Fraternal Identity, heritage, and landscape
Through my high school years, conversations would consistently switch between Finnish and English each day until my grandmother died a week after I graduated. I even spoke some Finnish at the dinner table, albeit badly. My grandmother, mummu in Finnish, would always say sisu to me before every football game, wrestling match, and lacrosse gam, and it jazzed me to play hard each time. The word generally means strength of will, determination, and perseverance. I am proud still that I am 50% Finnish, and it explains my nature, my general temperament with people, quirky and reserved. I am also proud of the ancestral weave of my Dad’s family in me that arrived in the New World on the Mayflower, survived the first winter at Plymouth, and then migrated north to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and then to northern Maine. Both ancestral angles in my family were tough, driven, and independent, and I really like those qualities.
Unrepentantly, I think about my ancestry a great deal, and it gives me a sense of well-being and rootedness. But, then, I think most people care about and enjoy their family heritage; their continuity with the past. With ancestry you think about land and people, change and continuity, rootedness and visionary change, and how things lead one to another through the years, decades, and centuries. Our fraternal history is richly endowed with those very things, a persistent and persevering force, generous and extensive, since 1874. We have those qualities in full measure now.
We are proud of our unique fraternal chain that started with our QTV brothers. It is our ancestral gift. And, as it was with them, we are incredibly determined to maintain our historically rooted fraternal brotherhood at 79 College Avenue where our Castle has been since 1925. In architectural structure, land, and emotional impulse, we see, feel, and know our fraternal ancestry. We are all proud Omega Mu Fijis, and it’s natural to feel this way. For their consistent confidence, inimitable perseverance and achievements, step-by-step, fraternal home to fraternal home, we are proud of our fraternal lineage that started with our QTV brothers pictured below. Here, too, like my family heritage, I am exceedingly proud of our indivisible fraternal unity since 1874. That is unchangeable, and it is ongoing for the common good for young men seeking the historic stability of the very best of fraternal life, Omega Mu. We remain as optimistic and forward-looking as when our QTV brothers rented a house on Main Street in Orono, Maine, to start the day-to-day life of fraternal brotherhood. And on we go, truthfully grounded in our historic identity, memory, heritage, traditions, and landscape. That is an extraordinary reality to be proud of as we approach our 120th anniversary year. We have a great future, an enduring future, for generations to come.
Prior to building the first permanent QTV Hall were Coburn Hall is now, and after deciding that the rooms in the Ktaadn Club were unsatisfactory, they rented a building amongst all beautiful Colonial, Cape, Greek Revival, and Victorian residences on Main Street in Orono. They took possession of the residence sometime between April to June in 1874. Although no photos of the residence have been found so far, the photos above show the QTV brothers in that residence.
The University of Maine campus map, 1902. Key numbers to look as you reference the following photos are 13, 17 (Holmes Hall), 25, and 26.
The first QTV Chapter Hall, our first fraternal home from 1876-1885. It is the site of Coburn Hall now.
Pictures of the QTV Hall, our second fraternal home from 1886 to 1889 or 1893, after it was moved across Munson Road in order for Coburn Hall to be built.
Graduation week photo
The QTV Chapter Hall is the small white building with one window on the back. The building in front of the QTV Chapter is Coburn Hall, and building to the left is the Experiment Station cum Holmes Hall. This area is now a gently sloping wooded area that leads up to Folger Library. Take a close look at the plowed field and see if you can spot the four people.
The QTV Chapter Hall is the white building on the left beside Holmes Hall, and Coburn Hall is in front. The photo was taken from the roof of Oak Hall.
This is a great photo of the Maine State College campus from across the Stillwater River. The QTV Chapter Hall is the small white building just right of center in the photo.
Photos of the QTV Chapter House, the former White Farm, our third fraternal home from 1889-1893/1894, on fraternity row.
The White Farm
The QTV Hall with brothers out front chatting, one on his bicycle.
