Antrim Legion officer presented with certificate of merit

ANTRIM — Donald Paige was presented with a certificate of merit earlier this month for 40 years of continuous service as the American Legion Post 50’s adjutant.

Paige, a member a 46-year legion member, has served in an officer’s role longer than any current member, legion Commander Steve Roy said in a phone interview Monday.

Antrim American Legion Post 50 was founded in 1919, now working its way up toward its 100th anniversary, and is one of the original charter posts in the country. There are 75 members who represent Antrim’s post, but none who are currently serving an active role have done so longer than Paige has.

Paige has taken on other roles when needed, Roy noted, including managing the legion’s finances after the former finance manager went to an assisted living facility.

The role of adjutant is vital to the legion, Roy said. Paige manages memberships, deals with the Internal Revenue Service, and takes notes at monthly meetings. Paige also handles the heating and electrical bill payments.

“Don is a workhorse, and a stickler for details. That’s what you need,” Roy said.

Roy and the legion planned to present Paige with the certificate of merit at their meeting on Jan. 1. But because of the holiday, the meeting was canceled, and Paige’s award was pushed back to February. Roy said that Paige was a little embarrassed upon receiving the award because of his humble nature.

Paige could not be reached for comment by press time Monday.

Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell is an Antrim resident, and has been a member of the legion for 10 years serving as the public affairs director. He said in a phone interview Monday that when someone does something good, they deserve to be recognized. And no one deserves it more than Paige.

Paige retired from the military as a sergeant major, the highest listed rank, Roy said. He also spent some time working at the Monadnock Paper Mill.

The election for new post officers will be held on March 5. Barring another candidate, Roy said that Paige will likely be installed as adjutant once again.

“[Paige] keeps saying, ‘Maybe just one more year,’” Roy said. “Not a day goes by that he doesn’t do something for the legion.”

Roy recalled a Super Bowl Sunday several years ago when he and Paige volunteered to rake the legion’s roof after a snowstorm. He said he doesn’t care too much about football, and knew Don was heading out to clear the snow off the building, so he went and joined him. It was a classic Don moment, Roy said, as he was concerned about the weight of the snow caving in the roof.

“He’s just a great friend,” Roy said. “I’ve worked various projects with him, and we both were at the Paper Mill at the same time, but in different departments. We wanted to show him that he’s very appreciated for all he does.”

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