One of our most outstanding Rotarians recently retired from Rotary. Harry W. Mumford served our community as a member of the Rotary Club of the Abingtons for 40 years. On June 1, he sent a letter to the board, declaring his official retirement. The board of directors immediately responded that it would not entirely accept his resignation but rather provide him with an honorary membership for as long as he wished.
Mumford was an outstanding president in 1982 and 1983 and, in his 40-year membership, he continuously served our community. You may be someone who visits our Little Free Libraries to exchange books. Both of those tiny reading establishments were built by Harry Mumford. In 2014, he took architectural plans from Nelson Connell and built out first Little Free Library in his basement wood shop. He gathered the wood he used from a library 200 miles away, carefully redesigning old library book shelves that had served the community of Long Island, and built that tiny book house. That library, #17238 on the world map of Little Libraries, is located on Depot Street and proudly stands outside the Pocket Park. If you open the tiny door and smell inside, you will be greeted by the scent of old cedar wood from Long Island. Harry was at the Pocket Park in June 2015 when the yellow ribbon was cut and the first book, the Bible, was placed inside.
With the success of the first little library, Clarks Summit Mayor Johnson asked Harry to build another little free library to go into the Memorial Park, just out of town. The mayor requested a patriotic theme be the focus of the second library. Harry worked with architect Nelson Connell again, and now you can visit the park right alongside of Routes 6 and 11 and see #53588 of Little Free Libraries.
For many years, Harry with his wife Julia welcomed new people into our club, teaching new members the principles of Rotary in their Waverly home at fireside chats. They also offered their home to three different exchange students, who came from far off places to learn about life in our community. Harry was an active member of the Thespian Rotary Club, singing and acting in many local Rotary plays. Julia helped with play production, making props and costumes. Harry has cleaned the highway and been a collector of funds for the Salvation Army for years.
We have had many loyal people who came to Rotary when they were young and stayed to make our local community better. Mary Tutill served as secretary for many years and now has moved to be closer to her family. Gene Little, a distinguished electrical engineer, served in so many ways and recently retired from active Rotary membership. We have been blessed with many loyal and accomplished people who joined Rotary to help and did so with light hearts. We wish Harry happiness in his future endeavors.
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