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July 4th Flag Raising and Rededication of Rotary

Wednesday, July 04, 2018 5:50 PM | Gail Walker (Administrator)

Remarks of the President of the Civic Association, Martha Polachi.

On behalf of the Sconset Civic Association, I welcome you to the rededication of the David Gray memorial rotary and flag raising ceremony. 

At this time, Sandra Jackson of the Abiah Folger Franklin chapter of the Daughters of the American revolution will make a presentation to the village of Sconset. 

Thank you, Sandra and the DAR for your generous donation. We look forward to flying this flag in the village on our beautiful new flagpole. 

This project started five years ago when the flagpole in our rotary was found to have significant decomposition at the base of the flag pole, and deemed unsafe. The 45’ flagpole was immediately cut down and ultimately, the jackstaff portion of the pole was reinstalled so we were able to fly an American flag in the rotary for the past couple of years. Fast forward to 2016, when we were funded by the Town of Nantucket and the Community Preservation Committee, represented today by Libby Gibson and Ken Beaugrand, to renovate the crumbling rotary and install a new flagpole. Then in the spring of 2017 when Rob McNeil, the newly hired Director of our DPW, returned my email to discuss the project, good things started to happen in the village of Sconset! 

Since then, Rob, his staff, and I have worked closely to renovate this rotary to its former glory. Under his direction, each step of the project has been carefully executed. The staff at the DPW has worked tirelessly to get this project done for Daffodil weekend when we held a similar ceremony, and it looks fabulous! From the gorgeous granite surround, to the new brick walkways, to the polished brass lanterns and collar, and the refurbished weather vane at the top, no detail has been overlooked. On behalf of the village of Sconset, please accept our heartfelt thanks to you, the Department of Public Works, on your exceptionally fine work on this renovation. Thanks also to the Town of Nantucket and the CPC for funding this project and to National Grid for donating the flagpole. The center of the village of Sconset looks beautiful and feels complete. 

Some other folks who deserve recognition for assisting in this project are Snooky Eldridge for meeting with us several times to share his historic knowledge of Sconset, the rotary and it’s infrastructure; Girard Ruddick and Susan Whitlock for the garden design; Charlie Dragon for his many years of landscaping, this recent installation, and his continued service to this rotary; Cindy and Rolf Nelson for the sound system and music; and a special thanks to Joan Porter and her family for their care of the plants in this rotary for decades. Please continue to care for the plants in the rotary as you are able.

Originally designed by Frederick Hill and constructed in 1929, this rotary is an iconic symbol of the village of Sconset. Built as a memorial to David Gray, who helped establish Sankaty Head Golf Club, the Sconset Water Department, and who was a major financial contributor to the renovation of the Sconset Casino in the 1920s, this rotary is an important landmark. On this 4thday of July, 2018, I rededicate this rotary in memory of fellow Sconseter David Gray.

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