By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Roger Leland, lifelong Northborough resident and senior partner of Leland Law Associates, has been named the 2018 Applefest Grand Marshal. A strong work ethic and commitment to the community has always been important to Leland, who will turn 89 just before Applefest weekend.
His son Jeff said that his father is just now thinking about retirement. Even after suffering a stroke three years ago, leaving him with some paralysis, Leland continued to work. He recently had a fall, but is hoping not to miss the festivities of the annual fall festival.
Leland believes that giving back to the community is important and encourages colleagues and family to become involved in the town where they live. He is currently a member of the Long-range Financial Planning Committee and has served on the Northborough Appropriations Committee, Industrial Development Committee, Wage and Salary Classification Commission, and as Assistant Town Counsel.
He was supportive of the town purchasing the Marion E. Zeh School, building the Senior Center, expanding the library and renovating Algonquin Regional High School.
Leland also served the country as captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and first lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War.
Jeff said he is sure that if you have attended Northborough’s Annual Town Meeting, you have seen his father at his best.
“He never uses a microphone,” Jeff said. “When he comments on an issue with his very convincing voice, no one usually speaks after him. He can be very persuasive, but is well-regarded.”
Jeff credits his father for setting the example for him to be involved in the community.
“He has also instilled in me a strong work ethic,” he said. “He has always been a hard worker – always at work from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. for five to six days a week.”
Jeff is convinced that if his dad fully recovers from the recent fall, he will be back at the office. Even after his stroke, Leland would wheelchair over to work from his house, which is next door to the South Street office, on the paved pathway.
Over the years when Leland was not at work, he has enjoyed skiing, golfing, hiking, biking, boating and spending time at the family’s Maine cottage.
“He has always been proud of Northborough, putting his time and financial support into making it fiscally strong and maintaining its charm as a wonderful place to live,” said Jeff.