The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 2, 2010


Carlisle’s 2010 Honored Citizens: Tim and Mary Hult

Tim and Mary Hult sit back for a ride in the parade on Old Home Day.
(Photo by Rik Pierce)

It is a great privilege to be before you today in our wonderful Town of Carlisle to make the presentation of the Most Honored Citizen Award. We are reminded that this award reads: “to those who have given of themselves unselfishly to make our lives richer and to make Carlisle a place we proudly call home.”

Each year our committee reviews many fine nominees and we have the perennial debate about whether we select an old timer, so to speak, someone who has long since retired from active public service, or an up and comer, someone still early actively serving, but not too early as to give that person any reason to rest on his or her laurels.

Well this year we have settled on a couple, both of whom have a substantial record of giving of themselves to their community, and both of whom in so many ways have reached the pinnacle of local public service, but from whom we all await and still expect so much more, not out of obligation, but because we know the very fabric of their lives here in Carlisle is about community service.

This couple stands for giving of themselves to their family, to their neighborhood, to their church, to their town government, to their schools and to so many other local institutions. But they even stand for so much more – going way beyond the borders of our peaceful enclave of Carlisle to support others in their state, throughout the country and around the globe.

...It is...fair to say that we, their neighbors and friends, those who have been inspired by their loving, caring and giving are better people because of the works of Tim and Mary Hult.

Tim, a colleague of mine on the Board of Selectmen, recently stepped down after...nine years of exemplary service to the board and to the town. His fingerprints are on so much of the fine work that has been accomplished in the past decade. He’s been a FinTeam member, served on various school building committees, chaired many subcommittees, including our most recent Long Term Financial Planning Group and the search committee that selected our new Town Administrator.

Tim ably chaired the Board of Selectmen for five years, wielding the gavel (although I’m not sure I ever saw him pick up the gavel) at well over 120 Selectmen’s meetings – at least a few with a little tension. Whether it was controversial or comical, Tim could always be counted on to be fair-minded, inclusive, knowledgeable and compassionate. All of us didn’t always agree, but we all knew and know that Tim’s goals, his passion, was to do what is best for Carlisle. Tim’s town government service also includes a stint on the School Committee in the early ’90s, a time of real financial volatility. Tim’s leadership skills helped navigate that committee and the town through the ordeal of a failed $600K override. The lessons he learned himself and taught others about the town and our schools are part of his and our legacy.

He has also served his church – The First Religious Society (FRS) – for many years in a variety of official capacities – the Parish Committee and Search Committees – and unofficial capacities – often being called upon to counsel people in sensitive or challenging circumstances. As his friends have said: “He has a real talent for getting people to change their minds or ways without making them feel bad. He takes the time to analyze a complex personality-driven situation (which is so much of life), and once he does, he is extremely effective at steering it toward a happy ending without getting anyone angry or resentful.”

He serves on boards, contributes liberally to his causes, builds relationships, leads effectively and laughs frequently. Now who would have expected so much from a man with a B.S. from MIT and an MBA from Harvard?

I hope I’ve left enough time for Mary, because after all that, one might think that someone had to be home raising children and taking care of the household. Certainly not! Mary’s contributions are equally impressive, albeit perhaps not as public . . . Mary’s involvement with the Carlisle Mosquito is well documented. She has served as the News Editor, as interim Feature Editor, on the CCI Board of Directors and has headed the Web Team since the Mosquito’s website was launched in 2001 . . . Her dedication and caring and levelheadedness have [always] been on display . . . [A colleague said] “Whether struggling through a time of town scandal or Town Meeting, Mary has always embodied for me that first line of Kipling’s poem If: ‘If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs . . .’ Working on a small-town newspaper, where every story involves your neighbors, it is rarely easy to steer a fair and true course. Mary has always shown the rare ability to temper objectivity with compassion. She is one of the fairest people I know. She would have made one heck of a judge.”

She also is a key participant at FRS, serving as Treasurer, . . . paying the bills and making certain [that] revenues support the Church’s various goals and missions. She has served with the Social Action Committee . . . which led to her increased involvement . . . in the Sharing Foundation, an organization committed to the betterment of orphaned and disadvantaged children in Cambodia and founded by former Carlisle pediatrician, Dr. Nancy Hendrie.

. . . Closer to home, . . . Tim and Mary have taken the time to become foster parents. They have found sharing their home and community with disadvantaged children another way to give back. Tim would occasionally show up at a Selectmen’s meeting like a proud father and say “we got another baby,” all the while some of us thinking “what do you mean ‘we’ – you’re here at a meeting and Mary’s home taking care of the baby.” Tim was quoted recently as saying “this [foster parenting] is one of the best things, of the many things, we have ever been able to do together.”

Well I think we would all agree, that although I’ve just scratched the surface of your accomplishments, you have both together and individually done so much to enrich our lives and the lives of so many others.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me again in congratulating our friends, our colleagues, great examples of community service near and far, Carlisle’s Most Honored Citizens: Tim and Mary Hult. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito