Saran Gillies, the former town clerk of Braintree and its first female selectman, is being honored along with two local families for their contributions to the town in a dedication ceremony today at Deering Park.
The ceremony will take place at 4:30 in the transformed Braintree space that, town officials said, has seen numerous transformations as of late.
According to Peter Morin, chief of staff and operations in Braintree, Thomas Sidor, a Braintree teen and scout, first put in benches and beautified the area of the park as part of an Eagle Scout project to obtain the rank.
Retired Braintree officials Vincent Joyce and William Dykstra were honored with the naming of some of the benches back in May. Now, the beautification project has prompted even more dedications.
Two more park benches will be named for Braintree residents Norman and Jeanne Diotte and Bob and Marge Downey.
According to Morin, the Downeys were longtime Braintree residents involved in the historical society. Bob Downey was also a scoutmaster.
A recycling receptacle - the first of its kind in the town – will also be dedicated in the name of Gillies.
The veteran official served as a selectwoman for 12 years before moving into the position of Town Clerk, which she held for nine years.
According to town officials, Gillies was an avid recycler, and she has left a legacy within the town both in practice and in purpose.
“She was a colleague of the mayor’s and she was a mentor to me and to many others in town and in town government,” Morin said. “She was a trailblazer in a number of different areas civicly and politically, and was one of the first elected females to selectmen. But she was very active in recycling and scouts and things like that.”
Gillies passed away in 2010, yet her message has not faded, and the receptacle, donated by Sustainable Braintree, will hopefully be the first of many for the town.
“It is the hope of Sustainable Braintree that the Town of Braintree commits to placing recycling receptacles in all of Braintree’s parks in the near future. This will insure that the legacy of Saran Gillies will carry forward for years to come,” the program said in a release.
Sidor is one of many Eagle Scouts conducting projects throughout town. Another youth beautified the an area at the Highlands School.
“They may have ideas on their own, and we assess them as see if they are viable. But its not exclusive to the town things, they were work churches and food drives and so on,” Morin said. “There have been a number of other projects that have been done.”
All in all, officials say Sidor’s project has helped create a more useful and beautiful space outside of the town’s center.
“The mayor lives near there, so he uses it. Driving by, I’ve seen more use over there. But it’s certainly more attractive and inviting,” Morin said.