Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

September 6, 2012

Letter: Give Punchard his due with plaque of building

Editor, Townsman:

In a previous letter, I suggested recognition should be given to a school that became the Andover Town Offices building at 36 Bartlet St. It is an historic building meaning much more to Andover residents for 100 years as Punchard Free School, later called Punchard High. It was named for Benjamin Punchard, whose generous funds provided a free education to boys and girls until his gift was later supplemented by town funds.

Other residents of this town remember the former Stowe and Jackson schools, named for prominent Andoverites only to be lost to newer name schools from those who chose to ignore the people who preceded them. Fortunately, the current Sanborn Elementary School was named for a prominent educator at Punchard High.

I now propose that the town place a prominent plaque at the outside entrance honoring Benjamin Punchard, whose namesake street points directly to his building, to be funded by a recent financial windfall to the town. This could be done with funds provided by the town of Andover since it set a precedent contributing monies to a youth center after a stacked Town Meeting packed by its supporters. Who knows, Punchard High may make the U.S. Historic sites, as did the Benjamin Punchard home at 8 High St. in Andover.

Robert J. Stefani

332 South Main St.

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