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A Former Selectman Calls Dick Barry a Mentor for Him and “Many Other People”

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To the Good Citizens of Saugus and Honored Guests:

  I am very sorry that I am unable to join all of you in person this morning for this special and well-deserved tribute to the service of a man who truly exemplified all that it means to be a community volunteer and servant to others.

  I had the good fortune in 1993, at age 29, to be elected to the Saugus Board of Selectmen, and like so many others Dick Barry took me under his wing and gave a great deal of himself to help me be the best representative of the community that I could be.

  Prior to being elected to the Board of Selectmen, I looked up to Dick and to this day I marvel at his ability to give selflessly of himself, to teach, to support, to engage, to collaborate, to negotiate, and, perhaps most of all, to care. Dick was not at all about himself. He was about the Town of Saugus. He gave decades of himself to better his community and to the benefit of its people – its citizens of all ages. Examples of this range from Dick’s time as a CYO basketball coach working with young people to the construction of this beautiful Senior Center that will now bear his name. His decades of volunteer service demonstrate to all of Saugus that its eldest citizens are deserving of a place that allows them to enjoy the camaraderie of others in a place that dignifies their standing as those who have given so much of themselves.

  I am very proud to have served alongside Dick Barry, Janette Fasano, Anthony Cogliano, and the late Christie Ciampa for six years, 1993-1999, as members of the Board of Selectmen. Not once in those six years was there a bad word among us. There was a mutual respect for one another and a strong desire to make our town better, and I would like to think that we accomplished this important goal. Dick was a leader among our group, and for this I will long be thankful.

  I am fortunate to have had many fine mentors in my life who taught me an awful lot about people and how to get a job done. Dick Barry is among these mentors, as I suspect he was to a good many other people. The dedication of the Saugus Senior Center in honor of the memory of Richard “Dick” Barry says a great deal about the man and his legacy – and it also says a lot about the people of Saugus, who have long placed a great deal of value on those who give of themselves to better their community. I am honored to be able to share some thoughts about the impact that Dick Barry has had on my life, and I thank the Town of Saugus for honoring Dick’s memory through this most special, long-lasting tribute.

Jon C. Bernard

Saugus Board of Selectmen (1993-1999)

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