On Monday, September 16th, The Plymouth Harbor Foundation celebrated it’s MacNeil Society members with a private service in the MacNeil chapel and reception. Roughly 60 guests attended, including members of the Foundation’s board of trustees.

President and CEO Harry Hobson gave welcoming remarks followed by Rev. Dick Sparrow, Plymouth Harbor’s resident chaplain, who gave a moving sermon about John MacNeil’s vision through the lens of Field of Dreams and the hope that “If you build it, they will come”. Resident Dr. Fred Moffat was then called upon to present his paper entitled “Reflections on The Happy Warrior, The Rev. Dr. John Whitney MacNeil”. This included a historical timeline of events on the visions and works of John MacNeil, Jack Smith and architect Lou Schneider, to the delight of their wives, Judy, Peg and Fran respectively, who were all in attendance. It was The Rev. Dr. Jack Smith, a skilled poet, who once wrote a tribute to John MacNeil for his loving and inspirational leadership, referring to him as the Happy Warrior named after William Wordsworth’s epic poem. “Dr. Moffat’s talk was quite the homage to these men who each made indelible marks on Plymouth Harbor” stated Beth Watson, Vice President of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation.

Jay Price, Chair of the Foundation, called for a moment of silence in announcing those MacNeil Society members who passed on since the year prior, and then presented lapel pins to the new members of the society. The Rev. Dr. Wes Bixby brought the service to a conclusion with a benediction while Greg Chestnut served as organist. Guests were then treated to food and refreshments, courtesy of Chef René and his staff, including make-your-own strawberry shortcake – a tribute to John MacNeil’s favorite dessert. “We are continually grateful to have donors who believe in the mission and commitment to the vision that Dr. MacNeil started some six decades ago” stated Harry Hobson.

Members of the MacNeil Society are those individuals who have thoughtfully included a gift to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation through their estate. Their gift has been named through a will, gift annuity agreement, trust agreement, life insurance policy, or retirement plan. For more information or to become a member of the society, please contact Beth Watson in The Plymouth Harbor Foundation office at extension 398 or bethw@plymouthharbor.org