SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 18, 2013

Our view: Cheers, jeers for local newsmakers

CHEERS to Joanne Holbrook Patton and the Patton family, who for generations have given so much to their hometown of Hamilton, the North Shore and the country.

More than 400 people — friends, family and civic leaders — crowded into the Danversport Yacht Club Wednesday night to see the Pattons and their matriarch honored by the Essex National Heritage Commission with the 2013 Essex Heritage Hero Award.

“They are true heroes to those who care about this region and beyond,” said Annie Harris, the Heritage Commission’s executive director.

The Heritage Commission spent the better part of a page outlining the Pattons’ contribution to the region in the event program:

“Since arriving at Green Meadows Farm in South Hamilton in 1928, the Patton family has created a legacy of public service and preserving the natural and cultural resources of Essex County. In 1980, Green Meadows became the permanent home of Joanne Patton and her family when her husband, Major Gen. George S. Patton, retired from his military career, and she immediately immersed herself in community service. From the Red Cross to the North Shore Association for Volunteerism to Operation Troop Support, the list of nonprofit organizations that have benefited from Joanne Patton’s dedication is long and diverse. Upon her husband’s death in 2004, she became overseer of Green Meadows Farm, sustaining her husband’s agricultural legacy and providing educational programs to encourage futire generations to appreciate and preserve farming.”

The Patton family also recently donated its 27-acre property and 18th-century homestead to the town of Hamilton.

Wednesday night’s affair was a happy one, with the feel of a reunion, and speakers frequently had to speak over the chatter. The one moment when everyone fell silent and listened — you could hear the proverbial pin drop — was when Joanne Patton rose to speak to the crowd, surrounded by children and grandchildren.

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