To the Editor:
If anyone ever needed a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in Manchester-by-the-Sea, one had only to read last week’s edition of the Cricket, starting with the obituary of the town’s oldest citizen, the late Dorothy “Dee” Burroughs. Dee’s 100 years were filled with service to others, and to this town we all cherish.
I had the privilege of serving on the Board of the Manchester Historical Society (now Museum) when Dee was its secretary and marveled at her knowledge of town history and her passion for its preservation. Shortly after her retirement from the Board, Dee took the floor at the Museum’s Annual Meeting and gave an impromptu, impassioned speech challenging not only the Museum’s membership—but the Town at large—to rally around an effort to restore the historic Powder House which was in terrible shape. Thanks in good measure to Dee’s eloquence, a team of like-minded citizens responded to her plea and this important town landmark has been successfully restored.
Turning the pages of last week’s Cricket we are reminded of another Manchester landmark, the Chowder House on Tuck’s Point. Here, as has been the tradition for 144 consecutive years, the Town’s “Elder Brethren” gather for an annual luncheon and the presentation of the “Elder Brethren Cane” to the Town’s oldest citizen, this year Gordon MacDougall. Also honored was Mike Chapman, recipient of the “Slade Eaton Award” for significant contributions to both the Elder Brethren and to the town of Manchchster.
When it comes to reporting on current Town issues no one—in my opinion—does a better job than our Harbor Master Bion Pike. Although not a Manchester resident, Bion seems have a genuine love for our town and his management of our waterfront is a welcome reminder of how fortunate we are to enjoy access to our historic and beautiful harbor.
Our Public Library always has a lively and informative report in the Cricket and last week was no exception. I can think of no facet of local life that was more important during the epidemic than the steps the Library’s dedicated staff and wonderful took to provide access to books and magazines throughout the lock-down, enabling many of us to remain reasonably sane, well-informed and entertained.
Finally, last week’s Cricket ended on a really high note … the welcome news that the Cape Ann Plein Air Competition is returning in October! The thought of seeing these talented artists from across the country once again setting-up their easels here in Manchester and throughout Cape Ann is proof that perhaps better days do lie ahead.
John Jay Huss