Manning’s service honored
The 2013 Johnson Award goes to former state representative
Joseph Manning, left, admires his new Simon Pearce bowl — a gift from the Jaffrey Civic Center — with his old friend Bill Driscoll on Wednesday night. The Civic Center honored Manning with the Third Annual Marion Mack Johnson Award for his years of civic leadership in Jaffrey. Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »
JAFFREY — State representative. Firefighter. Meals on Wheels volunteer. Zoning Board member. These are just a few of the roles Joe P. Manning has played in the town of Jaffrey over the years. And Wednesday evening, the Jaffrey Civic Center honored Manning with the Third Annual Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award.
Wednesday evening, the Civic Center hosted an awards ceremony and reception in Manning’s honor. Manning’s community service goes above and beyond his service as a Jaffrey Civic Center Board member, and a continuing incorporator for the Center.
The Marion Mack Johnson Civic Leadership Award was established three years ago to honor civic leaders in the Jaffrey community. The first award was given in the spring of 2011 to Marc Tieger of Jaffrey.
Civic Center Executive Director Dion Owen said the Civic Center, which opened its doors in 1966, honors local individuals in the spirit of Marion Mack Johnson because the endowment and the establishment of the Center’s building was all thanks to her and her vision of a building for activities of cultural and historical nature.
“What this building stands for and what it was built for is a lot,” Owen said Wednesday at the ceremony. “There are so many dedicated, selfless people in this area. We have a lot of people we can’t wait to honor, but we couldn’t wait to honor Joe.”
According to an old friend of Manning’s and the 2012 recipient of the Johnson Award, Bill Driscoll, the Manning, 86, served in World War II as a Navy Ceebee doing construction in the Pacific, before his move to Jaffrey in the early ’50s. Driscoll also said Manning served with many town committees and organizations, including the Jaffrey Historical Society, Budget Committee, Board of Adjustment, Jaffrey Rotary, Jaffrey Civic Center, Chamber of Commerce and the Jaffrey Development Authority. Driscoll also mentioned Manning’s involvement the Meals on Wheels program, and his plowing around the Civic Center every snowstorm.
Driscoll said this award is an affirmation of all Manning has done. “I hope this can open the eyes of the younger community members, so they can see how much influence he had in the community that extended statewide,” Driscoll said.
Along with the Johnson Award presented by the Civic Center, several other community members and friends presented him with four other citations from New Hampshire government officials. Manning received a declaration from the Speaker for the N.H. House of Representatives, Terie Norelli, recognizing Manning’s many community service efforts and extending the House’s sincere congratulations. He also received a citation from Gov. Maggie Hassan, in which she extends her best wishes and congratulations to Manning for his community contributions.
Another citation came from the Executive Councilor of District 5 of N.H., Debora Pignatelli, who offered her appreciation for all the effort Manning expended for many years for his community and the state. The final citation came from the N.H. Senate, signed by Senator Peggy Gilmour of District 16.
A longtime friend of Manning and the recipient of the 2011 Johnson Award, Marc Tieger of Jaffrey, said Manning demonstrated an unwavering commitment to service. “His selfless contributions have rightfully earned him this recognition,” Tieger said, as he presented one of the citations.
At the end of the presentation, Owen along with Johnson’s great-granddaughter, Amelia Johnson, 10, of Jaffrey, presented Manning with a Simon Pearce glass bowl, with the engraving, “Mary Mack Johnson, Civic Leadership Award, Joseph P. Manning, 2013.”
After the presentation, Manning spoke about how different growing up in Boston was compared to the community he found when he moved to Jaffrey. “The town of Jaffrey embraced me as much as I embraced it,” Manning said. “Where I grew up, there was no interaction between adults, and no organizations for adults to talk and get to know each other. But when I moved here, not only did everybody know everybody, half of them were related!”
Manning continued to talk about what a special community Jaffrey is. He recalled a conversation he had many years ago with Delcie Bean, founder of D.D. Bean and Sons, a company that produces paper book matches in Jaffrey. Manning said that Bean at the time wasn’t feeling too confident in his business, and Manning was planning to working for Bean back then. Manning said he recalled saying at the time, “If this business goes, I’ll pump gas if I have to, to stay in this town.”