ShareThis Page

Oak Grove man's nativity set marks 50-year milestone

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 9:15 p.m.
Bill Pribisco
This nativity scene marks its 50th year in Ligonier Valley. It was first purchased by Ligonier Borough to display on the Diamond in 1962. It is now owned by Frank Porembka Jr. of Oak Grove. Bill Pribisco | for the Ligonier Echo Photo taken by Bill Pribisco in Oak Grove Dec. 21, 2012

Frank Porembka has been collecting nativity sets since he was a small child. So when heard a nativity set, that had been on display on the Diamond since the early 1960s, was up for sale, he knew he had to add it to his collection.

Porembka, 61, of Oak Grove remembered visiting the nativity scene on the Ligonier Diamond since was 4-years old.

“I have always found nativity scenes attractive,” said Porembka. “My parents would come to Ligonier to shop at the ‘5 and 10' store and I would race over to see the nativity when it used to be set up across from the store.”

The nativity that Porembka purchased from the borough first appeared on the Diamond in 1962.

“I found out it was for sell about 10 years ago,” he said. “It was damaged and needed repairs. I think I paid around $100 for it, at the time.”

Porembka displays the nativity in his front yard every Christmas. He said he has collected more than 20 nativities and keep several up inside his home all year round.

“This year marks 50 years since the borough purchased the nativity. It was manufactured in 1958 by Mold Craft Inc. in Port Washington, Wisconsin,” Porembka said.

The polystyrene set includes Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, three kings, an angel and two sheep.

Porembka said he added a star and built a barn to house the scene.

“When I saw it was for sale, I had to have it. It is a piece of history. And, it reminds me of my childhood,” said Porembka.

Because of his love for the nativity sets, Porembka said his parents, Helen and the late Frank Porembka of Oakgrove, donated a Hummel figurine nativity set to St. Johns Church , in 1955, The set is still displayed at the Wilpen church every Christmas, he said. They also donated funds in 1956 for the nativity mural that appears on the ceiling of the church.

“I like them because they represent a mixture of the wealthy and wise and the humble and poor surrounded by animals,” said Porembka.

Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.