Coll’s legacy shines on at church

  • Tyler McMahon of Revision Solar unloads a solar panel at the United Church of Jaffrey on Wednesday morning. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/12/2019 1:50:20 PM

He may be gone, but Archie Coll’s legacy at the United Church of Jaffrey will shine on as long as the sun does. 

 The longtime farmer was also a church trustee and 60-year member of the congregation.

“He really devoted all his spare time to doing things that improved the church in some way,” said Liz Littlefield of Jaffrey.

A year or so back, Coll drove by the Littlefields’ Nutting Road home, noticed a work crew installing solar panels, and got to talking with the laborers. Before long, he’d planted the seeds for a solar energy project at the church. 

Coll suffered a stroke in December and died shortly after the new year; the church’s annual meeting was just a week later. The church community doesn’t always agree on everything — “It’s like town meeting, except smaller,” Littlefield said — but the solar panel project was unanimously approved, paid for through donations in Coll’s memory to the solar panel fund and subsequent fundraising. 

“This project, in particular, feels very personal,” Littlefield said. 

The panels are being installed atop the Mildred Cutter Memorial Hall, home of the Friendly Meals, a Meals on Wheels dropoff spot,  community suppers and many other community events, which have seen an uptick since Saint Patrick School closed.

ReVision Energy began work installing the solar panels on Tuesday; the plan, Littlefield said, is to power the hall and then look at more ways to reduce their energy usage going forward. 

Coll’s absence is notable around the United Church of Jaffrey. The congregation finds itself trying to take care of all the little things he did quietly on his own, maintenance, carpentry, upkeep of the church buildings, an endless to-do list.

“He is sorely missed,” Littlefield said. “We are discovering now all the things he used to do that just got taken care of. We sometimes scratch our head – what would Archie do to solve this particular problem?”

He’s not here to help anymore, but thanks to the solar panel project, even something as simple as flipping on a light switch will mean Archie Coll is still lending a hand. 


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