President’s Message

Fellow Rotarians:

Haverhill History Minute:

Last Wednesday afternoon I stopped by the new Harbor Place Residences for a Chamber After Hours reception and tour. A visit to the 5th floor rewarded me with a stunning view of that old river that has been part of every Hillie’s subconscious since the day we first swam, fished, crossed, cussed, navigated or otherwise observed it’s endless eastward flow to the Atlantic.

Way back when, the waterway served as a boundary between regional Indian tribes and was called Monomack from the words “mona” an island, and “auke” a place, meaning the island place. Other lore calls it “merruh” and ”auke” meaning place of strong currents. Whichever is accurate the Pennacook Tribe occupied these lands for generations and a local village once resided near the mouth of the Little River tributary. By 1640 pestilence had taken its toll and tribes from the area were long gone. But, Indians continued to hunt and fish here and laid claim to the place they called Pentucket, which in the native language meant “at the crooked river.”

When Ebenezer Eastman petitioned the town to erect a wharf to promote navigation and commerce in 1721, the river began its transformation as a commercial passageway to the Atlantic. Soon thereafter, the first shipyard, operated by Henry Springer, opened the way for the more than 129 vessels: brigs, sloops and schooners that were built here from 1742 to 1841.  The Merrimack became a gateway for commerce to and from Newburyport. Sloops and schooners carrying lumber and coal made daily stops at busy city wharves for more than 120 years.


Before the turn of the twentieth century Steamboats like the City of Haverhill ferried our local residents from Steamboat Landing to Black Rocks in Salisbury for many afternoons of summer splendor. The Haverhill Yacht Club was organized in 1874 and in the early days, when sail held sway, it participated in numerous regattas as it had a large fleet of wind powered vessels.  By 1908 the HYC opened a new three-story clubhouse at 101 Water Street and boasted a membership of one hundred and nine. By then the motorboat had come to the forefront, and there were as many as eighty motor craft on the river.

The Merrimack has had its ups and downs. It was a pristine salmon and sturgeon river before being polluted and dammed during the Industrial Revolution. During the heyday of the textile mills, the color of the Merrimack River changed daily depending on what materials were being dyed at the factories.

By the time I was growing up in the post WWII era the river was a brownish, smelly waterway that provided little recreation except for a few intrepid boaters who would venture to and from Newburyport. Local boys would hitchhike up Primrose Street to the Little River where the water was cleaner. The “pipes,” a swimming hole near the train trestle behind St. James Cemetery served as our summer waterpark until the older kids would arrive and chase us out.

Last week:

Rotarians observed a moment of silence in memory of Barbara McDermot our ever friendly, warm-hearted waitperson. Barbara passed away after a brief but undeniably courageous battle with ovarian cancer. May she rest in peace.

Monday was opening day at Fenway and Ira gave special blessings upon the Olde Town Nine who, as the Rabbi points out, remain undefeated after two games.

Megan led the Rotary chorus in a rousing rendition of that old Tin Pan Alley song “Take me out to the Ballgame” while Art donned his game jersey.

Presidential recognition was given Messrs. Faulkner, Sundell, and Korslund, noting that we don’t admit just any Tom, Dick and Harry into the Haverhill Rotary Club.

Paul Harris Fellows: Dale Rogers (+2) and Megan Shea (+1) were recognized as multiple recipients and were awarded the distinctive pins with sapphire jewels.


Eva reminded us that Ira’s Retirement Gala is scheduled for May 21st at the HCC.  Contact Nancy at Temple Emanu-El if you would like to attend.

Community Meals - April 24 at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome Street

Deliver your baked goods between 4:00 and 4:30 and roll up your sleeves: Sven Amirian, Rick Atwood, Buddy Baker, Bev Donovan, Allison Field, Ira Korinow, Harry Korslund, Matthew Martin, Frank Novak, Jean Poth, Dale Rogers, Nicole Sammartino, Dave Shaw, Evan Sideman, Jared Stewart, Dick Sundell, Chuck Traver, Art Veasey

Happy $$$

Art and Harry had travel $$$ to spend.

Nicole, Stacey, Melissa, Greg, Dale, and many more contributed Happy $$$ but since my personal stenographer Jim was missing I am devoid of details.

 Speaker: Claire Hailson, Director of Anchor of Hope Diaper Bank gave an interesting and eye-opening talk about the need to provide diapers among low-income families in our community. Claire has been addressing this silent crisis with her family and other dedicated volunteers since learning of the problem from clinicians and social workers eleven years ago.

Raffle: Our wait staff held the lucky ticket but left the burgeoning jackpot intact.

This week: Jason Petrou, CEO Beverage

Not just any Tom, Dick and Harry.


Officers & Directors

• President Arthur Veasey

• President Elect Stacey Bruzzese

• Past President Michel van Ravestyn

• Treasurer Bill Kleuber

• Assistant Treasurer Greg DiBurro

• Secretary Dick Sundell

• Sargent At Arms Buddy Baker

• Assistant Sergeant at Arms Greg DiBurro

• Membership Chair Michel van Ravestyn

• Foundation Chair Harry Korslund

• Programs/Speaker Chair Stacey Bruzzese

• Greeter Greg DiBurro

• Assistant Greeter

• Director Melissa Cerasuolo

• Director at Large Greg DiBurro

• Director at Large Greg Stark

• Director at Large Jean Poth