, all earned the 21 of the 120 merit badges available, to qualify for the highest advancement rank in Scouting. They earned their Eagle Scout badges on February 8, 1948. Roland Hems was also a Scoutmaster for Troop #2 of the Bristol Presbyterian Church.
BSA CEO Gundersen presented Corporal Fred Hems with an autographed leather bound 4th Edition BSA Fieldbook, essential information for every outdoor enthusiast. 

Disabled veteran, Corporal Hems suggested that the framed picture be hung in the camp mess hall in the Ockanickon Scout Reservation, Pipersville, PA, near Ralph Stover Park.
It most likely will be displayed in the Ajapeu Lodge #33, a safer setting for such an old piece. He located this treasure in the Columbus flea market.
The badge design has changed over the years.

This first cloth Eagle badge [1924 – 1932] was made special for the BSA World Jamboree contingent to Denmark in 1924 and is the only one of the first type that has the "Good Turn" knot hanging from the "Be Prepared" scroll. 
There is no BSA engraved on it. BSA is displayed on Cpl. Hem’s Eagle Scout pin. 
Only 1% of all registered Boy Scouts attained Eagle Scout in Corporal Hems’ time in scouting. It is a long road and a difficult one. This accomplishment capped years of work, progressive leadership responsibilities, civic awareness, community volunteerism, dozens of merit badges based on learning specialized skills and countless nights spent camping in forests and wilderness. 

Corporal Fred learned how to cook and how to make bread. 
“It was fun being a Scout. A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful… and I remember the ‘bug juice’ [Kool-Aid].”
His memories made him smile.

Magne Gundersen promised him a ride to the camp when the weather gets warmer.

The skills taught in weekly meetings or earned on campouts stay with boys forever. From Lifesaving to Citizenship, Scouts gain a deeper understanding of skills that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Scouting is a unique opportunity to gain know-how that may just not be available anywhere else. Scouts are consistently showcased in newspapers and the television newscasts for saving the lives of family, friends or strangers, simply because they knew how to “be prepared” in a life-threatening emergency.

The BSA ideals- trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent are ones most of us want to see in our family, friends and neighbors. 
Scouting has consistently forwarded these values over their 100-year history. It’s one of the only things that kids do that is genuinely cooperative, not just competitive.

Youngsters are surrounded by a plethora of opportunities to make wrong decisions and to experience the negative. Scouting stacks the deck for more positive experiences.
A better case for relevancy is difficult to make.

Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail

Fred B. Hems Sr. 
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 4:00 am 

Fred Bennett Hems Sr. went to meet his Heavenly Father on Sunday, June 24, 2012. He was 81.

Fred Bennett Hems, Sr. age 81, BHS Class of ’48, went to meet his heavenly Father on June 24th, 2012, 
after a long illness, with his much loved family at his side.
He was absolutely devoted to his wife and children.
Surviving him is his soul mate, his friend, his beloved wife to whom he would have been married for 60 years this August 10th, retired L.P.N., Irene Anna Larrisey Hems and their children; Cathy Ann Shull [Christopher], Fred Bennett Hems, Jr., Wayne Richard Hems, Sr. [Nancy], all of Bristol; Jane H. Dugan [Leonard] of Monroeton, PA, and Renee H. Hems of Croydon. Also surviving are his brother, WWII and Korean 6th Marine Corps division veteran Roland J. Hems of Bristol .
He will be sorely missed by his grandchildren; Amy True Weber, Rose Hems Buckingham, Erin Dugan Borick, Jenna Hems, Kelly Dugan Hartigan, Jenna Hems, Haley Schools, Chelsea Schools, and his ten great-grandchildren. 
Fred was preceded in death by his two brothers, Ellsworth C. Hems (twin) and Elwood A. Hems; a sister, June Smith; a grandson, Wayne Hems Jr.; and his much loved son-in-law, Lucio DeVito, MD.

Marine Corporal Fred was known as a “live wire” and for his teamwork, discipline, leadership and good sportsmanship. Machine gunner “Freddie B” was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” recipient for heroic achievement and conspicuous gallantry, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the 6th Task Fleet and Cold War 58 –59 veteran. He valiantly earned a Korean Service Medal and a National Defense Service Medal, and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. Fred was most proud of his USMC Sharpshooter Rifle Badge and of being an Eagle Scout, the highest advancement rank in Scouting. He was also a longtime member of the American Legion.
After the Korean War, Fred joined the Army Reserves in Bristol and at the Nike Mission Base.
He was a Bristol Borough water meter reader for 27 years after achieving a G.I. Bill apprentice position as a Levittown Times printer's devil and compositor.

