A centennial celebration cementing a legacy

A crowd of more than 50 people gathered on Pleasant Street across from the National Grand Bank on the morning of May 11. They stood in a circle around the new town clock, commemorating the Rotary Club of Marblehead. It was 100 years to the day when the club began, when Charles A. Slee was elected as its first president.

Current Co-President Nancy Archer Gwin took the microphone first, thanking the club’s board for creating the plan to have the clock built and gifted to the town. She also gave credit to Town Moderator Jack Attridge, Town Planner Rebecca Curran Cutting, Department of Public Works Director Amy McHugh, and many other town government members who were involved in the process.

Archer Gwin explained the symbolic significance of clocks, and how it pertains to the Rotary Club.

“The measurement of time originated back in ancient Egypt around 1500 B.C. The Egyptians understood the concept of time, and recognized the importance of measuring time. It was this knowledge that ultimately led to the clock as we know it today,” explained Archer Gwin. “Humans have lived by some version of the clock for a very long time. This timepiece is a perfect symbol to mark our Rotary Club’s 100 years of service to the community.”

Rotary Club member Gene Arnould then led a prayer based around similar principles of the value and preciousness of time.

After a rendition of the national anthem by Marblehead freshman Eldar Yahorau, Select Board Chair Moses Grader recited a framed proclamation that recapped all the Rotary Club’s accomplishments throughout the last century. Those included contributions to the Rotary Foundation’s PolioPlus fund, which he said “was an important factor in the eradication of Polio worldwide,” and the awarding of “college scholarships to Marblehead seniors totaling over $1 million.”

Finally, Rotary District Governor Alexander Falk relayed a letter from Rotary International President Jennifer Jones congratulating Marblehead.

“Since your club was chartered, you have made a commitment not only to represent rotary in your community, but also to do significant meaningful work which your community will benefit,” read Falk.

Carl Siegel has been a member of the Rotary Club of Marblehead for more than 25 years, and said he was thrilled with the current state of the club, as well as how it has evolved and grown over time.

“We have women in the club, who have been a great addition,” said Siegel. “Great day, beautiful clock… [it] may draw some new members to our club.”