Historical Society to place memorial birdbath at Town Hall, churches offer help to town

by Geoff Fox

Former Mayor and current President of the Hancock Historical Society Dan Murphy came before town officials during the June 13 town meeting to ask if the Historical Society would be able to erect a birdbath at Town Hall in memory of a local photographer.

Murphy said Sam Judge was a true photo historian and those pictures he took of events are a record that will be around forever.

“We all miss him and what he does,” Murphy said. “At events I look to see if Sam’s taking pictures because I know they’ ll be on Facebook before I get home.”

Murphy said the Historical Society would be happy to pay for the birdbath, which would replace a tree that had been cut down.

Town Manager Mike Faith had already given Murphy and the Historical Society the green light to proceed and place the birdbath.

Once the birdbath is installed, Murphy said there would be a photo op with town officials.

Greater Hancock Council of Churches supports revitalization Rev. Becki Wissinger of the Hancock United Methodist Church also came before town officials speaking on behalf of the Greater Hancock Council of Churches.

She said in meetings, the council has expressed concern on what could they do, as a group of churches and citizens, to be partners in the revitalization of Hancock.

They met with Faith earlier on that day to offer their support to the town and see where they could “plug in” to help.

“We can see ourselves as the spiritual glue, being on call for chaplaincy-type situations that arises,” Wissinger said.

If there are critical issues that need spiritual guidance, Wissinger said the council would be willing to step forward and provide that.

She added there are a lot of challenges in town that aren’t so positive, such as illicit drugs, breakdown and despair, and some of the proposed businesses coming in and if they are good holistically not just good economically for the community, the council wants to be able to offer hope and virtue to counter those things.

Wissinger added the beauty of “God’ s creation” makes Hancock an amazing place with the trails and everything that’s here.

She reported on some of the things individual churches in the council are doing – St. Thomas Episcopal gave away free bottles of water during the Barge Bash last weekend, Hancock Presbyterian was also set up at the Barge Bash, Hancock United Methodist Church will have an outreach in July for repairing homes for those who are unable to do so economically or because of age, and Orchard Ridge First Church of God will be holding their annual Hancock Helping Hands on August 12.

Mayor Roland Lanehart, Jr. suggested some of the local churches and maybe the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts could possibly sponsor a flowerbed.

While he was addressing town officials, Murphy had mentioned about the upkeep of the flowerbeds in along Main Street.

Lanehart said the organization could pick a flowerbed and a sign would be placed in it stating who was sponsoring that particular flowerbed.

Wissinger said she would commit her church to that.

She also said she’d take it back to the other pastors of the council and ask if they’d commit as well.

Lanehart said any flowers or mulch would be supplied by the town, the sponsorship would just be the labor of pulling weeds and dead flowers, as well as other upkeep.

The flowers in the flowerbeds and pots are perennials and didn’ t cost the town any money as they came from local gardens.