Written by Executive Director Steve Bromage
Maine Historical Society is about people, as is Maine history itself. That’s a theme you’ll hear regularly as we move forward. I want to recognize and thank a particular group here: Maine Historical Society’s long-time members.
Let me share an incredible statistic: more than 300 people have been members of MHS for over 20 years. (MHS currently has about 2,500 members.) I’ll break it down. 139 have been members for 20-29 years, 110 for 30-39 years, 43 for 40-49 years, 10 for 50-59 years, and 3 for longer than 60 years. 240 of these long-time members live in Maine, while 60 live in other states.
Last week, we held a reception for this remarkable group, and 35 of our long-time members were able to attend.
This group has seen us through and supported tremendous change—the modernization and professionalization of the organization that got underway in the 1960s; the purchase of our museum building; the restoration fo the Longfellow House; the recent renovation of the Library; the creation of Maine Memory Network; and, the expansion of the role that MHS plays throughout the state.
A number of these members shared their stories of how they became involved with MHS —Mike Connolly (26 year member), Didi Stockly (32 years), Ruth Ayers (44 years), Bob Carroll (52 years), and Mert Henry (63 years).
Their interests—like yours—represent the wide range of things that MHS does: genealogy, scholarship, and our wonderful library; the Longfellow House; our museum, exhibits, and incredible collection of objects; our school and public programs; and yes, Maine Memory Network.
Long-time members include former trustees who have contributed significant time, energy, and financial support. It also includes volunteers, regular visitors, and others who connect to and champion our work in myriad ways.
What all have in common has been steadfast support for MHS—it’s because of their support and participation that we are where we are today. We feel a deep bond of affection and appreciation for our members. Thank you.