Mulvey: Leach belongs in Heritage Hall of Fame

Mulvey: Leach belongs in Heritage Hall of Fame

Smithfield’s celebration of inductees and honorees to its Heritage Hall of Fame should have included Smithfield Historic Preservation’s acting director, Robert Leach, who was nominated, but not inducted, by a tilted selection process made by several adversaries of Robert Leach’s professional, methodical approach to preserving historical features of our town.

By coincidence, Thomas Winfield and others who also support the crazy huge H-25 provision for urban density in 32 Smithfield neighborhoods, and who have also been named to your town’s Charter Review Commission the next 12 months. Recall last year’s Town Council’s attempted removal of him as your Commission director due to the length of time needed to rehab his own home, at an apple orchard anchored by a proud, upright 1750s Colonial being hand restored, bringing our heritage roots to life. Robert Leach embodies and embraces our proud past, enhancing its attractions to the world and its residents, especially our students, at large, who he has hosted there. We can say the same for our former SHPC director, Katie Law.

These thoughts are shared not to denigrate the fine personal qualities and efforts of these Smithfield citizen inductees, especially those memorialized, but to note some committee meeting observations. Congratulations on your many contributions of time, talents and treasure. Hall of Fame committee members expressed concern that nominees and inductees be selected on the basis of voluntary and not paid activities as town employees, and that is exactly what Robert Leach and Katie Law have done for our town and state, over many years of hard, diligent work. This committee also received scores of Providence Journal articles documenting all these years of selfless stewardship. Organizers state those recognized have brought credit and prominence to the town, contributing very significantly, to the history and heritage of Smithfield. From assisting historic homeowners in registering for and receiving plaques, in helping plan the move of a highway to protect and expand Greenville’s town green, saving historic landmarks from demolition and re-development, to the issuance of a Historic Inventory, all on “Personal Time” ... to all the Smithfield Historic Preservation’s past and current members, your fellow appreciative citizens hereby applaud and celebrate all you have accomplished, in quality of living and educationally.

Cynthia Mulvey