Bill Driscoll named Jaffrey Chamber’s Citizen of the Year

  • Bill Driscoll has been named the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.  Photo BY Frank Sterling

  • Bill Driscoll has been named the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.  Ledger-Transcript file photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 6:11PM

When Bill Driscoll retired about 26 years ago, he was “terrified” that there wouldn’t be enough things to do to stay busy.

Soon after retiring, however, Driscoll found his footing in Jaffrey. After years helping with the Jaffrey Historic District Commission, Jaffrey Historical Society, Jaffrey Civic Center, and other efforts in town, Driscoll has been named the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Citizen of the Year. 

“I’m astounded, delighted, and totally surprised,” said Driscoll, in an interview Wednesday morning, of the award. “Everything just kind of evolved when I retired… it all happened precipitously.”

Driscoll doesn’t remember the first thing he volunteered for, but admits that Jaffrey is the type of town that if you think about joining or helping out, you’ve already offered your services. 

“What’s unique about Jaffrey is if you are all willing, you will be welcomed in,” said Driscoll. “By the end of my first year here, I knew I wanted to stay.”

Driscoll will be honored formally on Feb. 16 during the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and member appreciation dinner. 

“He really gets his hands dirty… he’s definitely very active in the community,” said Max Mitchell, chair of the committee that picked Driscoll. “He works very hard and seriously, but he has a lot of fun and does it all with a smile.”

Mitchell said there were a number of quality candidates up for the annual award, but Driscoll stood out for his involvement with a number of town ventures related to history and children. In addition to holding leadership positions in a number of local organizations, Driscoll has “worked tirelessly” on the Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Quest program and has shared his knowledge of town history with many school children.

“He’s been involved with so many things, he really engages with the community,” said Mitchell. 

Driscoll said he never had much time for history when he was working in the public relations field in New York City, but he has fallen in love with Jaffrey’s history since his retirement. Driscoll said he is also enamored with the town meeting process. 

“I was rocked back by the democracy… it’s a unique way of governing,” said Driscoll.

Lee Sawyer, who said she has been friends with Driscoll for almost 15 years now, said Driscoll is “absolutely” deserving of the award.

“He’s a wealth of information,” said Sawyer, who met Driscoll through the Civic Center. “He’s a character, right down to his plaid pants. He’s loyal and has a big heart.”

Driscoll said he is going to continue to volunteer and help out in town for as long as he can, as he has come to realize that Jaffrey has become home. 

“No one has thrown me out yet,” said Driscoll, with a chuckle. “I find great joy in doing everything I do [for the town.]”