Westfield Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Community Swimming Pool
WESTFIELD — Fifty years ago, the pool that sits within Welch Field Park was obtained by the village of Westfield.
Last week, Diane Scarpine, the very first person to jump in the pool 50 years ago, was accompanied by her granddaughter Arielle Corbett. Corbett, the granddaughter of Scarpine, will now be the first person in the Welch Field pool for the following 50 years.
All three recreation directors of the Westfield Recreation Department, current and former, were in attendance. Andrew Webster, the third and current director, was astonished at the amount of years the pool has been running. Webster, who is 28, is just happy to be a part of something that has been running for longer than he has been alive.
“Well, it’s mind-blowing. Fifty years, you know only being 28 years old, for something to span that long, you know, that much longer than I’ve been alive is hard to wrap your mind around,” Webster said.
He then alluded to all the help and hard work that has gone into maintaining the pool over the years and really praised all of those people for their tremendous work.
“It’s like a crown jewel for this village,” Webster said. “It’s 50 years of people’s labor that has amounted to something as great as this pool.”
Webster admitted that because the pool is outdoors, it’s only really open for two or three months out of the year. But while it is open, Webster said the public generally makes the most of it.
“It’s a real source of pride for the village and certainly for myself,” Webster said.
The very first recreation director, Jack Voelker, and second-ever director, Venn Blakely, were amazed, too.
Voelker was the one who suggested to Blakely that he submit his application to become the recreation director.
“Thank you to the Westfield community for giving me that chance (to have) 40-plus years (serving Westfield),” Voelker said.
Blakely spoke last and agreed with Webster in that the pool was a crown jewel of the Westfield community.
“My thanks to everybody that has been a part of my years here and before me and just for supporting the pool because it really is the capstone for recreation for Westfield,” Blakely said.
The ceremony featured multiple guest speakers, including Deputy Mayor Rob Cochran and former pool directors Jerry Warner and Phil Young. Both the former pool directors reminisced on how different the pool looks, but agreed that it looks better now.
After the ceremony, concessions were available in the fieldhouse and then a pool party was to be held afterward.
Current and former directors were proud of the 50 years that the pool has had in Westfield and were hopeful that it will be a landmark in Westfield for the next 50 years to come.