When QTV ended in 1899, their last fraternal home, the former White Farm, was extensively renovated and became a women’s residence named Mount Vernon House, and it burned down in the early 1930’s.
Our fraternal home from 1899-1924
Our fraternal home since 1925
QTV Brother Portraits
Sidney Soule and Charles Colesworthy in military uniforms in 1875
Charles W. Mullen
Chip Chapman, ’82
Omega Mu Athletes
John T. Clark
William H. Demant
Franklin D. Dexter
William F. Irvine, Robert A. Dalrymple, Jr., and Clifton S. Nickerson
James F. Ward, Clifton S. Nickerson, Robert W. Nutter, Robert A. Dalrymple, Jr., William F. Irvine, and Alfred Hutchinson
Robert W. Nutter
C. Donald Allen
Walton H. Brady, Jr.
Walton H. Brady, Jr. and William K. Hadlock
Dana E. Bunker, Edward C. Stanley, Alan F. Wing, Sherwood F. Gordon, Alfred Hutchinson, Philip A. Coulombe, and Donald L. Card
Philip A. Coulombe
James F. Donovan and Robert W. Nutter
Robert H. Hanson
Winslow “Windy” Work and Robert W. Nutter
Frank W. Danforth, Jr.
Pierre M. Beaufrand
Andrew R. Bunker
Arthur W. Charles
Adelbert T. Norwood and Richard B. Preble
Chip Chapman, 1982
“A place that goes on whether your there or not, that you come back to and find waiting with welcome. “
As many of our brothers were packing their things to move out of The Castle in order to serve our nation in a global war of maddening, dark complexity: World War II. They did not know whether they would return, and the brothers living in the house continued on with their classes and fraternal life, but the fraternal emptiness caused by the departure of so many brothers was ever-felt, a sobering, clouding quiet that would only end with the end of the war. The emotional impact was immediate and hard. It was not easy time for any of them; it was life-changing time for all them because their sense of place in the world was altered. To tweak our Fiji motto a bit, it was a period of difficult determination and perseverance.
Omega Mu Brothers who served our country during World War II
Sumner Waite, 1911
Cecil J. Cutts, 1925
George F. Kehoe, 1927
William V. Bratton, 1933
Gordon R. Heath, 1936
James F. Dow, 1937
Hamilton H. Dyer, Jr., 1939
Alfred P. Mallet, 1939
Fred M. Cogswell, Jr., 1940
StewartW. Grimmer, 1940
George H. Jewett, Jr., 1940
Joseph S. Boulos, 1941
Robert M. Irvine, 1941
Malcolm G. Nichols, 1941
John D. Utterback, Jr., 1941
David W. Warren, Jr., 1941
Frank R. Williams, 1941
Laurie J. Greenleaf, 1942
Arthur L. Teall, 1942
Charles D. Allen, 1943
Fletcher A. Hatch, Jr., 1943
Charles L. Pfeiffer, 1943
Frederick J. Sheppard, III, 1943
Charles E. Stickney, Jr., 1944
George B.Walker, 1944
James F. Donovan, 1945
Frank W. Danforth, Jr., 1946
The brothers remaining in The Castle extended their deepest gratitude to the brothers who were leaving to fight on various battle fronts overseas. Although they felt the empty space of their departed brothers, life went on for the brothers in the house like all previous generations of Omega Mu brothers, never giving up. They reacted with maturity to circumstances. The long-living bred-in-the-bone strengths and emotional inheritance of our Omega Mu traditions, fraternal, social, academic, philanthropic, and athletic, continued the brotherhood forward. That is one of our corps fraternal values: steadiness and diligence of fraternal character that leads to steadfast loyalty. In truth, definition and meaning, one could even say that it is our soul, our historic soul that is relentless in looking forward in order to grow and improve in order for future young men to continue to enjoy the fraternal journey of our Omega Mu brotherhood. And the fact is we will.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.”
