Tag Archives: Anne Salmond

Remembering Anne Salmond

Anne Salmond — a longtime Westporter — died Sunday in hospice care, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anne and her husband Willie spent over 30 years in Africa, from Ghana to Zimbabwe to Uganda, working in international development. But since 1981, Westport was always their base camp.

A psychiatric social worker, Anne had a special place in her heart for orphaned children. After graduating from Queen’s University in Northern Ireland, her home country, she worked in London and then Uganda at the height of the AIDS pandemic. A million Ugandan children were orphaned.

Anne was appointed orphans’ coordinator with World Learning. She organized Africa’s first Orphans Conference, bringing together experts from government and international NGOs.

In Uganda, Anne rehabilitated a school for the blind. She requested donations of braille story books. Quickly, huge boxes arrived by air.

In retirement Anne continued to support children’s education, with help from her daughter Heather and others.

Anne Salmond

Locally, Anne was an active member of Y’s Women, and a longtime member of Saugatuck Congregational Church. She volunteered with its missions board, and helped Pivot Ministries and Homes With Hope. She also served many meals at the Gillespie Center.

Anne supported Amnesty International, was an associate member of the Iona Community, and a member of the Daughters of the British Empire. She made many good friends through those groups.

She loved Compo Beach in all seasons.

A service for Anne will be held Saturday, November 9 (11 a.m., Saugatuck Congregational Church).

This Old Boiler

All around Westport, homeowners proudly display plaques bearing the dates their houses were built: 1884. 1720. 1683.

(Others, of course, proudly display the many gables and great rooms of the homes they’ve built to replace those historic ones. But that’s a different story.)

There’s a lot going on inside old homes too. Yesterday, Gault honored Westport’s oldest boiler.

It’s fitting. The company — recently renamed Gault Energy & Home Solutions —  is the oldest business in Westport. By several decades.

Gault was already 57 years old — just a little younger than Mitchells of Westport is now — in 1920, when workers installed a coal-fueled heating unit for the Abbott family.

The 96-year-old boiler in the Salmonds' basement.

The 96-year-old boiler in the Salmonds’ basement.

The Dutch colonial on St. John Place has been renovated several times since Woodrow Wilson was president. But the boiler was the same.

This week, company president Sam Gault presented homeowners Willie and Anne Salmond — a retired couple — with a state-of-the-art new one. It’s quite a 45th wedding anniversary gift: The value is $11,000 (including installation).

(And it came not a moment too soon. Sleet fell yesterday, on the coldest day of the fall.)

Sam Gault (right), president of Gault Energy & Home Solutions, delivered a new state-of-the-art Energy Kinetics System 2000 boiler to Willie and Anne Salmond.

Sam Gault (right), president of Gault Energy & Home Solutions, delivered a new state-of-the-art Energy Kinetics System 2000 boiler to Anne and Willie Salmond yesterday.

The Salmonds — who moved here in 1984, when Gault was just 121 years young — have an interesting story themselves. They raised 3 children in Westport, but also traveled extensively for work. Among other things, he served in Uganda with an HIV/AIDS prevention program, while she did foundation work in India.

Both are members of the Saugatuck Congregational Church. He’s recently taken on preaching assignments there, and at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Willie is from Scotland. Anne is from Northern Ireland. Both grew up in homes where heat was a luxury. In fact, coal was used in bedrooms only if someone was sick.

As a New England winter nears, the heat is welcome — especially since Anne has arthritis.

Gault's new logo (and name).

They thanked Gault for its generosity, noting that since retirement they wanted to spend their money on what Anne calls “things you can see. We ignored the old dinosaur in our basement.” Now, they’re inspired to take on other domestic  projects.

Here’s one final twist: The original owners of the Salmonds’ house — the Abbotts –are related to the Gaults through marriage.

How’s that for a heart-“warming” story?