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Thousands Expected At Memorial Stadium Dedication Ceremony Friday

Black Cats Meet Edna First Home Game ’48 Season

Thousands of fans and interested spectators will attend the dedication ceremonies at the new Bay City High School Athletic Field, Friday evening at 8 o’clock when the new 4,500 seat concrete stadium is formally opened for use.

The Bay City Black Cats will meet the Edna Cowboys in the first game of the season on home fields. The brilliant lights, comparing favorably with any in the United States, will be turned on several minutes before the ceremonies begin and the crowd is expected to start filling up the stands long before game time.

Rev. Luke Bolin will deliver the dedication address. A color guard of Marines from Houston will put on an exhibition for the crowd as part of the dedication ceremony. The field, which has been built in memory of those boys who made the supreme sacrifice and those who offered the supreme sacrifice, will be so dedicated and respect paid to those boys in whose memory the stadium was erected.

Rev. Mouzon Bass will give the benediction.

The Daily Tribune, Thursday, September 23, 1948

Thousands Expected Memorial Stadium Dedication

Black Cats Meet Edna After Short Dedication Ceremony

Large Stadium Expected to be Filled Tonight

Rained out two weeks ago when the Bay City Black Cats were scheduled to play St. Joseph’s  team from Victoria and at which time the Memorial Stadium was to be dedicated, the ceremonies were postponed until tonight. Thousands of fans are expected to fill the 4500 seat stadium tonight to watch the dedicatory ceremonies and then witness the Black Cat – Edna Cowboy game.

Rev. Luke Boling [Bolin], chaplain in the service in World War II, will deliver the dedicatory address. A color guard of Marines from Houston will march on the field as part of the program. Rev. Mouzon Bass will give the dedicatory prayer.

The concrete stadium, complete with the best lighting equipment of any athletic field in the state, was built through public subscription and with revenue bearing bonds. The Bay City Lions Club donated $5,000 and started the drive to get the stadium. The Bay City Gas Company donated $5,000 and another $5,000 was raised through public subscription. The remainder will be paid out of gate receipts from the games.

Coach Beane says his Cats are ready for the invaders from Edna and with his boys in fair shape and smarting from the defeat handed them by Alvin last week, are ready to open the new stadium with an impressive victory.

The Daily Tribune, Friday, September 24, 1948

Large Crowd Attends Dedication Ceremony at Memorial Stadium

Rev. Luke Bolin Makes Dedication at Edna-BC Game

Reverend Luke Bolin gave the dedication address to the more than 3,000 people gathered at the Memorial Stadium Friday evening at the Bay City – Edna Cowboy football game, and the impressive ceremony at half time of the game, was excellently planned and carried through.

At the half way mark in the game, the Bay City band marched out on the field and remained in formation. Rev. Luke Bolin and Rev. Mouzon Bass then took their positions at the west end of the field. The band played a march while the Marine Honor Guard came to the center of the field.

Rev. Bolin then delivered the address:

“The local Lions Club originated the idea of building a Memorial Stadium and donated $5,000 to get the project started. The Gas Company gave $5,000 and local sport fans contributed another $5,000. Then the school board issued Revenue Bearing Bonds for $50,000. This made possible the erection of the beautiful stadium which is being used for the first time tonight. Not one penny of tax payers money went into the project. Those of us who attend the games played here will pay the remaining indebtedness.

“For three centuries we have been building on the North American Continent a free society which we do not intend to see destroyed—a society in which the promise of the human spirit can find fulfillment; a society in which men have certain inalienable rights which no government can take away from them; a society which guarantees to each man the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Such privileges can only be purchased on the installment plan. Our forefathers made the down payment and each generation has been called upon to pay another installment on this priceless heritage. The Kaiser, the Hitlers and the Tojos would have taken these rights and freedoms away from us and substituted a totalitarian form of government in which individuals have value only as long as they contribute to the state. Our country arose to meet this vile threat and sent forth fighting men to crush the enemy.

“This stadium if being dedicated to all those of this community who served in either World War I or World War II or both. It shall serve as a perpetual reminder that we must never take freedom for granted, and that eternal vigilance to the price of victory. And let us never forget that such patriotic gestures as this are absolutely useless and hypocritical unless we rededicate our lives to the ideals for which many of our men gave the last full measure of devotion.

“In honor of the men who played football for Bay City High School and who fought in either or both World Wars—We dedicate this stadium!

“In memory of those who gave their lives in the Great Wars—We dedicate this stadium!

“Now will all the close relatives—father, mother, brother, sister, wife, children—of all of those who died, please stand and remain standing. In memory of our departed heroes, let us have a moment of absolute silence. ‘Greater love has no man than this,’ said Jesus, ‘that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”

Rev. Bolin closed his part of the program with asking all veterans of World War I and World War II to stand and as they stood Rev. Mouzon Bass gave the dedicatory prayer. The band then played the National Anthem.

The Daily Tribune, Monday, September 27, 1948

Football Team Dedicates Game to L. M. Matchett in Appreciation

Lewis M. Matchett originator of the idea for the building of the Memorial Stadium honoring World War I and II veterans was himself honored Saturday morning. Four members of the Black Cats football team took Mr. Matchett by surprise at his office, and in the name of the entire team presented him with a football to be autographed by all members of the team and informed Mr. Matchett that Friday nights game was dedicated to him.

Almost speechless at such touching recognition from the team, Mr. Matchett later said: “I shall always cherish the football given me and as years go by my memory will go back to the years of 1947, 1948. I have always been deeply interested in giving the boys and girls a better education providing for them the finest in school equipment, and am happy to have had a part in getting for our team the finest gridiron in Texas.”

A member of the school board, secretary of the Lions Club, and actively engaged in numerous other civic activities, Mr. Matchett is one of Bay City’s outstanding citizens.  His interest in civil affairs and community betterment are well known.

The Daily Tribune, Monday, September 27, 1948