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New Lynnfield fire truck honors Lt. Alan MacDonald







It was a beautiful summer day for the blessing of the new fire engine in honor of the late Lt. Alan MacDonald, who passed away in February. Last Friday friends, family and townspeople joined together at the firehouse at the South Station at 600 Salem St. to welcome the new pumper, which has been in the works for a number of months and was just put into service a few weeks ago.

The new truck replaces the 1985 “Engine 3” Mack Truck. In his speech, Fire Chief Mark Tetreault thanked the Board of Selectmen for their role in approving funds for the new purchase.

“The arrival of engine 1 not only shows our commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said, soon after, “... it shows that we’ll do whatever it takes to provide the very best for our firefighters.”

Retired Lieutenant Alan MacDonald, for whom the new Engine 1 is dedicated, served Lynnfield in addition to Wakefield and Newbury in his more than 50-year long career. Colleagues and family members at the ceremony remembered him fondly for his sense of humor and dedication to the department.

“Alan was looked at as a valuable mentor, and he was always willing to offer his wisdom, his knowledge and his insight,” Chief Tetreault said, later describing him as a “pivotal member of our department.”

Tetreault said that MacDonald remained very active in the firefighting community even after retirement, attending almost every recruit graduation and serving on the hiring committee for new call firefighters. He also served on a number of fire committees and associations along the North Shore.

Alan MacDonald’s widow, Anita Rassias, was clearly touched by the event. “[The event is] such a tribute to my husband,” a tearful Rassias said. “He just loved the fire service.” He “always wanted his own fire engine”, she added, with a smile.

The Fire Department presented the MacDonald family with a framed photograph of the new engine as a gift.

The department, not one to forgo tradition, performed a number of tributes to the vehicle. Firefighter EMT Christopher Cavalieri and Lieutenant Medic Richard Ripley conducted a “wet-down” of the truck with a fire hose, and Lieutenant EMT Kevin Mutti led the steering of the truck back into the bay. Chief Tetreault said that the wetting down and pushing of the truck into the station harks back to when Lynnfield had horses that they had to wet down and a carriage that then firefighters had to push back into their bay.

Afterwards, attendees enjoyed a barbeque.

The Advocate asked Chief Tetreault how he thought MacDonald might react if he were here.

“He would be very honored,” he said with a smile, “and very embarrassed.”

By Melanie Higgins


Town father honored with distinction




It was a special night for town father Joe Maney, Sr., and for Lynnfield last Monday, as the Selectmen voted to name the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Al Merritt Center (600 Market St.) after Maney, and in doing so, include Maney in the rarefied air of town citizens that are honored in such a manner.

Selectmen have in recent months discussed the town’s strict naming policy, which, officially adopted earlier this year, seeks to make the naming of town facilities “rare” and “sparing.”

“The town of Lynnfield takes it very serious when we name anything in the community about anybody,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said.

In a sweet moment for Maney and for the town, Barrett called Maney “our best public servant, I’m confident to say, in Lynnfield’s history.”

Maney, who has served the town for over 50 years and has served in various capacities – such as selectman, town moderator, town administrator, and numerous committees and boards – was surrounded by his family and friends Monday night as the selectmen officially commemorated his service. The meeting room, to be dignified with a portrait of Maney that was presented at the meeting, will hereby be known as the “H. Joseph Maney Room.”

After a public hearing that received next to no opposition, the selectmen officially voted to have the name of Joe Maney (“Mr. Lynnfield”) grace the meeting room. Barrett’s request for public comment, yea or nay, made way to hushed giggles, indicating the near unanimous support for the decision.

When his time to speak had come, Maney, true to his commitment to the town, said little about himself and chose to talk more about the town he served for more than half a century. “I’m honored,” a placid Maney said.

Maney recalled the days when the town had no town administrator and opted for a clerk instead, who typed minutes on an electric typewriter. He also recalled the days when the town had no Town Charter and no DPW.

“It’s my privilege to be here this evening.” Selectman Dick Dalton said. Maney, he said, “exemplifies all that is good about public service” and he called him “a role model for all who serve this community.”

“I doubt anyone can equal the overall contribution that Joe Maney has made to this community,” he added.

“You are an exemplary model for what public service means.” Selectman Phil Crawford said.

By Melanie Higgins


Lynnfield Art guild announces awards, prizes for annual Spring Art Show



On Saturday, May 20, the annual spring fine arts and crafts judged show of the Lynnfield Art Guild (LAG), featured over 150 paintings and photographs by talented local artist-members. Judges Bruce Hilliard, Dawn Mahoney and Heidi Zander gave out the awards. Best in Show for the pastel “Down the Path” went to Peter Cain. Mary Kelly’s watercolor “Key West Bungalow” won the Summertime Fun theme award. Also, judge’s choice awards were given to Jeannette Corbett for her painting “Morning Calm – Abruzzi,” to Louise Anderson for her painting “Rocky Shore” and to Donna Barnes for her acrylic painting “Shedding of the Crystal Shells.” The Wakefield Co-operative Bank’s special $100 cash prize was awarded to Maya Jacobs for the watercolor “Bath Time,” and the Co-op Bank’s $50 student prize was awarded to Zoe Chen for her pencil drawing “All Smiles.” The people’s choice award went to Audrey DiPillo for her watercolor “Berkshire Retreat.”

