Showing posts with label Rev. Tim Higgins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rev. Tim Higgins. Show all posts

Friday, May 31, 2024

Public Safety Memorial a tribute to Windham first responders

By Ed Pierce

When Windham’s first responders and public safety members moved into their newly remodeled building on Gray Road in 2022, something was missing. Plans had been underway for several years to create and place a monument outside the building as a tribute to those who render assistance to the public when emergencies arise, put out fires, and keep residents safe 24 hours a day.

The new Windham Public Safety Memorial
was officially dedicated during a ceremony
on Memorial Day outside the Windham
Public Safety Building on Gray Road. The 
black granite monument honors current and 
past first responders, firefighters, police
officers, dispatchers, and emergency medical
technicians who have devoted their lives to
serving the town. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE    
Lengthy delays from the monument company prevented that from happening, but on Memorial Day, Windham’s Public Safety Memorial was unveiled and dedicated outside the facility. The monument recognizes the contributions that police officers and firefighters have made to the town through decades of service and is intended as a permanent way to say thanks to those who have served as a member of Windham Fire/Rescue, Police, Rescue Association, or as a dispatcher for the Town of Windham.

Surrounding the monument is a courtyard made up of benches to sit and reflect and special brick paver stones for families of first responders. The monument itself is black granite and stands 6 feet in height with white lettering and contains logos of the Windham Police and the Windham Fire/Rescue Departments, an eagle, and the American flag. Space is available on the monument to memorialize the names of police officers or firefighters should they perish in the line of duty in the future.

During the dedication event, Windham Police Chief Kevin Schofield and Windham Fire/Rescue Chief Brent Libby shared their thoughts about the monument.

“Today’s activities are the culmination of two to two-and-a-half years of work,” Schofield said. “This recognizes people in public service to the community, and it means a great deal to all of us.”

Schofield introduced Karen Lewsen, the wife of the late former Windham Police Chief Richard B. “Rick” Lewsen Jr., whom he replaced as top law enforcement officer for the town in 2015. A granite bench in the courtyard is dedicated to Chief Lewsen, who died in 2022.

“We are grateful for the work that Nancy Graves, Fire Rescue Coordinator for Windham Fire Rescue did on this and for all those who placed the paver stones and worked on this monument,” Schofield said.

Windham Fire/Rescue Chief Brent Libby said the goal of the project has been to salute current and past public safety members, volunteers, and call company members, and hundreds of individuals who have served through the years with the Windham Fire Department and the Windham Police Department.

“Our goal is to dedicate and unveil this monument as a tribute and remembrance,” Libby said. “The space on the monument is reserved for those who give the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, but it hasn’t happened, and we’re committed to keeping it that way.”

Libby also pointed out that another of the black granite benches in the courtyard is inscribed “Honor Valor Sacrifice” and he said that exemplifies the mindset of everyone who serves as a firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical technician in Windham.

“Those are core tenets that police and firefighters live by every day,” Libby said.

Rev. Tim Higgins of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church said he recognizes the courtyard and the new monument at the Windham Public Safety Building as a sacred and meaningful space.

“When you come to this space to be quiet and sit and remember those who came before us, it’s really like visiting a sacred space,” Higgins said. “Sacred space is critical in our community as it is holy.”

Higgins then offered a blessing to those to whom the new monument is dedicated.

“Bless them and bless their safety,” he said. “And bless the holy space.”

He then led those attending the monument dedication in reciting the Firefighters Prayer and the Police Prayer.

Additional paver stones are available for the Public Safety Building courtyard and may be purchased by calling Nancy Graves at 207-892-1911. <

Friday, April 1, 2022

St. Ann’s Episcopal Church springs forward with renewed optimism and sanctuary updates

St. Ann's Episcopal Church updated its 48-year-old sanctuary
with many vital renovations, giving the worship service 
space a much-needed lift. Member donations and volunteers
helped to make ther renewed sanctuary a success.
By Lorraine Glowczak

Parishioners at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, 40 Windham Center Road in Windham, experienced a restored sense of enthusiasm as they worshipped on Sunday, March 27 in a refreshed and updated 48-year-old sanctuary. The reasons for the renovations were often vital, especially in terms of the windows.

“The old windows let in so much air that you didn’t want to sit by them on a windy Christmas Eve service, or your candles would literally blow out,” Kim Wallace, parishioner and a member of the Renovation Committee, said.

Dan Wheeler, the chair of the Renovation Committee, said the Vestry started talking about the updates on the sanctuary in 2019. 

“But then – the pandemic brought it to a halt,” he said. “Eventually, we decided that COVID wouldn't stop us from proceeding forward, and we began the fundraising efforts in May 2021. We decided we would have faith and hope to make these changes happen despite the pandemic.”

By September 2021, the congregation had raised $51,000 through 56 personal donations while, at the same time, maintaining donations from the congregation for normal operating expenses.

“Obviously, our members had the resiliency to keep the vision of a renewed space alive,” said Church Rector, the Rev. Tim Higgins.

In October, contractors installed new Andersen Windows with new trim in the sanctuary and narthex. Soon after, other repairs and updates were completed that include: new doors and trim in the sanctuary, updated light fixtures, a fresh coat of paint in the narthex, sanctuary and alter, a new closet in the narthex, new carpet tiles in the narthex and altar as well as an updated indoor chapel – a space for personal prayer, meditation and the healing team. The indoor chapel will include a stone mosaic – custom made in Beirut, Lebanon.

During the renovations, one of the significant challenges included the high demand for contractors – and thus the lack of availability to complete projects. As a result, many contractors offered quotes that, according to Wheeler, were astronomically high.

“One painting contractor gave us a quote of $30,000 to paint our small sanctuary,” he said.

But not all contractors took advantage of the pandemic. 

“I wish to give a big thank you to Randy Perkins of Perks Peak Construction,” Wheeler said. “He was phenomenal. Not only did he charge us fairly, but he also made sure everything was done promptly and helped to oversee some of the other jobs. He made my job so much easier.”

Wheeler also stated that Pure Clean Company was a lifesaver after some major construction left the floors in ankle-deep dust. 

“The owners, Kayla and Cory Beaulieu restored the floors into pristine condition – better than it has been in ages,” he said.

Higgins added that the volunteer involvement has been extraordinary, stating he is humbled by their level of dedication to the church. He also said that he appreciated Wheeler’s leadership.

“Without Dan, this project would not have happened,” Higgins said. “It does take a team, and with Dan’s vision, persistence and resilience, he was a force that made renovations happen.”

But most importantly, Higgins was careful to recognize the most significant hand in the renovation efforts.

“This project was wrapped in prayer,” he said. “God has had his hands in this project from the get-go, including the fundraising, securing the windows in a timely fashion, the contractor, the professional cleaners and the volunteer efforts. God wants St. Ann’s to be around for a very long time and this is proven true again with this most recent renovation, thanks be to God.” <