August 2017 President’s Message by Cindy Towles

(Text of Speech – Cherryland Fire Station Grand Opening Celebration, more or less)

It’s a great day in Cherryland!

As president of CCA, but mostly as member of a family that has long owned property in Cherryland, I am excited to speak on this memorable occasion.
I remember as a child, with my mother, visiting a couple named the Johansens; their daughter Lois Gunderson was my mom’s lifelong friend since at least junior high school.   In the 1945 photo of the then All Volunteer Cherryland Fire Department in front of Vic Hubbard’s Garage on Meekland Avenue, Carrel Johansen is one of the men pictured.
In addition to all of the wonderful attributes mentioned by the previous speakers (such as seismically safe and enhance our response capabilities); Aisha Knowles said in a news article that this state-of-the-art facility will “increase our visibility and integration into the community.”
It is also beautiful… with the art murals, in which I found the medium fascinating: Glass Tiles known as “Tessera”.

detail of mosaic installation, by David Burke, at the new Cherryland Fire Station

detail of mosaic installation, by David Burke, at the new Cherryland Fire Station

Because of recent technological breakthroughs:  glass tiles being coated on the back which allowed pictures to be broken down into pixels and then printed on each individual tile by the Computer aided design (CAD) software which then instructs robots how to pick and place the tiles in the grid; bringing the ancient art of mosaic into the modern age.

In the Greek and Roman traditions, glass tiles, (or tessera hospitalis) were given out as tokens of mutual hospitality and friendship.

I hold up this token of friendship, which represents of the gesture of good will shown to us by Alameda County by making monies available to us for this Fire Station, the Community Center which is about to break ground, and the Meekland Streetscape/Sidewalks.

Roman gladiators were given a tile with the inscription “one whose valor has been proved beyond a doubt.”  To the Alameda County Fire Department, and all First Responders, I hold up this tile (or tessera gladiatorial) and thank you for this …

This tile tells the story of this Fire Station and even Cherryland.   Where tradition meet technological advances and progress.

On behalf of Cherryland and the Community association, I would like to express our gratitude and elation at the fulfillment of this dream.
Thank you.

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