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Living in Laconia these past 12 years has been a job. Thank you!

To The Daily Sun,

Almost 12 years ago my wife, Brenda, and I moved to Laconia from New Jersey when I accepted the position as senior pastor of the Congregational Church of Laconia, United Church of Christ. To be honest, it took a little bit of time to adjust from life in suburban New Jersey to our new home in the heart of the Lakes Region, but it was a change we were looking for and savored. Now, the time has come for another adjustment, that of retirement and the opportunity to move closer to our children and grandchildren.

As we leave Laconia, I want to express my deep appreciation to the members and friends of the Congregational Church of Laconia, United Church of Christ, who have made these last 12 years so wonderful.

Yet there are many others who need a word of thanks: the leadership of this city as well as the businessmen and women who have brought vitality and potential to the downtown; the dedicated city employees who teach, maintain our streets, provide order, safety and respond to emergencies; and yes, thanks to all the houses of worship and my colleagues in the Lakes Region Ministerial Association as well as the countless agencies and volunteers throughout our city who reach out by sharing their faith and time to make life better for others.

Living in Laconia has been a joy. My golden retriever, Reggie, and I will miss our morning walks along North Main Street but we trust that others will take our place and enjoy strolling the streets of Laconia as much as we have.

Thanks Laconia. It's been great.

The Rev. Dr. Warren H. Bouton

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Indian Island work is testament to Dean Mason's love of Meredith

To The Daily Sun,

When Chuck Thorndike, Jim Wallace, and I embarked upon the three-year journey to historically preserve Indian Island off Scenic Park in Meredith, we needed the help of many, many people. A vote at Town Meeting gave us the go-ahead and we were determined not to ask taxpayers for money to fund any part of the bronze replacement statue of Chief Chocorua or the rebuilding of the island itself.

We had numerous fund-raisers and generous donations to pay for the statue, but the island, with its crumbling stone wall, was eroding into the lake, held together by old cribwork beams from a past building. Had it not been for the vision, research, and hours of labor donated by Dean Mason and the crew on his barge and his other equipment, the island itself would never have been reconstructed to show the beautiful, creative, and sound display of stone, built to withstand future years of ice, waves, floods, and droughts.

The chief's statue is actually firmly attached to one of the biggest and most beautiful pieces of granite that I have ever seen, hand chosen and donated by Dean from his stone collection.

When I asked if that granite, because of its beauty, size, and value, could be left visible, Dean replied that it had to be buried because it had a square, flat look, and was not as natural in appearance as the island demanded. So, even though that gorgeous stone is under the ground with other magnificent, hand picked boulders on top of it for the chief to stand upon, Dean selflessly gave them all for the authenticity of the restoration. The amazing stone wall circling the island is phenomenal above and beneath the water, creating an elegance that is a testament to Dean Mason's love of Meredith. His thoughtful, generous hard work has resulted in a successful project, truly historic in everlasting beauty.

Rest in peace, Dean, and thank you again. Your many legacies will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Karen Sticht


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