Fred first saw the young Irene, his future wife while she was working at the Mill Street “Strauss” soda fountain and said to himself, “I’m going to marry that girl!”
Fred and Irene, both open-heart surgery patients, shared their joint hobby of researching history books, scouring graveyards and piecing together history, and especially of his unrelenting endorsement to “Thank the Veteran”, as he selflessly boosted Bristol Borough. 

“Those who have long enjoyed such priveleges as we enjoy, forget in time that men have died to win them.”  
Franklin D. Roosevelt

He had a real passion for serving his community and it was the simple things around him in life that he never took for granted. At one time, Fred campaigned for a Borough Council position as the “Working Man’s Friend” and he was most “instrumental” in securing the $20,000 grant to revive the Bracken “Cavaliers” Junior Drum and Bugle Cadet Corps.

The Fred B. Hems family sincerely thanks the Helping Hands and First Light and his tireless caretakers, his son, Fred B., Jr.; daughter, Cathy Ann, and granddaughter, Amy. 

Fred was a man of strong faith and firmly believed in the power and strength and the beauty and peace that would await him after his passing.
He lived and died in a small town, where everybody knows your name, and Corporal Fred B. Hems has left an indelible mark, a legacy for his family and those that come after.

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated”. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral service at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 29 at the Carter Funeral Home, 314 Cedar St., Bristol, where the viewing will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday. Interment will be in Bristol Cemetery. Carter Funeral Home, Bristol

Roland J. Hems 
Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2013 4:00 am 

Roland J. Hems passed away peacefully Friday, May 31, 2013, 
at home with his family around him. He was 87.

Roland was born and lived in Bristol his whole life. 
He graduated from Bristol High School and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps 
during World War II.

He owned and operated Hems Brothers Rubbish Removal Service 
for more than 52 years.

He was a member of Bristol Elks Lodge 970, Bristol Lodge 25 Free and Accepted Masons, Bristol Moose Lodge 1169, St. Ann's Athletic Association, Bristol Odd Fellows, Bracken American Legion Post, Marine Corps League, and the First United Methodist Church of Bristol.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth B. (Coombs) Hems; his brothers, a sister, and two sons, Roland J. Hems Jr., and Howard J. Hems.
Roland is survived by his children, Robert C. Hems (Cindy), Stanley E. Hems (Elizabeth), Eileen E. Cheeseman (Perry), Anna J. Hems (William), and Janet L. Darnell-Hems (Craig); a sister-in-law, Irene Hems; 25 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Relatives and friends are invited to a funeral service at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 5, at Carter Funeral Home, 314 Cedar St., Bristol. A viewing will be held starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Interment will be in Bristol Cemetery. Carter Funeral Home,


Stanley E. Hems - Courier Times 
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 4:00 am 

Stanley E. Hems passed away Sunday, August 4, 2013 at his home in Bristol, Pa. 
He was 59.
Born in Bristol, he was a lifelong resident. Stanley was self-employed 
in the refuse removal business. He was an Army veteran, serving during the Vietnam War. 
He was a member of the VFW Tershon Post, the Hibernians in Bristol, the 5th Ward Club 
and the St. Anns Club. He enjoyed fishing and crabbing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roland and Elizabeth Hems; his brothers, Roland Jr. and Howard Hems; his daughters, Diana Marie and Jamie Elizabeth Hems; and son, Stanley E. Hems Jr.

He will be sadly missed by his best friend, Sulley; his wife of 40 years, Elizabeth; his son, Patrick (Jamie); his daughters, Jennette (William), Michelle (Chris) and Doris Ann (Rob); 16 grandchildren, Angelina, Brian, Dominick, Gabriela, William Jr. (Rose), Samantha (Tim), Briana (Travis), Chase, James, David, Alex, Brian, Richard, Thomas, Jason and Dylan; two great grandchildren, Hailey Jane and Mason; a great granddaughter expected in November, Kylie Rae; and three friends to till the end, Patrick Carney, Gail McCausland and Wendy Hibbs. He is also survived by his brother, Robert, and sisters, Eileen, Anna and Janet.

Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 8 at the Molden Funeral Chapel Inc., 133 Otter St., Bristol, Pa. Interment will be private.
To sign the online guestbook or send a condolence visit thr funeral home Web address listed below. Molden Funeral Chapel Inc. Bristol

History according to Hems and Her
by Cate Murway

“Those who have long enjoyed such priveleges as we enjoy, forget in time that men have died to win them.”  
Franklin D. Roosevelt

The English word "historian" is derived from the French word historien, pronounced with a silent "h". Bristol Borough born Fred Bennett Hems, Sr., BHS Class of ‘48 is anything but a silent “H”. Per adjutant/ finance officer Arthur John Younglove, St. Joseph Prep ‘57 of the Robert W. Bracken American Legion Post #382, Fred is a  “live wire; adds juice to the meetings”. Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” recipient for heroic achievement and conspicuous gallantry as a machine gunner, U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the 6th Task Fleet, Fred was most “instrumental” in securing the $20,000 grant to revive the Post’s Cadet Corps. The Bracken “Cavaliers” hail from Bristol and claim to be the first organized [1924] Junior Drum and Bugle Corps. In 2004, the members organized a reunion, borrowed instruments and practiced for Bristol Historic Day. The current quest is to secure their own bugles! His older brother, WWII and Korean 6th Marine Corps division veteran Roland J. Hems retired from his trash collection business and is a Borough resident and another retired veteran brother, Elwood A. Hems is a Levittown resident. 

Fred’s twin brother, 
also wounded in action, Ellsworth C. Hems, G-3-1 Korea 
passed away from cancer January 2, 2003. 
As youths, Fred and his 3 brothers earned the 21 
of the 120 merit badges available, to qualify 
for the highest advancement rank in Scouting, Eagle Scout badges 
on February 8, 1948. 

His dad, Robert J., born in 1894 in Glasgow, Scotland, was a member of the British Army in the famed Scottish regiment, the 41st Black Watch. He later was in charge of the American Legion Baseball team and taught the importance of teamwork, discipline, leadership and good sportsmanship.
Due to Fred’s unrelenting endorsement, a framed picture of the 26-year-old K.I.A. Robert W. Bracken, in whose honor the Post was named, will hang proudly in St. Ann’s Athletic Association on Wood Street. Fred carried a copy of the picture encased in plastic to every meeting until they agreed to hang it in the hall!  

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated”. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fred, variant of Frederick meaning peaceful ruler, takes pride in his abilities and spends his life in the pursuit of knowledge and learning, seizing the opportunity to read, study, and shut himself off from worldly distractions. 
“I really enjoy doing this!” 
His wife, retired L.P.N., Irene Anna [Larrisey], BHS Class of ‘52/Bucks County Technical School ’75 assists him in his Internet searches because Fred refuses to use the computer so he won’t “get addicted”. His “mail route” is too important to him and he doesn’t want anything to take time away from that.  He researches birth, death and marriage information at the library for people he knows; thinks “maybe they’d like to have this”, gets into his GMC van and distributes the copies of micro-film to his friends and family.

Irene, who enjoys playing the piano [likes Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune] and sketching Disney characters, once owned Hems’ Religious Book store on Wood Street. Craig Tufts and Peter Loewer featured her “compact bird sanctuary” garden in “The National Wildlife Federation’s Guide to Gardening for Wildlife”.  
They have five children, Bristol Township Radcliffe Street resident Cathy Shull [her father-in-law owned Fabian’s Pharmacy]; retired auto body tech, Fred B., Jr.; Borough Radcliffe Street resident, Peruzzi Automotive Group master mechanic and history buff, Wayne; retired L.P.N., Bradford County, PA resident Jane Dugan; and Croydon resident, Renee Hems-Schools, [daughter, Haley, George School ’10, the 265-acre historic Newtown Quaker coeducational boarding school, is an aspiring CEO]. 
Fred first saw the young Irene working at the Mill Street “Strauss” soda fountain and said to himself, “I’m going to marry that girl!” “Guess what..” Fred shares, “She ran after me.  She saw my uniform…” 
They have a total of eight grandchildren [they call him “Freddie B”] and eight great grandchildren. 

For nearly half a century now, Fred personally “HEMS” each one of his articles.  The process of hemming material completely encloses the cut edge in cloth, so that it cannot ravel; just as Fred investigates and analyzes ideas, facts and purported facts to create coherent exposés that explain "what happened" and "why or how it happened".

He was a water meter reader, “got bit by dogs” for Bristol Borough for 27 years after a G.I. Bill apprentice position as a Levittown Times printer's devil and compositor, mixing tubs of black ink. A number of famous men served as printer's devils in their youth, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and historian Fred B. Hems! According to the Courier “History” page, “Bristol Borough businessman, William C. Watson, turned the weekly Bristol Courier into the Bristol Daily Courier 10-3-1910 and the 12-foot wide office was located at 237 Mill Street. U. S. Senator, Joseph R.Grundy, purchased the paper in 1914 and kept it until 1954, when he sold it to S. W. Calkins.”