The brother’s in the early 1940’s were willing to accept the challenge of moving forward resiliently with so many brothers gone because there is always the same movement and fluidity of work and more work in keeping the brotherhood and the house in good, harmonious order, and it is the same fraternal narrative today. The sun came up every morning on chilly fall mornings, snowy winter mornings, and clear spring mornings. They still woke up in the RAM, with the windows always wide-open, with the firm shake of a Zobie without any elegance or ease. They awoke, as we all did, often times quite sleepy, grumpy, and other self-imposed conditions to the promise of another fraternal day in living in The Castle.
They showered quickly, and they made it to breakfast served up by one of the kitchen stewards. They probably scanned or read the front page of the Bangor Daily News for the war news in Europe and Asia and envisioned their fraternal friends. The shock effect of reading or skimming the daily headlines must have been considerable in reading about the horrors, defeats, and successes of the daily grind of military progress on various battlefronts. They also gathered additional war information by listening to Edward R. Murrow, William L. Shirer and Eric Sevareid over the radio as events were actually happening, live, such as the Blitz of London when Murrow reported from various rooftops around London. The bits and pieces they read and heard gave them significant facts of the military developments, and when they received news that an Omega Mu brother had been killed in action the pain must have been unfathomable for the brothers. Their fraternal roots ached with the loss of each brother, just as they had ached during the Spanish-American War and World War I. All their names are reverenced to this day. No illusions remained for the brothers in the house about war and its ultimate cost to preserve the true value of liberty and freedom. It was maintained with the fraternal body and soul of many of our brothers.
“I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded…I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed…I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.”
On the lighter side of the news, they certainly red or heard about the deaths of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, that Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby had integrated baseball, that Joe DiMggio’s hitting streak ended at fifty-six games, and that Count Fleet, Assault, and Citation won the Triple Crown in the Forties, and that the Bruins had won the Stanley Cup. They certainly may have read the new superhero comic books that were on the stands in the early Forties: Captain America, and the Green Lantern. The covers of the first editions of both of them were thematically clear about confronting and defeating evil during World War II, as clear as the American propaganda posters that covered public walls across the country.
Typically, as our tradition has always been, they walked to and from campus in groups.
When they returned to house, one of Tom Tear’s outstanding dinners was prepared for them, meals that he had faithfully been making for Omega Mu Fijis since 1927, and that he would continue to do so until 1960. He was generous with his time and always giving toward the brothers for thirty-three years. And surely, he still stands tall in our Omega Mu history because he believed Omega Mu was pretty special. Dinners were warm, friendly, and cheerful, and discussions could be heard of every assortment, with the exception of any cafe style literary, sociological, or philosophical discussions, say, on Thoreau, Whitman, Frost, and Heidegger’s key thoughts on ‘being.’ There were plenty of inside jokes and withering, skewering phrases aimed at each other during dinner, a live comic strip filled with sights and sounds that brought continual laughter. The simple processes of fraternal community life simply continued, operating the same as it has for decades upon decades, as it does now, 120 years successful, and improving for our fraternal future. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to live in The Castle in commitment and fraternal traditions with friends while an undergraduate, and it is about continued life with all Omega Mu brothers for the remainder of your life.
“The acid test of any dynasty, nation or institution is time.”
After dinner, they hung out with each other in the living room, library, and every where else in the house, and we continue to embrace that degree of fraternal community today.
The atmosphere of their parties were leisurely and enjoyable, and they were spirited-filled, literally and figuratively. A few rules may have been stretched, maybe, but on the whole their social life created memories, stories, and friendships. Their stories and fraternal friendships became part of our living fraternal history. Like all of us, in our lives and times in The Castle, stories, memories, and friendships shaped us in ways that we could not have achieved on our own. Socializing occurred in all quarters of our grand Castle because it is in our fraternal genes to enjoy ourselves. The delightful sign-in drawings for their parties were deliberately and richly drawn with grace, humor, and wit. They were a dignified reflection of this time in our history.
