after receiving the award.
Ron Marcus at right.
At left Phil Norgren, outgoing
Virginia T. Davis,
Stamford Historical Society
Distinguished Service Award to
16 June 2003
Address by Ron Marcus, Librarian
Good evening. It is a pleasure for me to present this year's Virginia
T. Davis, Stamford Historical Society, Distinguished Service
Award to one of our most outstanding volunteers.
This tribute is given
in memory of a remarkable person whose devotion to the City of Stamford through
this organization was summarized in a 23 March
1983 Advocate Editorial. "She believed that a community's sense of its own
history gave it a solidity and depth that it otherwise would not have. She
was right in thinking so."
Most individuals usually choose to reside in Stamford because of employment
with a business situated here, or in proximity, accessible by rail or highways.
Our honoree's father came to this place for a somewhat different reason,
military training at the Czechoslovakian camp on Gutzon Borglum's estate. After
in WWI, he married and settled in Poughkeepsie, New York, where a son (our
award recipient) was born. Later the family returned to this City, settling
in the Cove section on Willowbrook Avenue. Our honoree attended the public
schools and enrolled in machine shop training at the State Trade School.
Upon graduating from Stamford High School, Class of 1942, he began working
Machlett Laboratories in Springdale as a machinist. By then however, our
nation was at war, so the following year he was inducted into the military,
in The United States Army Air Corps for two years. Upon discharge he returned
to his occupation at Machlett's continuing as a faithful employee until 1988.
During these years he held several positions, including recording secretary
and treasurer, of the local chapter, International Association of Machinists
union at this company. Through them he participated with the Stamford Chapter
of the American Red Cross blood drives whenever they set up a drawing at
After retirement, he decided to continue volunteering for this worthwhile
which he does to this day. In addition, time was allotted for helping the
Literacy Volunteers of America.
In the late 1980's he embarked on his tenure
the Society, assisting in the Photo Archive. His attention to details, knowledge
of local streets, buildings and landmarks, combined with understanding the
care needed to handle fragile items, were noticed and greatly appreciated.
In time he started preparing finding aids for several of our manuscript collections,
allowing researchers easier access to these materials. Currently he continues
with library archival work, is a member of the Library Committee, and assists
as a gallery docent if needed.
The spirit of an individual's donation of their time to an organization is
truly represented by him. Persons such as this not only contribute to their
communities' quality of life, but also serve as exemplary role models.
It is with great esteem that I now present the Virginia T. Davis, Stamford
Historical Society Distinguished Service Award to John M. Puchala.
Photo © Stamford Historical Society