The Block Island Times

Publisher's Note: The ties that bind us

May 15, 2013

Whether in sorrow or celebration it is our sense of place that sustains us all. And for that we are grateful. Where else but on Block Island?

The Boston bombings set the tone a few weeks ago — a sense of unease and distress. After all, our island community is part of the larger New England neighborhood.

And then we were hit directly with two tragic deaths. A 21-year old died under terrible circumstances and a young father and family man died of an insidious disease.

All this had an impact and the passing conversations at the Block Island Grocery and the Post Office reflected a feeling of vulnerability.

The community came together to mourn the losses and comfort the bereaved as only Block Island can. When things are tough, there is no place on earth that provides better support. And for that we are grateful.

But it is not always in sorrow that we gather. We should also recognize that during these same weeks the island community gathered to celebrate one of our most beloved citizens on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Adrian Mitchell was honored by gifts not to him but with a total of $4,000 in contributions to the volunteer fire and rescue squad.

There will be another island-wide celebration to honor Mary Donnelly, who has become a legend in our time and an enduring part of the history of this 351 year-old town.  She has provided five decades of selfless service to island residents.  She has inspired the formation of a fund that helps the most vulnerable among us and will endure for years to come.

We will all have an opportunity to celebrate Mary’s service at a party on Monday, May 20 at 4 p.m. at the Spring House. Donations are also being accepted to purchase and place a permanent marker in the planned park on Water Street across the street from the National Hotel. Tax deductible gifts may be made out to the Town of New Shoreham and will be placed in a dedicated account. Please write Mary D on the memo line and mail to Town of New Shoreham, Box 220, Block Island, R.I. 02807.

We encourage everyone who can to attend and to gather with a sense of purpose, pride and hope — the ties that also bind us together.


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