The warm tone of the parties, within the welcoming space and form of the Castle, was enthusiastically appreciated by all the sororities that migrated down 79 College Avenue to socialize, dance and enjoy the company of neatly dressed, groomed, and coiffed Omega Mu brothers. The house rocked with the best music emerging in the Forties at these parties for the enjoyment of everyone: “As Time Goes By” by Rudy Vallee, "Baby, Its Cold Outside" by Frank Loesser, “Till the End of Time” by Perry Como, “Good Morning Heartache” by Billy Holliday, “Don’t Fence Me In” by Cole Porter, “Buttons and Bows” by Dinah Shore, and “Strip Polka” by Johnny Mercer. At the Christmas party they heard several new songs: “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby. To be sure, they definitely heard the emerging jazz music of Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk. Besides listening to music on the radio, brothers would often played the piano in The Castle. Certainly the social life in the house continued to be rich and enjoyable, and when they went to the movies, they saw some remarkable films in cinema history: Miracle on 34th Street, Casablanca, Grapes of Wrath, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Citizen Kane. Unquestionably, they probably saw some of these movies again and again. The brothers had a full-blooded fraternal life with all the necessary staples of life to do so.
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
The intellectual life of the brotherhood, on average, was not weak. Although most of our brothers were not nerve-worn and tightly coiled fanatics about grades, many of these brothers enjoyed diving deep into knowledge and thinking, questioning, and exploring their academic interests in an engaging, thoughtful manner. They studied in their rooms or Carnegie Library. They studied for prelims, typed many papers, did endless surveying assignments on campus. When it snowed, they created festive snow sculptures, and they continued the Omega Mu Christmas tradition of feeding the underprivileged children of Orono and Old Town in the house and giving them gifts.
“There is no can’t nor can't to them.”
And, not to be overlooked or overstated, our brothers continued to lead boldly, and tenaciously succeeded, in many endeavors within the University of Maine community throughout the 1940’s. Many brothers were masterful performers in many Maine Masque theater productions. John Berger was the president of Maine Masque, and John W. Ballou had a large physical presence and stature on the boards because he had a love-of-life personality in everything he did; consequently, he often played the lead male role in many of the plays. Robert Preble, Dick Buck, and George Garland also starred as the lead or supporting role in many Maine Masque plays. Many brothers had fine musical ability and performed in the University of Maine Band.
Brothers continued our rich athletic tradition in their involvement on many University of Maine athletic teams in the Forties: “Windy” Work, Robert Nutter, Frank Danforth, Philip A. Coulombe, Robert Hanson, Donald Card, Sherwood Gordon, Arthur Charles, and Adelbert Norwood, and Richard Preble, to name only a few. They were capable, aggressive and enthusiastic.
In 1948, the University of Maine honored the oldest alumnus of the university, George Hamlin, ’73, our QTV brother who surveyed the land where our Castle is now, and he oversaw a great deal of the painstaking work to assure that it was done well. It was work, but it was fascinating architectural work, and he loved doing it, and was thrilled when the house opened for the Omega Mu brothers in 1925. His great effort will never be forgotten because it was intense and absolute in commitment to see it through. The brothers in the Forties certainly knew that George Hamlin was one the finest, most dedicated brothers in our fraternal history because lived to very end of his life the QTV objective: “enjoyment, sociability, and the best interests of its members through life.”
There was plenty of hard, responsible work in establishing routines to keep the house clean and in good working order, as well as keeping the brotherhood grounded in all traditions like chapter meetings.
Very brief but effective comments from chapter meetings:
October 6, 1941
“Brother Allen moved that the chapter chain links be hung over the fireplace.
October 20, 1941
“Brother Pfeiffer moved that the house install a pay station (phone) extension on the basement landing. Defeated.”
“Brother Allen reported for his committee to draft a letter to those alumni who destroyed the peace and quiet to the fall house party. Draft accepted”
October 26, 1942
“Beat Ass tonight.”
November 2, 1942
“Brother Dow moved that we designate a man to collect blanket taxes and buy 3 rows of seats, 8 in a row, for the Bowdoin game.
