By Bob Curtis
What does the word quasquicentennial mean to you?
Well to residents of the Village of Monroe, it means “Happy Anniversary” this year, the 125th.
As noted in the Town of Monroe website by Historian James Nelson, “The Village of Monroe was established from a small farming community after a disastrous fire destroyed nearly all the buildings at the heart of the settlement. The village and its boundaries were created in 1894 as a result of the need to establish a volunteer fire district to avoid such future calamities.”
On this past Saturday, Aug. 3, under cloudy, threatening skies, dignitaries from across Orange County and local residents gathered in front of Monroe’s Village Hall to celebrate the Quasquicentennial Anniversary of the Village of Monroe.
Village Mayor Neil Dwyer officiated as a number of elected officials as well as representatives of other state and local municipalities participated in the commemorative 125th anniversary ceremony.
According to Village Trustee Dorey Houle, who was directly involved with the preparations for the ceremony, the Quasquicentennial committee had been meeting since November 2018 to plan a variety of events celebrating the Village’s 125th anniversary.
“We started planning this event in June,” noted Houle with regard to Saturday’s formal commemorative event.
While not all invitees were able to attend, during the proceedings, Dwyer accepted certificates of recognition, merit and official proclamations honoring the occasion from several invited guests or their representatives, including State Sen. James Skoufis, Assemblyman Karl A. Brabenec, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt and Orange County Legislator Peter Tuohy.
“Our community has a rich and strong history, and it is without measure the reason we have this beautiful village we call home,” Dwyer said. “We have an incredible opportunity today to do so much, and as Mayor, along with our Board of Trustees, we are obligated as our predecessors were to do the work of the people. That is an awesome responsibility, and one we do with respect and diligence. It remains, for me, the guiding light as to the reason we serve.”
To conclude the formal ceremony, the Rev. Wendy Paige, pastor of Central Valley Methodist Church, sang a spirited rendition of “God Bless America,” which met with rousing applause.
Then, the entire assemblage moved into the Village Hall to share in Quasquicentennial anniversary cake and refreshments.
“We have an incredible opportunity today to do so much, and as Mayor, along with our Board of Trustees, we are obligated as our predecessors were to do the work of the people. That is an awesome responsibility, and one we do with respect and diligence. It remains, for me, the guiding light as to the reason we serve.”
Village Village of Monroe Mayor Neil Dwyer