Published in the September 27, 2017 edition

THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN presented Town Moderator Arthur Bourque (second from left) with the Daniel Townsend Award for Excellence on Monday. From the left are Selectman Dick Dalton, Bourque, selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett and Selectman Phil Crawford. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — Town Moderator Arthur Bourque has dedicated his life to helping make Lynnfield a better place, whether it has been serving in local government, overseeing large projects or coaching youth soccer.

The Board of Selectmen honored Bourque for giving back to the town by presenting him with the first annual Daniel Townsend Award for Excellence on Monday. The Townsend Award, which was created by the selectmen in June, honors the sacrifice made by a native town son, Daniel Townsend, who perished on April 19, 1775 in the first battle of the Revolutionary War.

The award also honors the actions of a resident whose volunteerism makes Lynnfield a better community.

“One of our thoughts and ideas with the Daniel Townsend Award for Excellence was to recognize an individual in this community every year who has given a lot of their time and effort,” said Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett.

The H. Joseph Maney Meeting Room featured a standing room only crowd of Bourque’s family, friends, residents and local officials.

Bourque was touched by the tribute. He thanked the selectmen for presenting him with the inaugural Townsend Award.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be here this evening,” said Bourque. “I am both humbled and certainly honored to be the recipient of this award in its first year. In some ways, it’s difficult for me to accept this because I never do these things for the recognition. It’s always about getting the project done.”

While Bourque might have taken the lead in a number of projects, he said every project has required a community-wide effort.

“I take a great deal of satisfaction in what we have done in this town together,” said Bourque. “It takes a lot of people to get involved.”

Bourque thanked Townscape Communications Director Kathryn Price for nominating him for the Townsend Award.

“We have been involved in a lot of projects and I am very grateful that I met her,” said Bourque.

Bourque said his wife Joan and his daughters, Katherine Bush and Jackie Tewksbury, “are my support team.”

“There are many days I come home from some of these projects and it can be depressing when you get some bad information,” said Bourque. “And it’s always my wife who says you’ll be fine. My kids run and manage the website for Townscape, which is the non-profit that I run that benefits Lynnfield. They are both in New Hampshire and have nothing to do with Lynnfield, but they are at Geraniumfest all day doing everything they can. I am very appreciative of my family and what I got in town.”

Bourque also said he appreciates “all of the people in town who see me and say thank you for the work that we have done.”

“It’s not just me,” said Bourque. “I have been supported by a lot of good people across Lynnfield over the years. It’s a group effort. I accept this award on behalf of every good old boy that has worked hard to make this town what it is today. I am very, very grateful.”

After Bourque was presented with the award and concluded his remarks, he was given a round of applause and a standing ovation by the meeting’s attendees.

Public service record

According to a letter from Price, the town moderator served as a State Trooper from 1971-1991 and served in the National Guard for 11 years. She also noted he served in the call Fire Department.

Price said Bourque served four terms on the Board of Selectmen, taking place from 1992-1998 and 2006-2012. He has been town moderator since 2012 and has been chairman of the Fields Committee since 2012. While serving as chairman of the Fields Committee, Price noted Bourque has helped oversee or serve as owner’s project manager for the Lynnfield High School fields project, the Lynnfield Middle School track and fields project, and the field projects at Newhall Park, Glen Meadow Park and the LMS baseball field.

According to Price, Bourque coached Lynnfield Youth Soccer for over 25 years, and won the Massachusetts Youth Soccer coach of the year award. She also said Lynnfield Rotary named Bourque citizen of the year in 2014.

Price said Bourque’s other accomplishments include currently doing research on improving how Town Meeting operates along with the Town Meeting Study Committee. She also said Bourque was “instrumental” in helping revamp Townscape’s Geraniumfest by adding Kids Day to the highly anticipated spring event.

Additionally, Price said Bourque is actively involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where he served on the board of directors for nearly two decades. She said he is involved with the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Alliance.

Selectmen’s comments

Barrett said he kept thinking of Bourque’s name while he drafted the criteria for the Townsend Award earlier this spring.

“When I was writing some of the verbiage for this award, I kept thinking of one name,” said Barrett. “That was Arthur Bourque’s name. I think this award could have been named in his honor.”

Barrett noted Price, who sat next to Bourque during the meeting, wrote a “wonderful letter” encouraging the selectmen to name Bourque the first recipient of the Townsend Award. He noted Price said, “I cannot think of an individual who fits this description better than Arthur — a man who tirelessly and steadfastly volunteers for the betterment of the town of Lynnfield.”

“Kathryn came to know Arthur in 2014 while she was vice president of the Lynnfield Moms Group,” said Barrett. “She saw quickly Arthur’s clear investment in the town of Lynnfield as well as his long record of volunteerism on behalf of the community.”

Additionally, Barrett said Price is impressed that Bourque “inspires confidence in his leadership, but also interest in and support for the causes he pursues.”

Barrett noted Bourque has been “actively involved” in overseeing the town’s fields’ projects, including timelines and budgets. He said the LMS track and fields project is no exception.

“Arthur is there daily actively participating in this work, focusing carefully on every detail,” said Barrett.

Barrett thanked Joan for allowing her husband to give back to the town. “It’s our better halves who help us be the people we are today,” he said.

Additionally, Barrett said Bourque “has helped Lynnfield become a better place.”

Selectman Dick Dalton echoed Barrett’s point of view.

“Congratulations Arthur,” said Dalton. “No one is more deserving than you.”

Selectman Phil Crawford agreed.

“I have gotten to know Arthur very well,” said Crawford. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Congratulations.”

In addition to presenting Bourque with a plaque, Barrett said a plaque will also be installed at Town Hall. In closing, Barrett highlighted a quote from former United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill that appeared in Price’s letter. Barrett said the quote “summed up (Bourque) well.”

“As Winston Churchill said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,’” said Barrett. “Here in Lynnfield, I don’t think we could be anymore grateful by the life and dedication Arthur has given to us. On behalf of the Board of Selectmen, thank you.”