Fred and Irene, both open-heart surgery patients, share their joint hobby in their converted garage book-crammed office, research history books, scour graveyards piecing together history [especially Beechwood Cemetary where Grundy is buried], read the headstones and Boost Bristol Borough. They voluntarily and at no charge! provide a laminated copy of the Bristol Pilot’s “Business Spotlight” articles to the local businesses. In the late ‘80’s, they both ran for Council positions. Fred campaigned as the “Working Man’s Friend” and Irene distributed pink buttons with “Make Amends.  Vote for Hems!”

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” 
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fred loves Irene’s “impossible Bisquick pies” and Chick-fil-A. Irene prefers fish.
They both love biographies of notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day. When asked why he enjoys delving in history, Fred replied, “I tried to make picture frames but I failed.” He would have liked to be a Roman Evangelist.  Fred “sings to Irene every night”, but he “makes up the songs to “Irene the Village Queen” and they so obviously love their joint ventures and time together. Fred loves gadgets, glass milk bottles, visiting Columbus Flea Market and he always buys three of everything. “It makes him happy, so I don’t care”, shares Irene. They are obsessed with times gone past, collectible and rare papers, periodicals and keepsake memorabilia, their family and their personal religious convictions.  Fred and Irene preserve the past and fortify the future! 
Their favorite verse is the "Bible in a nutshell", John 3:16.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Recommend a Spotlight: e-mail:

Elwood A. Hems
Bucks County Courier Times

Elwood A. Hems a longtime resident of Levittown, died on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008, at Saint Mary Hospital. He was 79.Mr. Hems was born in Bristol and graduated from Bristol High School in 1948.He was currently working at the Penndel Mental Health Center in Levittown, and recently graduated from Bucks County Community College. He was a member of Bristol Lodge 25, Free and Accepted Masons, and the Bristol Elks Lodge 970, serving in many offices through the years. He was a Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler with the Elks. He was preceded in death by his wife of 38 years, Betty Jane Hems, and son, William J. Hems.He is survived by three children, David E. Hems, Barbara A. Norcross and Virginia C. Norcross; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Two brothers and numerous nieces and nephews also survive him.An Elks service will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, and a funeral service will immediately follow at the Carter Funeral Home, 314 Cedar St., Bristol. Calling hours will begin at 9 a.m. until the time of services. Interment will be private.Donations may be made in his name to the Neshaminy United Methodist Church, Hulmeville, PA 19047.Carter Funeral Home,Bristol


 Fred & Irene Hems
 Fred Bennett Hems, Sr.
 Irene Anna Hems
daughter, Renee 
granddaughter, Haley Schools' graduation from George School
with their daughter, Renee and her other daughter, Chelsea
"Freddie B with Mayor Nutter at the Philadelphia Veterans Hospital. 
Mayor Nutter gave Freddie B a special 80th birthday card along with the Valentine Cards going out to all the Vets. It made my grandpop's day."
~granddaughter, Amy Weber 2.14.11

Roland, Fred, Ellsworth
Helen Harkins [Albright] Hems
June 19, 1894- March 1, 1962
photo 2.12.1937 [42 years]
Robert James Hems
December 28, 1894- May 12, 1981
photo 7.14.1940 [45 years]
Robert & Helen Hems
married October 25, 1922
photo early 1940's 
213 Cedar Street in Bristol
In Memory Of Irene A. Hems
December 21, 1935 - March 20, 2016

Irene A. Hems (nee Larrisey) 
passed away peacefully on March 20, 2016 
at Thomas Jefferson Neuro Science Hospital surrounded by her loving family. She was 80. Born in Philadelphia, raised in Croydon before moving to Bristol when she married the love of her life of 60 years Corporal Fred B. Hems. 
Irene was the owner/operator of Hems Christian Book store for many years in Bristol Boro. She was employed as a licensed practical nurse at Lower Bucks Hospital for over 15 years. She enjoyed spending time gardening, where she was featured in the Wild Life Federation Book, bird watching out of her front window, but most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family. 
She is preceded by her husband Fred B. Hems, Sr. her grandson Wayne Hems, Jr. and siblings Helen Larrisey, William Larrisey and Catherine Potts. Irene will be greatly missed by her children Cathy Shull, Fred B. Hems, Jr., Wayne Hems, Sr. and his wife Nancy, Jane Dugan and her husband Leonard and Renee Hems and her 8 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. She will also be greatly missed by her siblings Raymond and Robert Larrisey and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Funeral services were held on March 24th, 2016, Burial was in Bristol Cemetery.