November 9, 1942
“Brother Chadwick suggested that we pay for pledge brothers work and Bunker’s help during Hell Week.
November 16, 1942
“Brother Pfeiffer reported on the Jewett case in that his address has been found and is in the hands of Ballard Keith.”
November 23, 1942
“Brother Allen moved to take $20.00 for the Christmas Party for the underprivileged children in Orono.
January 25, 1943
“A fine was tacked on a few boys for not paying up their bills on time.”
April 19, 1943
“Brother Chadwick moved that the question of the Peanut Fight be tabled with the proviso that W.E. Spears use his own judgement in regard to the date and time of the game.
Seconded and passed.”
There are no meeting notes for 1944-1945
(There will be a future blog with interesting chapter meeting notes for 1946-1950)
There was the hospitable work of rush recruitment to help young men see the sound, well-balanced proposition of Omega Mu fraternal life, and they did excellent work in promoting the communally good and generous way to live ones college years to young men who wanted something more than a small room in a dormitory. Many excellent young men pledged Fiji in the 1940’s because they saw that it was a lifetime blessing grounded on the broad shoulders of ‘we’ rather than ‘I.’ They saw that graduate brothers and undergraduate brothers continued to extend heartwarming gestures and words for each other as the years of the decade passed, and they continued to work together for the good of each other and The Castle, simply continuing to build upon our historic 120 year chain of ‘we’ with promise. They honored our enduring fraternal spirit to “Hundred Up” throughout the Forties. That is our heritage. Just as the brothers were growing and maturing with responsibility in distant battlefields, the brothers in the house continued to uphold our proud, committed and constructive fraternal propositions for the good of the University of Maine community and our brotherhood.
“It’s perfection and grace.”
Nowhere did every fraternity brother, from every fraternity at the University of Maine, “Hundred Up” even more than enlisting to fight in World War II. There was no thought of self-importance, or gain, in making the decision for the good of humanity. It was a wager they were willing to make, and a wager they were willing to die for. That is the best of the American spirit. The Army Specialized Training program took over most of the fraternity houses at the University of Maine in 1944-1946 to prepare men for combat, and every fraternity but The Castle became a military barracks. Consequently, fraternity brothers from every fraternity at Maine lived in The Castle during the 1945-1946 academic year. Surprisingly, there was only one Omega Mu Fiji who lived in the house that year. In historic myth and truth, it was an unqualified pleasure to live in The Castle with so many wonderful brothers. In marked contrast, many of their respective fraternity brothers continued to deal with death and destruction and loss each day during this final year of the war. Intent on peace, they were battling with life itself in fighting for the preservation of all freedoms around the world, and it was a difficult achievement. They were all, collectively, a heartfelt portrait of the noble and good.
It was a blessing that many Omega Mu brothers returned home after earning all of their points, but the tragic dualism of the Cold War commenced with many provocative conflicts that could have swept both into another war with annihilating consequences. Those were the harsh, threatening realities of the post-World War II period. It would shape the lives of the next two generations of Omega Mu brothers, as well as radically shifting and altering the spirit and culture of the United States, and our Omega Mu brotherhood. The Fifties, the nervous yet confident decade, would be the decade of bomb-shelters, a second Red Scare, cars with wood on the side, and grey-suited uniformity. Whereas the Sixties, The Age of Aquarius, would be a sociologically shifting maelstrom of Woodstock, civil rights, flowers in the hair, body counts, and raised fists of protest.
“What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving…” The Fifties and Sixties would be as remarkable and unforgettable as the Forties, and through each decade the luster of our fraternal history would continue to grow as young men continued to walk, without any constraint, up the gentle slope toward the front door of The Castle to seek “enjoyment, sociability, and the best interests of its members through life.”
We all continue to come back to our fraternal home, The Castle, and we all find it waiting to welcome us home again.
