Each year at this time, we republish snippets of the year’s events that have made their way onto the pages of the newspaper. The “Year in Review,” printed in two consecutive editions, provides a momentary slowing to reflect on 2020 before answering the call of 2021.
But for all of us, this was a year like no other. It started with a bang, and a pop, at the massive community Christmas tree bonfire kicking off Manchester’s 375th Anniversary Celebration. Then, at 93 years old, Manchester’s Vincent “Vin” Terrill had a 74-years-in-the-making reunion with Harold Stryker, whom he served with in the 96th Division “Deadeyes” during the Battle of Okinawa at the end of WWII. The Essex PTO had its popular arctic polar plunge at Conomo Point. Then, a glamorous gala at the Essex County Club, continued Manchester’s birthday year. 2020 was off and running, and it seemed awfully exciting.
Then, of course, it all came to an abrupt stop. The “novel coronavirus” entered our lives. It stopped in person schooling, shut stores, and curbed restaurant dining. Public parks and beaches were closed. Soon, every day was all about COVID-19, social distancing, and “an abundance of caution.” It still is.
For nearly 133 years, this newspaper has played an important role in community life, providing news on developments and interests in our own back yard, from town operations to celebrations. We mark important milestones, like Manchester’s 375th birthday, or the life of Vin Terrill, who died six months after that January reunion. And we chronicle the groups,
people, clubs, and sports that evidence our life together as a community — happily. At least most of the time.
This image, at left, was taken at the after party of that early March gala, at The Mooring. The bar had opened just two months previously, and the night was buzzy. The formality of speeches and posing at the country club were over. All that was left was the business of easy togetherness, and one last cocktail with friends in the tight booths of the bar.
We hope you enjoy looking back at the year as much as we have. May your holiday be spent happily and safely with family. Soon, god willing, we will all be able to step out and enjoy times like this one, with warm togetherness and gratitude for each other. Part II, next week!