There’s a prominent flag flying over Wilton at the Veterans Memorial in the town center, but have you ever spotted the second flagpole in front of the Gazebo on the Town Green?
Gifted to the town by the Wilton Kiwanis Club, the flagpole was dedicated on Oct. 19, 1988, to Wilton resident George McKendry as he readied himself to retire to Dartmouth, MA.
McKendry, a longtime partner in the law firm of McKendry & Perry, embodied the spirit of community service for 36 years. He came to Wilton in the late 1940s and for many years was the only attorney in town, serving as town counsel during the late 50s and early 60s when the town only had six paid employees.
McKendry was one of the 43 founding and charter members of the Wilton Kiwanis Club and served as president and longtime member of the Board. During his time, McKendry and the Kiwanis Club were instrumental in the development of community recreational facilities, spearheading the drive to acquire the land for what ultimately became Kiwanis Park and the Wilton YMCA. As the sole trustee of the Ogden estate with funds “to be used for some community purpose,” he made sure Ogden House, the senior living facility in Wilton Center, became a reality.
Of that first flagpole dedication, the Club’s honoree said, “An awful lot of fuss for a little old guy like me.”
American Legion Post 86 Commander Bill Glass, who maintains the flag, noted recently that the flag itself was in need of replacement. The Kiwanis Club stepped up to purchase a new flag to continue to honor McKendry and its commitment to serving the community through volunteer service opportunities.