“…As time goes by”
Chip Chapman, ’82
“A place that goes on whether your there or not, that you come back to and find waiting with welcome. “
The restoration of The Castle continues with unbound, hardworking enthusiasm and continual success, inch by inch, room by room, on the main floor. The work goes on. It is painstaking work, but the eminence of The Castle will shine through very soon, providing all future Omega Mu Fijis an enriching fraternal home and brotherhood in which to flourish and enjoy life while at the University of Maine. A rich, bountiful new chapter in our fraternal history is really starting, and it bodes well for our all-important trajectory vision of our fraternal life to come in the next 120 years. Our brotherhood and The Castle will not tail off into non-existence.
As I was finishing my culling, cleaning, and sorting work in the house library a month ago, one of the last books that pulled out was filled with forty-five portrait photos of our QTV brothers starting in 1874. Once again, I shook my head in amazement at finding them and then thinking that the book in my hands had been in every one of our fraternal homes, every one! It is a great pictorial archive. I read name upon name: Balentine, Kidder, Flint, Bartlett, Keith, Mullen, Ladd, and all the rest. I looked at each portrait photo and thought about the ideas, idealism, and coordinated effort that they exhibited with each new thorny endeavor in our early fraternal years. With tremendous cooperation, work ethic, fraternal agility, patience, and perseverance they always succeeded, and every endeavor was substantially challenging. For their faithful commitment, we are most thankful. In breadth and depth, equanimity and fraternal cheer, they established our fraternal character that we are collectively demonstrating now in our committed, passionate interest in restoring the most distinguished iconic fraternity house at the University of Maine with meticulous exactness as it was in 1925.
It is a privilege, honor, and responsibility to be part of our historic fraternal bloodline, and there’s no denying it, we are moving forward with 120 years of fraternal pride in restoring our beloved Castle. It is intensely personal, and that is the ongoing pulse of our historic tradition of generational loyalty as start a new fraternal chapter of transition and change with historic sensibility and future strength and vitality. We know it. Our previous generations of brothers more than delivered on maintaining our fraternal promise that started in 1874 and 1899. It is a play-off of Newton, I know, but the shoulders of our brothers were broad in our early years with all of the moves they made from house-to-house, and they were broad after the fire in 1924; we are the broad shepherding shoulders now for all future generations of Omega Mu Fijis because our fraternal ideas, ideals, and historic vision remain sound today. For the fraternal life and spirit that courses in my veins, I am so pleased to see the architectural rhythm and order of our 93 year old house being restored, from a multiplicity of viewpoints, with care and dignity. It’s a rather involved process, as you see by the photos, but the effect on all of us will be spellbinding when it is finished because it will engage all of our senses and historic memories, present and past, when we walk through the front door, and we will savour them. We will not be close-mouthed when we see The Castle fully restored and spruced up; I know it. There will be a jubilee spirit of rejoicing happiness from all of us that will create a genuine historic sense of well-being from every generation of Omega Mu Fijis. We will celebrate every beautiful, shinning detail in our eminent architectural home.
Proud to be an Omega Mu Fiji and our ongoing fraternal greatness since Balentine, Colesworthy, Estabrooke, Crosby, Kidder, Mullen, Ladd, Hart, Buck, Curtis, Work, Danforth, Coulombe, Golden, Ballou, Thurston, Rand, Dave Smith, McCarron, Stern, McInnis, O’Leary, Chaplin, McLean, and so many others in our fraternal bloodstream.
Chip Chapman, ’82
The Castle is full of the engraved memories and musings of generations of brothers who have come through the front door seeking to live a good life in the company of good-natured men in the day-to-day reality of responsible fraternal citizenship. It is the ultimate pathos that our fraternal founders desired for all young men in 1848, and it remains changeless and inscrutably good today.
Good fraternal life creates a high sense of fraternal pride, deep gratitude, sustained life-long friends, and, yes, fun, pleasure and many memories, the stuff of life. So, too, we go on together, alive and well and growing, into our third century as a brotherhood, working together for the common good of the most storied fraternity at the university of Maine and the most beautiful fraternal house on the banks of the Stillwater River that we each cherish after all these years. Good always survives. Our fraternal marrow is deep, and our enduring 120 year history is grounded in fraternal fidelity and commitment to each other and The Castle. It has been hard work, yes, but it has been easy with united heads, hearts, and hands over the last 120 years.
