By Janice Elizabeth Berte, Contributing Writer
There’s a special award given at the Hingham Senior Center called the Earl Dare Mable Award. This award is in memory of Mable, who was a dedicated volunteer for the Department of Elder Services. According to the center’s officials, Mable selflessly organized the food distribution program, assisted with the monthly newsletter, served as a board member and helped to make the senior center a more welcoming place for those who entered. After his passing, his family established an award which is given out annually to a person who demonstrates Earl’s enthusiasm and essence of volunteerism.
After retiring in 2010, Margaret Taylor decided to check out the Hingham Senior Center. She said she was a little reluctant to do so at first due to the fact that she didn’t “consider herself old in the traditional sense and didn’t know what to expect.” But after attending several exercise classes per week, she became very comfortable interacting with the other members and then decided to volunteer there. One of the things she noticed, she said, was that those who visited the center, who ranged from age 60 to 90+ and represented all ethnicities, shapes, and abilities, brought a lot of wisdom and positive change to the center.
As a member, Taylor got more involved at the Senior Center and became one of the founding members of the Discovery program, which allows seniors to continue learning in an environment close to home. The courses can range from single lectures to six-week courses ranging from world and local history, music, religion, science, poetry, art, books/authors, historical tours and much more.
Taylor served as the program’s first chair and secretary. She worked tirelessly with an enthusiastic committee to create exciting and educational classes. After five years, these classes have increased in popularity and attract many seniors in their 60s to those in their 90s. The committee continues to grow and expand its offerings with classes in the spring and fall.
Taylor also got involved with improving the center’s front garden. Her love of gardening started at a young age watching her parents garden with such passion. After many days of attentive gardening, administrators from other town offices noticed her work and asked Taylor to continue her labor of love to improving the garden on the side entrance of the Town Hall. She happily obliged and continued making beautiful landscapes throughout the town of Hingham.
“Receiving the Earl Dare Mable award was humbling and I am just one of the many volunteers at the center who give selflessly of themselves every day,” she noted.