By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Mayor Arthur Vigeant welcomed residents age 60 and over to the 40th annual Senior of the Year Dinner, held May 4 at the Marlborough High School (MHS) cafeteria. The occasion recognizes a resident who is at at least age 85 for contributions to the city. Vigeant expressed his pleasure in honoring George Whapham.
Reading from a proclamation, Vigeant said, “George Whapham was born in Danville, Pennsylvania, and has been a dedicated Marlborough resident for 54 years… George has raised seven children, 21 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and lives with his devoted wife Melanie.”
Vigeant noted that many Whapham family members assisted with organizing the Marlborough Labor Day Parade, which George directed for 27 years and Melanie for two. In 2009, George was named the parade’s grand marshal and rode on a float with Melanie and other family members.
In 2002, then-Mayor William J. Mauro Jr. honored Whapham as Humanitarian of the Year at the Mayor’s Charity Ball. While serving as president of the Marlborough Rotary Club, Whapham was named Heritage Hero at the 13th annual Marlborough Heritage Festival in 2008. In 2013, he was named a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Also in 2013, Vigeant presented the Veteran of the Year honor to Whapham at a ceremony held by the Marlborough Veterans Council. A longtime member of the American Legion Akroyd Houde Post 132, Whapham is a U.S. Navy veteran who served in the Korean War.
The honoree’s extensive contributions to the city’s school system were also noted by Vigeant: “George dedicated many years to the Marlborough public schools as past co-chair of the Special Education Parents Advisory Council, member of the High School Council as community representative, liaison to the American Legion Oratorical Competition and Boys State & Girls State Programs, and member and past president of the Marlborough Public Schools Music Association.”
Fittingly, dinner guests were serenaded by the MHS String Ensemble under the direction of Jonathan Rosenthal, music coordinator for kindergarten through 12th grade of Marlborough public schools. Following the musical entertainment, a benediction was offered by Deacon Doug Peltak of St. Matthias Parish.
“These people who performed so well are our future seniors,” Peltak noted.
Opening remarks were delivered by Jim Coffrey, Marlborough council on aging chair. Dinner and desserts were prepared under the direction of Roland Van Kavelaar, MHS food director. Meals were served by city councilors along with state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton; and state Reps. Carmine Gentile, D-Sudbury; and Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.