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Allen Raymond: He Gets Things Done

For Monday’s “06880” post, I asked the 4 candidates currently running for 1st selectman to name 5 Westporters they admire.

Three included Allen Raymond.

Allen Raymond, circa 1963.

That’s a no-brainer. The 90-year-old former publisher (and town historian) has not just lived on Compo Cove since 1922. He’s served on more boards, advised more town leaders, brokered more good and smart deals, and contributed more to every facet of life — educational, recreational, spiritual — than anyone since the Bedfords.

And they were an entire family.

But it’s not just the 1st selectman candidates and me who revere Allen Raymond. Here’s an email I got from another admirer:

“I noted the frequent mention of Allen Raymond as a person the selectman candidates would ask for guidance.

“Why?

“Certainly, Allen has been a successful figure in town for many years. He is generous with both his time and his money. He has sat on almost every guiding committee we have, from church to Y to kitchen cabinet.

“He has already been honored by many organizations – including the Y’s renaming of Sunny Lane to Allen Raymond Lane.

Allen Raymond: The man, and his sign.

“One more honor is coming up. On Wednesday, June 5 the Westport Rotary honors him at their annual Golf and Tennis Fundraiser at Longshore.

“But I think the real reason that people want to speak to him is because they want to know how he and others managed to get things done. How to get the purchase of Longshore done – without lawsuits and squabbling.

“How to get organizations like the Westport Historical Society and Earthplace to be sustainable, contributing, active town resources.  How to draw people into a church to celebrate its history, as well as its present contributions and mission.

“I think the Rotary honor is a good reason for potential politicians, as well as friends and neighbors, to come together one more time to ask for Allen’s advice, and celebrate his ability to get things done.

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