A life in service to the public good
January 5, 2023: We mourn the tragic loss of our long-term friend, mentor, and volunteer at Norwich Historical Society, Roger Blake. Many of you may recognize Roger as the person who spent most of his summers working on the Historical Society fence. But, he gave so much more than that to NHS. He considered the Lewis House his second home. He cared for everything from the basement to the attic, touching up paint, repointing windows, checking on the property after storms, and so much more. He was instrumental in acquiring and restoring the town hearse, helped with the sheep-to-shawl program, and cared for the collections.
Roger lived a life truly dedicated to the public good. He cleared trails, helped all his neighbors, tended to the sick, mowed the Waterman Cemetery, maintained trails, kept the Hanover High crew team motorboats running, maintained boats along the river. It goes on and on.
Roger would say that when he saw something to be done, he just did it. He didn’t want a “thank you,” but he did wish others would follow his example. And, others in the community have done so. When he was recently told that a friend was “pulling a Roger” and headed out to the rail trail with a chainsaw to remove a tree, he had the biggest smile on his face.
Roger was truly a samaritan. He lived his life with deliberation and intention and took the time to notice the world around him, responding to needs wherever he saw them. It’s a quality for all of us to consider in our daily lives. We will be enriched because of it, and we will thus enrich the world as Roger did.
We will miss Roger deeply at here at the Historical Society.