Additional awards were as follows: in the watercolor category a first place to Lorraine O’Brien for “Searching,” a second place to Donna Barnes for “Artful” and a third place to Jeannette Corbett for “Nightcap at Saratoga Races.” In the Oil/Acrylics/Mixed Media category, a first prize was awarded to Jeannette Corbett for “Morning Calm – Abruzzi,” and a second and third to James Ryan for “In For Repairs” and “Nor’easter.” The photography/digital media category resulted in the judge’s selections of “Harsh Light at Black Beach” by Michael Nichols (first), “Monet’s Garden in Giverny” by Mary Lynch (second) and “Botany of Desire” by Philip Hermann (third). In the miscellaneous (pen & ink, pencil, pastel) category the awards went to Peter Cain for “Down the Path” (first), to Donna Barnes for “Shedding of the Crystal Shells” (second) and to Shaila Desai for her pastel painting “Waves” (third). Honorable mentions went to the following artists: Donna Barnes, “Flower Triptych”; Peter Cain, “The Wave”; Shaila Desai, “Golden Sunset”; Bill Deveney, “The Right Place”; Joyce Fukasawa, “Precious”; Maya Jacob, “Coming and Going”; Lorraine O’Brien, “Buddy and Me” and James Ryan, “A Brooksby Winter.”

Student prizes were awarded to Marianne Oliveri for her multimedia “Coexist” (first), Zoe Chen for “All Smiles” (second) and Ava Figucia for her acrylic “Untitled” (third). An Honorable Mention went to Emma Rocco for her acrylic painting “Sinatra.”

LAG thanks all the artists, supporters, patrons and visiting public who made this show such a wonderful success.


Lynnfield celebrates “Race Amity Day”



Sponsored by Lynnfield for Love, day seeks to promote unity

On a hot day last Sunday, friends of the group Lynnfield for Love joined on the town common for the purpose of observing “Race Amity Day,” a state (now town) holiday dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the Commonwealth. Thanks to a proclamation issued by the Selectmen, Race Amity Day is now the second Sunday in June.

“It’s important to celebrate diversity,” said Jenn Lupien, president of the group. “Through friendships, we can really get to hear each other and understand each other’s point of view. Through friendships, we can make sure every voice is being heard and represented in town.”

The event observes the “multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial citizens” in the town and Commonwealth, and encourages citizens to “join in introspection and reflection on the beauty and richness of the diverse peoples of this great nation while reaching out with a spirit of amity toward one another,” according to the proclamation, which was read by youngster Sonia Kumar at the event. Afterwards, attendees enjoyed a picnic with refreshments, music and good company, of course.

Lynnfield for Love is a new group that seeks to spread kindness and acceptance. The group will be holding a multicultural event in the fall and hopes to every year, according to VP Neha Pareek. Stay updated on events with Lynnfield for Love on Facebook.

By Melanie Higgins


A Father’s Day tribute – two Civil War great-grandfathers


The population of Lynn, Mass., had increased dramatically in the mid-19th century. The influx of Irish immigrants after the Potato Famine had an unsettling effect on some segments of the community. Many Irishmen welcomed their participation in the Civil War as an opportunity to prove their American patriotism.

Patrick Gallagher

My father’s paternal grandfather was born in Ireland in 1839. Unfortunately, available records do not give the town/county of origin. The Lynn City Directory of 1860 contains the following entry: “Patrick Gallagher, paper strainer, boards corner of Boston & Park Streets” – the heart of West Lynn.

In 1861 Gallagher enlisted for three years in the 9th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, a predominately Irish unit. Company A, of which Gallagher was a member, was part of the Columbian Guards. According to a regimental history, the unit was in the thick of action, including the battles of Gettysburg and Antietam. He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in the dense woods of Virginia in May 1864.

Gallagher was sent to a field hospital at Fredericksburg before being mustered out in June, 1864, as a corporal. His record contains this notation by Sergeant John F. Doherty: “I state that Mr. Gallagher was one of the best soldiers in the Regiment, always doing his duty.”

After the War, Gallagher returned to Lynn and fell in love with Marie Murray, whose father had extensive property in the Waterhill section of West Lynn. Patrick’s work in the wallpaper business took the young family to Brooklyn, N.Y., where my grandfather William Gallagher was born. But home ties were strong, so the Gallaghers returned to West Lynn and lived on Robinson Street in a house eventually owned by the family for well over 100 years.

Patrick Bowen

My father’s maternal grandfather, Patrick Bowen, was born in Nova Scotia and later married Ellen Finley, also an Irish immigrant. While it is uncertain when he came to Lynn, family legend maintains that he whisked his bride across the Lynn marshes in a hired chaise to their wedding ceremony at St. Rose’s Church in Chelsea. (At the time, the new St. Mary’s Church in Lynn was under construction.) Seven children were born to Patrick and Ellen Bowen, including my father’s mother, Elizabeth Bowen, in 1868.

As the need for new Union recruits became severe, Patrick left his young family to join the 17th Regiment, which trained at Camp Schouler in Lynnfield. Patrick’s unit saw action in Newbern, N.C., where he contracted malaria. He suffered recurrences of the condition throughout his life, in addition to becoming deaf in his right ear from exposure to cannon fire.

Patrick Bowen returned to Lynn and entered the shoe trade. His daughter Elizabeth Bowen married William Gallagher, son of their neighbor Patrick Gallagher, in 1893. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died of consumption in 1907, leaving six children of whom my father, Frank Gallagher, was the second youngest.

Civil War records

Civil War pension records are a boon to genealogists since they contain addresses, marriage records, birth records of offspring, work history, and miscellaneous data. For example, Patrick Bowen’s wife, Ellen, signed her widow’s pension application with an “X.” Like many women raised in Ireland during the Famine, she was unable to read and write.

My paternal great-grandfathers, Patrick Bowen and Patrick Gallagher, were ordinary men who lived for a while in extraordinary times. Unlike so many of their comrades who perished in the Civil War, they survived and returned to their homes in West Lynn. By all accounts, both were strong family men deserving of tribute on this Fathers’ Day a century and a half later.

May they rest in peace.

By Helen Breen


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