Friday, July 16, 2010

Former Berwick Academy Headmaster Turns 100

Approximately 150 friends, family and former students gathered at the Commons at Berwick Academy on Thursday, July 8 to celebrate Mr. Stuart Chaplin’s 100th birthday.
Guests joined Mr. Chaplin for a luncheon and tours of the Academy’s buildings, given by Rachel Saliba, BA’s Archivist.
At the luncheon program, Jedd Whitlock, BA’s Director of Advancement, introduced each speaker beginning with Rev. Donna Muise of the First Parish Federated Church in South Berwick where Mr. Chaplin is a parishioner.
Following lunch, Greg Schneider, the Academy’s Head of School spoke about Mr. Chaplin’s positive affect on his students over the years, many of who were in attendance. Greg also thanked Mr. Chaplin for providing mentorship to him as head of the Academy, more than fifty years following Mr. Chaplin’s tenure, which began in 1950 and ended in 1956.
Greg also presented Mr. Chaplin with several letters containing birthday wishes from Maine’s Governor Baldacci and President and Michelle Obama.
Greg played a jazz selection on the saxophone before presenting Mr. Chaplin with a framed print of Fogg Memorial as well as a framed photograph of Mr. Chaplin, which will be hung in Fogg outside of his former office.
Other speakers included Sally Knowlton Carmichael, BA Class of 1954, who spoke about the close relationship between Mr. Chaplin and her class, evidenced by their monthly lunches at Fogarty’s restaurant in South Berwick. Sally also described the tribute to Mr. Chaplin from the Class of 1954, a granite bench inscribed with his name, which sits in front of the 1791 House on the Academy’s campus.
Mr. Chaplin spoke briefly but left the bulk of the speaking to his daughter, Kera Ashline. Kera thanked many of the guests by name, including neighbors, South Berwick Community Center volunteers, former high school students from Newport, Maine, as well as the BA Class of 1954. “People say it takes a village to raise a child,” Kera said. “It also takes a village to care for a senior citizen.” She mentioned how touched her father is by all of the people who care about him every day.
Additional musical performances included Joseph “Ducky” Scanlon who sang “God Bless America,” and BA faculty member Tim Platt accompanied by BA Business Manager Seth A. Hurd ’90 on the keyboard leading the BA school song “Long Live Berwick, Long Live BA!”
Photo caption: Berwick Academy Head of School Greg Schneider congratulates former Headmaster Stuart Chaplin at his 100th birthday celebration. (Courtesy photo)