Friendship, shared stories, maintaining The Castle, exercising our proud fraternal rites and traditions creates a profound sense of accomplishment, and as in years and decades past the brothers returning to The Castle in the fall of 1941 ready to continue our fraternal way of life with high affection and feeling on our historically lovely spot on the Stillwater River. They were expectant. The walked to campus as the first maple trees were burnished with a touch of yellow near Carnegie Library in September. They came back to continue their education and do research, writing, and studying. They knew that the world was war-weary, and with their eyes on the newspaper and their ears tuned to the radio, they were aware of the growing darkness spreading around the world, but they took consolation in the fact that the United States was comfortably safe and distant from that darkness. Consequently, they continued to live ordinary fraternal lives with undaunted fraternal spirit with very little though about future careers or piled bodies. They sincerely lived a funny, enjoyable, witty, playful, ordinary fraternal life like all previous generations of Omega Mu brothers. And, again, as in the past, things would change very quickly for them and the United States.
As our brothers were preparing for exams and Christmas break when they heard that Pearl Harbor had become a burial ground for 2,335 military personnel after the Japanese attack on December 7th, 1941, and soon many of our brothers would find themselves on different soil around the world: sand in North Africa, mountains in northern Italy, hedges in France, jungles in the South Pacific. They would be ‘flying the Hump’ into China, flying over the English Channel on bombing runs into France and Germany, dive bombing various islands in the Pacific, and on various fleets in the Pacific and Atlantic. No level of maturity, age, wisdom, education, or life-experience could have prepared them for what they did, but they all did it successfully, as we have always done. They still inspire this brotherhood today.
“These anxious and baffling times.”
Soon after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, they political jargon of isolationism came to a swift close. Unlike the songs that encouraged American isolationism in the 1930’s, such as “Let Them Keep it over There,” many songs were quickly written in the United States after the bombing to encourage the key elements to win the war against the Axis Powers: patriotic commitment and obligation. Songs such “Remember Pearl Harbor” and “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” were played repeatedly on the radio to increase the patriotic fervor and commitment of Americans to be faithful to the essential call to serve the United States in order to defeat the incomprehensible darkness that was eclipsing the light of civilized society around the world to the point of near collapse.
Many, if not most, of our ambitious and talented Omega Mu brothers put the congenial world of fraternal and academic innocence behind them and enlisted in the great numbers in the various branches of the military and played an essential role in defeating the Axis Powers. It was not a small change for each of them because the peril of the world was real, and it permeated everything. The bombing shattered our collective national sense of security, even immunity, from the war, and it became the wind in our sails to prosecute the war to defeat fascism and Nazism to prevent the world from unravelling entirely into an uncivilized state. But, nevertheless, it would cost the lives of many American soldiers. It has been stated that “responsibility is the umbilical cord of creation,” and many of our Omega Mu brothers felt that responsibility, and they did not demure. They are part of the storied history of this brotherhood.
“Come my friends, ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”
Guided by pure and right and noble reasons, pulsing life and energy, and keenly aware of what awaited them in Europe and in the Pacific theaters of operation, they left the nourishing security and comfort of their families, fraternity brothers, and academic life, and without excessive questioning or analysis, and served our nation with unrelenting, fierce drive, and many paid the ultimate price in confronting the darkness of totalitarianism and delivering crushing blows to achieve ultimate victory. For the sheer force of their collective service, they superbly demonstrated the truthful necessity of responsibility and obligation, and integrity and courage, in their service to our nation. In truth, the embodied command: “Let there be light” to protect the good in life during times of upheaval, chaos, and moral aridity. And, to be sure, we have always played an outstanding role in service to our country since our fraternal founding, and that is simple historical consciousness of citizenship, “A nobility of soul.” They changed the world and our lives for the good. What they did averted a growing evil around the world. It was faithful service, and our faithful service goes on. It is fair to assert that the formation of that conscious behavior was shaped by the life communal life they lived in the house. And, yes, in the long historic litany of our brotherhood that is the way Omega Mu Fijis have always been. We have always had enthusiasm and commitment to create a better future with fraternal confidence, and that civic strength continues to this day with all of our brothers who presently serve in various branches of the armed services, and that level of courage is deeper than our words of praise, gratitude, and thanks.
