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Legislators honor 50 years of service to Westfield

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by Joseph Gresser

WESTFIELD—State Representative Brian Smith, who hails from Derby, said he got the idea of honoring Westfield Select Board Chair Yves Daigle for his years of service from his father, former State Senator Kermit Smith, himself a longtime public servant.

On Tuesday, Mr. Smith said his father spoke with him from Ohio early this year.

“He keeps up with the Daigles, and mentioned, ‘You should do something for Yves,’ he’s been on the select board for 50 years,” he said.

Mr. Smith said he talked with Mark Higley, who represents Westfield in the House.  Representative Higley said he had been thinking the same thing.

Together they worked on a joint resolution and saw it through to passage.

Although the Legislature’s actions are public, Mr. Smith said Mr. Daigle remained unaware of their actions.

At least he did until July 29 when a delegation, including Mr. Higley, Mr. Smith, and State Senators Robert Starr of North Troy and Russ Ingalls of Newport showed up on his doorstep.

Mr. Higley presented a framed copy of the resolution, which hailed Mr. Daigle for being “perhaps Vermont’s longest-serving select board member.”

The resolution says Mr. Daigle was first elected to the position in 1971 and reelected this March for another three-year term.

Mr. Daigle, the resolution says, first stepped up to serve Westfield 64 years ago when he became a library trustee.

Mr. Smith said he told Mr. Daigle he, too, has been on his town’s select board for a spell—20 years.

“He looked at me and said, ‘Your belly button’s a little wet isn’t it?  Mine’s all dry,” Mr. Smith recalled.

Mr. Higley sat on Mr. Daigle’s couch with him and read the resolution aloud, Mr. Smith said.  He claimed to have detected some moisture in Mr. Daigle’s eye as he received the honor.

“It was one of the funnest things I’ve done since I’ve been in the General Assembly,” Mr. Smith confessed.

He went on to explain his father’s interest in the Daigle family.  Back in the day, when the elder Mr. Smith was selling life insurance, he stopped by the store run by Mr. Daigle’s father.

The older Mr. Daigle told Kermit Smith he wished to buy 12 life insurance policies, one for each of his children.

Mr. Smith said his father remembered that as a very good day.

 

Yves Daigle, center, holds the resolution honoring him passed by the Vermont Legislature and delivered by, left to right, Representative Brian Smith, Representative Mark Higley, Senator Robert Starr, and Senator Russ Ingalls.

Photo by Kelli Starr

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