and taking pause to appreciate long-standing service to our Westport Island community…
On Sunday, August 5, friends and family celebrated Richard DeVries’ 80th birthday at the Town Hall. This milestone presents a good opportunity to celebrate Richard and his many services to the Island.
Richard has been a cornerstone of services to Westport Island families. He has served as an RSU #12 School Board member since its startup – a challenging job that he takes very seriously. In this capacity, Richard has worked hard to improve the fairness of the funding formula impacting Westport Island residents and to bring pre-Kindergarten services to the district.
As owner of the “Ferry Landing” house on Ferry Road, Richard has taken on the stewardship of our town’s public boat landing and park — the Wright Landing — as a personal mission. He acted as the property manager to the town-owned Wright House while it was rented to a private resident — keeping the Selectmen informed of needed maintenance, overseeing repairs and often taking on the role of “handyman”. As Chair of the Wright Landing Committee, he and his committee oversee and manage the installation and removal of the landing’s docks in the spring and fall as well as the maintenance of the grounds and facilities. They also support the work of the Horticulture Committee to keep the property beautiful.
Although he’s not on the Board of Directors of Helping Hands, he is married to Linda Davis who is; and he is a reliable partner in responding to Islanders in need. Both of them regularly help Islanders in need with: rides to appointments, assistance with food and heating needs through Helping Hands, and help with a myriad of other personal crises. During extended power outages, he and Linda monitor those with medical equipment or special needs who may need a portable generator to keep medical equipment operating.
Presently, he also serves on the town’s Comprehensive Planning Committee — a monumental job for all involved. Members are involved in creating a “road map” for the future of the Island and its resources. The plan they are charged with creating analyzes Island data and resident input to make recommendations regarding growth, housing, land use, transportation and other community resources and services. If you haven’t yet provided your input, doing so now would be a good way to honor the work of Richard, his fellow committee members and the importance of volunteerism in keeping Westport Island’s engine running… (the deadline is August 30)
Happy birthday Richard and thank you for helping to make life on Westport Island “the way life should be.”
Spirit of America 2016
On October 18, members of the Wright Landing Committee and the Horticulture Committee were honored as the 2016 Westport Island Spirit of America recipients. Spirit of America awards are given to individuals or groups which exemplify service to community.
The Wright Landing Committee and the Horticulture Committee, which was created to beautify the landing, have worked together to develop and manage the Wright Landing property as a public boat landing and park. Members devote many volunteer hours throughout the year in various ways to make our public landing accessible and welcoming to residents, fishermen, boaters and visitors. Their efforts have included:
- Applying for grants and managing funded improvements that added a walkway and jetty to improve the landing’s facilities as a boat ramp for residents, fishermen and visitors;
- Managing the overall improvement, development and landscaping of the public landing and park;
- Overseeing the annual installation and removal of the ramps and floats;
- Maintaining and advocating for the Wright Landing house and property;
- Creating and maintaining a landscaping design and perennial garden that has beautified the landing and provided a changing display of blooms and color from Spring into Fall; and
- Transforming the Wright property into a proud community landmark where town office staff routinely send new residents or prospective property purchasers – to see both its scenic beauty and its facilities for providing public access to the water.
The Wright Landing Committee and the Horticulture Committee have created a community asset which has garnered praise from residents, fishermen and visitors as well as representatives from area town conservation committees.
Not all members could be present at the Lincoln County awards ceremony, but all are recognized by the town in its award of appreciation — Wright Landing Committee: Richard DeVries, Chair; Al Andrews; Robert Morris; Ken Parsons; and Bruce Whittemore as well as past chair, Art Ballard, and John Nelson, in memoriam; and Horticulture Committee: Donna Curry, Chair; Emily Adler; Brad Adler; Elizabeth Lee; Gretchen McNamara and Debbie Williams.
Honoring our veterans
On Wednesday, members of the Cemetery Committee spent their day hiking into the dozens of small cemeteries that dot Westport Island. They placed 50 flags to honor our veterans in readiness for today’s tradition of taking time to remember and celebrate the service of those who sacrifice and serve in our nation’s armed forces.
Following is a reprint of the Dedication from the 2003 Westport Island Town Report written by Bill Wright to give a face to one of the Islander’s who served: his father, Adrien Wright.
It was Adrien Wright’s wish that his land, the old ferry landing, now called “Wright Landing” be town property for the enjoyment of all its citizens…
In Memory of “Ade” and Mary Wright…
Dad was a gunner on a B17 bomber in World War II, was shot down over Germany and was in a prison camp for 1 1/2 years.
Mom and Dad (Adrien and Mary) moved to Westport Island in the summer of 1947. They purchased the Old Parsonage House, on top the hill on the left side of West Shore Road, from George Knight. We had great neighbors there across the road in the summer with Ester and Lewie Doyle and of course George Knight. Dad dug clams for two summers, purchased an old lobster boat and hauled clams up and down the river with friends, Amos Knight, George Spinney, Jack McEachern, Frank Fowler and sons and many others.
In 1950, Dad started digging saltwater worms for Fred Bolwin of Woolwich and liked that so much he started his own worm business in the spring of 1951. For many years, he purchased worms from diggers on Westport Island. Almost all the men, young and old, that lived on Westport Island dug worms for Dad at some time or another.
In the spring of 1962, Adrien and Bill Wright started Wrights’ Bait, Inc. We started buying sea worms from all along the coast of Maine. In 1969 both families, Mom and Dad, Bill, Jeanine and kids all lived in Addison, Maine and ran a large Marine Worm Business there.
In 1976, Ade and Mary moved back to Westport Island, retired from the worm business and remained on Westport Island enjoying many happy days with friends and family. Mom was a self-taught pianist and enjoyed playing the piano at family gatherings. She also enjoyed her flowers and flower gardens. Their home at this time was at the property of the old ferry landing.
The last time I was with Dad, i took him out on his deck and we looked up and down the Sheepscot River. He said, “Bill look how beautiful this is”.
Many Happy Memories
Son of Adrien and Mary Wright