Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day, Boys and Girls Club Event, Recent Lecture, Canceled Appearance at Brother's in Danvers

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

Today is November 11th and is the day that the country sets aside to both celebrate and to remember veterans. I suspect that at this time Veterans Day might take on a little more meaning as we are in the middle of two world conflicts and in the just recent past we have learned of a couple more deaths of Massachusetts military personnel, and we all grieved over the senseless shame of the Fort Hood massacre. I take great pride in my service to my country, as back in the days of the so called ”cold war” I served four years in the United States Air Force with tours of duty both in this country and abroad. When I was growing up this day was called Armistice Day and at that time we took a moment to remember the conflict that was called the “War to End All Wars”, World War 1. That was a bitter conflict but since that war ended almost a century ago we have seen a half dozen other world conflicts that were at least as severe and as devastating as that war. It seems that no mater how civilized we try to become, there are still conflicts all over the globe where men challenge other men for supremacy and power. We can only hope that in the future we can all find a way to resolve conflict without more senseless deaths of the young men and woman of this country.

Saluting 140 Years of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem.

This Thursday evening, Salem Five Bank and specifically it’s CEO. Joe Gibbons and Senior Vice President John Hall will host a reception in the bank’s Community Room to help celebrate the 140th Anniversary of the founding of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem. The reception will feature remarks and conversations with Mayor Kimberly Driscoll and State Representative John Keenan, who have both been staunch long time supporters of the club and its mission. On the front cover of the invitation to the event, the Bank notes that “Salem Five invites you to celebrate the wonderful work of the club in serving the needs of youth in our community. Enjoy an evening of networking with colleagues and friends from throughout the Greater Salem business community”. .

I served for about a decade on the Board of the club both while I worked at the Bank and after my retirement. I still serve on the Club’s Advisory Board and have continued to provide support for the club. Essex Heritage through our relationship with the National Park Service has developed several recent collaborative programs with the Club, and we continue to look for new ways to offer continuing support. When Essex Heritage first established the Tom Leonard Partnership Grant program for Youth grant, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem was the inaugural recipient of the grant. I am personally committed to the support of the club that has accomplished to much good in this community and encourage broad based support of their commendable work.

Lecture by Bonnie Hurd Smith

Shortly after the Essex Heritage Annual Meeting, I noted in this presentation the support that Ms. Bonnie Hurd Smith had provided to a wonderful Anniversary project in Ipswich. At the Essex Heritage staff meeting on Monday, our Links Coordinator Rebecca Zimmerman at Essex Heritage spoke of a lecture that she attended on last Sunday by Ms. Smith. I asked her for some details and she provided the following that I print as Rebecca provided it to me.

Recently Bonnie Hurd Smith has published a second volume of letters of Judith Sargent Murray. On a sunny Sunday in Salem, Hurd Smith spoke eloquently about this fascinating woman, her connection with the North Shore and her place in 18th and early 19th century literature. Interspersing her talk with illustration and quotations from these letters, Hurd Smith brought this fascinating woman to life. She spoke of the places Judith lived, the famous people she knew, the historical events she witnessed, and her passionate promotion of the causes of women’s rights and Universalism. Smith has spent many years transcribing and promoting these letters. We are fortunate to have such devotion to a ground-breaking author such as Judith Sargent Murray. Hopefully Ms. Hurd Smith will continue to share with us her expertise and understanding of this subject.

More information on Judith Sargent Murray and Ms. Hurd Smith’s new book can be found at the Judith Sargent Murray Society -

Danvers Finance Committee

On Monday evening the Danvers Finance Committee voted unanimously to support the new High School building project. This is the final vote needed before the issue is addressed by the Town Meeting body next Monday evening. If the project is approved, preliminary planning work will begin very soon to undertake the largest single project in the history of the Town.

Canceled Appearance at Brother’s Restaurant

Due to an unavoidable personal conflict in my schedule, I will not be able to keep my scheduled appointment as a guest server at Brother’s Restaurant in Danvers this Friday. Look in this space for a re-scheduled date in the very near future.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at Thanks. Tom Leonard

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