We will never know the full involvement our Omega Mu brothers played in bringing victory in 1945, we celebrate them for their efforts and never capitulating to political and moral anarchy. What they did, along with the hundreds of thousands of other servicemen in World War II, was a transfiguration. It was great. Their actions were in consonance with the dedicated service our brothers in all previous wars. Our Omega Mu brothers who served in the military during World War II merely embodied the ‘ought’ of good men to confront the degeneracy of the “principalities and powers” of Germany, Japan, and Italy for the benefit of humanity, and over 400,000 thousand servicemen died doing so. We offer our sincere gratitude to the following Omega Mu brothers who served in World War II with devoted courage. That is our past, our fraternal heritage, and we thank all of them, and their memory will never grow dim in our fraternal historical consciousness because their military service was straightforward and honest. Their service to our nation was guided by the hope to preserve and restore the world. They desired a new life for a better world writ large.That’s enough. Individually and collectively, these brothers will always remain a powerful presence in our brotherhood, and we are thankful that we share the same fraternal path that brought them to Omega Mu. With seamless Omega Mu pride, we unwavering honor the brothers who paid the ultimate price in their service to our nation during World War II. They rest in eternal repose in the transforming grace, peace, and power with God.
“Nothing we can do…can be accomplished alone”
Joseph Sebastian Boulos
Frederick Melville Cogswell, Jr.
James Frederick Dow
Hamilton Higgins Dyer
Laurie Jones Greenleaf
Stewart William Grimmer
George F. Kehoe
Charles Leslie Pfeiffer
Arthur Leu Teall
George Brewster Walker
There is a pleasure in looking back at the life-paths of so many our Omega Mu brothers. Needless to say, fortunately so, I am still learning about them, our stories, our fraternal traditions in our glorious 120 year fraternal history. It is our personal fraternal history, one that we are all proud of, and it is a family memoir, in a very real sense. As a generationally large family that we care bout, we laugh at the reminisces, stories, and lore that have come out of The Castle and our years of brotherly living. As a family, we have had every sort of disquieting crises and restoring denouements in our history, as every family does, and we continue to tread our fraternal road together.
Like any family, even though we do not move, feel, believe, think, and change in the same direction, we are still a brotherly family. That does not change. When we return to The Castle, we smile and rejoice as one large family, and Peter’s statement in Matthew fittingly comes to mind this July 4th week: “It is good for us to be here.” That is the constant variable in the beautiful tapestry of our history. In conclusion, being a family, we celebrate the meaning and significance of all our brothers who have served our country with patriotic constancy and fidelity this July 4th throughout our rich 120 year fraternal-family narrative. Thank you, brothers’. We salute each of you with pride.
Chip Chapman, ’82
Omega Mu Athletes
William H. Daley, Football, 1930
Thomas G. Harvey, Track, 1930
Winslow L. Jones, Track, 1930
Cleveland H. Hooper, Track, 1932
Francis A. Craig, Football, 1933
Harry P. Files, Football, 1935
Horace P. Frost, Tennis, 1935
Harry C. Saunders and Robert F. Wishart, Cross Country, 1935
George E. Osgood, Track, 1936
James F. Dow, Football, 1937
Robert S. Hussey, Football, 1938
Austin H. Chamberlain, Tennis, 1939
Robert V. Cullinan, Basketball, 1939
Alfred P. Mallet, Football, 1939
Frederick J. Johnston, Basketball, 1940
Chip Chapman, ’82