Your neighbors, your news, your town. Get informed, get involved.

Town Celebrates Its Living Treasures

April 4, 2024
Time to read:
Town Celebrates Its Living Treasures

The town is celebrating three dedicated volunteers with the traditional Pasta Festa Supper on Thursday, June 15 in the High Plains Community Center gym.  The three Living Treasure Award recipients are Betty Hadlock, Rowland Hine and Maureen White.

The annual Pasta Festa is organized by the Orange Community Services Department.  Tickets are $25 per person, but by mid-May only few tickets were left.  This is also the first time that the event is being held at High Plains, a smaller event place.

Betty Hadlock

Betty Hadlock, a member of the Orange Board of Education, has been described as having the same energy level as the Energizer Bunny.  “Frankly, we think such a description gives the bunny too much credit,” said the organizers in a brief write-up about each of the award recipients.

After retiring ten years ago from a very successful and joyful teaching career in Region 13 (Middlefield/Durham), Hadlock joined the Orange Historical Society (OHS), and soon became a member of the society’s Board of Directors, a position she continues to hold.  She has participated in a wide variety of OHS activities, including working at the Orange Country Fair, assisting at hearth-cooked meals, coordinating communications between the Garden Club of Orange and the Historical Society, and frequently working at the Academy Building on Saturdays.

As a member of the Garden Club, Hadlock helps with the planting and weeding of the flower beds at the town Green, and helps maintain the herb garden at the Stone-Otis House.  During the holidays season, she helps decorate a room at the Frances Kellogg estate in Osbornedale State Park and here in Orange, she helps decorate the Case Memorial Library.  She helps organize the Garden Club’s tent at the Country Fair and the annual May Market.  She currently serves as the recording secretary of the Garden Club and recently became the Club’s incoming vice president.

Betty Hadlock also is a long-time member of the Orange Lions Club.  For several years, she co-chaired the Lions’ biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual spring wine tasting.

She has developed and chaired the vision screening program for preschoolers and elementary school children in Orange.  She spends countless hours each year coordinating and actively participating in the children’s eye screenings.  Each year, several dozen children in Orange are identified as needing follow-up care from an eye doctor thanks to the Lions’ youth eye screenings.  More than 800 youths are screened annually by the Orange Lions.

Betty has served as an elected member of the Orange Board of Education since 2015.  Now in her second four-year term on the Board, she chairs the Policy, Personnel & Transportation Committee, and is vice chair of the Curriculum Committee.  She plans to run for re-election this November.  In addition, she is an active member of the Orange Democratic Town Committee.

Rowland A. Hine

Rowland Hine, a lifelong resident of Orange, former selectman and highway superintendent, is deeply enmeshed with all aspects of the town’s civic life for the past 80 plus years.

A staff sergeant of the CT National Guard, he followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps by serving on the Board of Selectman for ten years.  His grandfather, Walter, served as first selectman from 1925-1945 and his father, Arnold Hine, served as first selectman from 1947-1961.

He was an active member of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for 34 years and is still involved as a non-active, retired member.  Rowland chaired the Annual Carnival Committee which still today is the Volunteer Fire Department’s largest fundraiser.

As a founding co-member of the Orange Agricultural Fair in 1975, Rowland played a significant role in building this popular town event that is still hosting and entertaining thousands of residents and visitors each year.  His legacy is being carried on through some of his children and grandchildren.

Rowland Hine was a 50-year member of the Little Wheel Shriners.  He participated and entertained in many parades to raise funds for the Shriners Hospital.  He was also a Freemember of Mason’s for 55 years.  Freemasonry is the oldest fraternal organization in the world.  A Mason is taught to be a good citizen, to be of good character, to care for those less fortunate, and to give back to the community.

Rowland is very proud to have been involved in the Rotary Club of Orange where he worked faithfully to raise funds for more than 40 years.  He volunteered at the annual lobster bake and Mother’s Day rose sale.  The Rotary Club of Orange annually provides more than $30,000 to area charities and organizations every year.

He was always deeply involved in the Orange Historical Society to ensure the history of his cherished life-long roots were preserved and remembered.  He attended regular monthly meetings for decades and also donated many articles for the museum.

He was a self-employed local business owner, and was running the town’s Highway Department for a period.

His ancestors arrived in New Haven, CT in 1639 on the John Davenport ship which qualifies him to be a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  NSSAR or SAR was founded in 1889 and is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and promoting education to future generations.

“As you can see, there has never been a prouder, more devoted, and committed resident for any town than Rowland Arnold Hine is to the Town of Orange,” the organizers wrote.

Maureen White

Maureen White built her connections in Orange through volunteering at Holy Infant Church.

She and her husband Jim, and their four children moved to Orange in the fall of 1982.  This was their first move where the Army hadn’t chosen where they would live!

She quickly made friends though the congregation at Holy Infant Church and this began a series of volunteer activities.  She became a member of the Women’s Guild, which led to a position on the Parish Council, and then to becoming a Trustee.

As a member of FISH, Maureen and two friends delivered emergency food to individuals in the greater New Haven area.  For almost 20 years she ran a Christmas party with the CCD children of Holy Infant and the children of St. Peter’s School in New Haven.  She currently serves as membership co-chair of the Women’s Guild and is a participant of the Prayer Shawl ministry.

One of the first friends Maureen made in Orange introduced her to the Friends of the Library, and it has become her passion ever since.  Once a week, year-round she can be found in the Case Memorial Library basement, sorting donated books to be offered for resale to the community and beyond.  The proceeds are spent on Case Library educational and entertainment programs for children and adults.

She has held every office within the Friends.  As president of the organization, she initiated the Library Holiday decorations, and she also began the Murder Mystery community participation event.  She coordinates the Friends’ table at the Orange Country Fair.  She also began a joint endeavor involving the Friends of the Library, Orange Food2Kids, and Orange Community Services.

During the holidays, The Friends invite residents to trim a tree with donated mittens, hats, gloves, and scarves for local children in need.  The gifts are then distributed through Community Services.

Maureen is also an appointed member of the Library Commission and acts as its corresponding secretary.  As the liaison, she keeps the Commission members informed of the Friends’ activities.

“Maureen is truly a living treasure in Orange,” said the press release.

Tickets for the event can be reserved through Community Services at (203) 891-4788.

Related articles