Fifty-six years later, Albert Furrer is finally the last man of The Last Man’s Club.
The 96-year-old civic leader today got that bottle of Mumm’s champagne the club bought after the 32 World War I veterans reunited in 1932 and decided they would get together every Veterans Day.
“What else can I say but that I’m here until the end,” Furrer said from his bed at Brookside Hospital, where he had a malignant growth removed this week.
“I came through floods, fires, wars . . . my God, you come through it all, and I don’t know if it’s an honor or a sort of curse,” added Furrer, who lives in a nearby nursing home.
“It’s rough to see all your friends die off. Old people don’t make many new friends.”
The champagne bottle, encased in a decorative mahogany box, was in the hands of the family of the club’s former secretary-treasurer, Victor Parachini, who died in February at the age of 89. For the last four years, he and Furrer had been the club’s only surviving members. The bottle is signed by the club’s original 32.
After all these years, the champagne is mostly a symbolic trophy, having gone sour. A new bottle accompanied it so Furrer could hold the club’s final celebration today.