Chartier Award: Two lauded for community service

  • Tim Haley, 2018 recipient of the Alphonse Chartier Junior Public Service Award, lauds the contributions of one of this year’s recipients, Craig Twohey, center, to the town of Phillipston. Haley’s sister Paula, who shared last year’s honor, holds the plaque to which Twohey’s name will be added. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/GREG VINE

  • A humble Gerry Gariepy bows his head as Paula Haley enumerates Gariepy's contributions to the town of Phillipston prior to presenting him with the Alphonse Chartier Junior Public Service Award. Her brother, Tim Haley, looks on. The Haleys were recipients of last year's award. ATHOL DAILY NEWS/GREG VINE

Staff Writer
Published: 12/11/2019 7:52:44 PM
Modified: 12/11/2019 7:52:35 PM

PHILLIPSTON – Two well-known individuals were recognized for their contributions to the community — Gerry Gariepy and Craig Twohey — at a ceremony held Sunday at the Phillipston Congregatgional Church Sunday evening.

Before presenting the Alphonse Chartier Junior Community Service Award, Opal Clark, who chairs the committee that chooses the recipients, discussed the significance of the award.

“The Public Service Award was first presented in 1986,” said Clark, “when the Selectboard honored retired Police Chief Alphonse Chartier for serving the town for so many years and in so many capacities. They devised an awards system that has been perpetuated each year. People are asked to submit nominees for the committee to consider. The committee gains members each year, due to the fact it is comprised of former recipients of the award. The chairman is named by the Selectboard. There are 25 awardees on the committee right now.”

Each December, the recipients of the previous year’s award are asked to present the honor to those chosen to be recognized for the current year. Presenters at this year’s ceremony were siblings Paula and Tim Haley.

The first person honored Sunday night was Gariepy.

“Gerry performed immense public service when he served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot and crew member on several aircraft carriers,” said Paul Haley. “Gerry is a devoted father and, fully involved in Boy Scouts, Gerry proved he is an excellent teacher, counselor, and mentor. Having been in Phillpston for about 30 years, Gerry became thoroughly intertwined in our community. Without knowing it, Gerry shines as an example to others, demonstrating how to live a life of value and service to others. He has been a faithful member of the Queen Lake Association. He served on the Queen Lake Dam Committee and persisted in promoting common sense in all the decisions that were made.”

Gariepy has served a Scout Master, deacon in the Congregational Church, and as treasurer of the Phillipston Historical Society.

“I don’t know what to say,” Gariepy responded briefly. “This is a great community to be in, and a great church to be in.”

Also recognized for his contributions to the community was former King Phillip Restaurant owner Twohey.

“Craig Twohey,” said Tim Haley, “has lived in Phillipston for most of his life. He attended the Memorial School. He played in Little League and was active at Narraansett Regional High School. Craig served on the Capital Improvement Planning Committee, and was active with the Queen Lake Association. He also served on the Building Committee for the Memorial School gymnasium. He purchased the King Phillip Restaurant over 30 years, and over those years he employed many of Phillipston’s youth. He opened his motel rooms to those in need.”

“I’m a shocked as Jerry is,” said Twohey.

“Behind every good man is a good woman,” he added, gesturing to his wife Jean. “She certainly helped to make all this happen. We both blessed with a good set of parents, who taught good values and showed us the importance of being involved in the community.”

After receiving their community service awards, Gariepy and Twohey were both honored with legislative resolutions recognizing their commitment to Phillipston. State Rep. Susannah Whipps presented the resolutions from the state House, and Legislative Aide Lucas McDermott made the presentation on behalf of state Sen. Ann Gobi.

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