A grand party it was

By John Peterson

The celebration of the 60th birthday of Allied Gardens was a huge success. Several hundred Allied Gardens residents and friends gathered at the old Union Bank building in the Allied Gardens Shopping Center to celebrate the good life of living in our great community. Many original owners of Allied Gardens homes, bought in the 1950s, were in attendance and received special seating.

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Sixty-year Allied Gardens resident Tom Kelly (center) cuts the ceremonial birthday cake at the neighborhood’s 60th birthday celebration (Photos by Mary Haas)

The highlight of the day was the unveiling of the new Kiwanis Allied Gardens Community Clock and the dedication of the commemorative bricks that were sold to pay for and maintain the new clock. The beautiful, new atomic clock was unveiled and about 330 commemorative bricks were on display in a ceremony conducted by District 7 Councilmember Scott Sherman and Kiwanians Joe Huston and Kathy Wiskur. The Allied Gardens community owes a debt of gratitude and thanks to Paving Stone of San Diego for installing the bricks, and to RCP Block and Brick for proving the bricks necessary to complete the array. Sherman and his staff provided the guidance and expertise necessary to navigate the rules and regulations of the city of San Diego to install the new clock and bricks.

The new Allied Gardens Community Clock. (Photo by Mary Haas)

The Allied Gardens History Display, created by Edie Odierno, was open all afternoon in the old Union Bank building and was enjoyed by all. The Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens kept two large grills hard at work as they cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for the crowd. All food items and drinks were sold for 60 cents in honor of the occasion and to thank the community for its terrific response to the commemorative brick fundraiser. Tables and chairs were set up in the parking lot to rest those with weary bodies.

Tom Kelly, a lively 100-year-old, 60-year resident of Allied Gardens, had the honor of cutting the ceremonial 60th birthday cake, which was shaped like a brick. Tom did a great job, and that cake, as well as eleven more sheet cakes, was enjoyed by the celebrants along with coffee provided by Brothers Restaurant. Whoever coined the phrase “He has a twinkle in his eye” must have known Tom Kelly. What a nice man!

Councilmember Scott Sherman speaks at the celebration. (Photo by Mary Haas)

Councilmember Scott Sherman speaks at the celebration. (Photo by Mary Haas)

The Lewis Middle School String Orchestra and Solomon Simmons Music provided musical entertainment throughout the afternoon. A proclamation from the San Diego City Council was read by Sherman proclaiming Oct. 18, 2014 to be “Allied Gardens Day in San Diego.”

The sale of commemorative bricks by the Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens will continue at least until the end of the year. (Might make a great holiday gift!) Our hope is to fill in the entire area around the new clock with commemorative bricks. As someone said at the dedication, “These bricks tell the history of Allied Gardens.”

A great time was had by all at the celebration, but we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the sponsors of the event: SpringFest Inc, A-1 Storage, and the Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens. Special thanks to Linda Lasher and Cloverfield Management for allowing us the use of the bank building and parking area.

(left) The newly unveiled Allied Gardens clock; (right) the brick-shaped birthday cake commemorating six decades of Allied Gardens. (Photos by Mary Haas)

A grand party it was!

—Contact John Peterson at

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