Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

August 29, 2013

Banner a vivid symbol of community pride

There are several achievements to celebrate in Andover this week — the first of which is plainly visible to anyone who happens to visit downtown.

Nine years after Mark Spencer thought it would be nice to fly a banner in town to promote some of Andover’s most popular community events, the local businessman took his place on Main Street Tuesday morning just as the sun was starting to rise and watched as the end result of his dogged persistence was unveiled.

To say that Spencer fought an arduous battle to get the first of what he hopes are recurring banners hung downtown is an understatement. Let’s just say that so much time has passed since the approval of the town bylaw that had to be created to allow for the promotional banner to fly downtown that parts of the bylaw are no longer valid and must be updated.

At times, Spencer likely wondered why he was investing so much of his valuable time in a 30-foot-wide, 36-inch-tall banner when he had a company to run, a family to nurture and hobbies to enjoy. Yet, he continued plugging away at countless meetings and through numerous discussions and negotiations because he saw value in the strip of nylon that he tirelessly pursued.

Spencer is adamant about calling the banner initiative a group effort. But we’re fairly sure the blue and yellow banner now suspended between 1 and 8 Main St. to promote the Sept. 7 Andover Day celebration never would have been hoisted into place if it wasn’t for Spencer leading the charge.

Sure it’s just a banner. But it’s a symbol of one man’s pride for his community and a desire to promote its events and attractions for all to see. And for that, the town should toast Spencer, just as the Andover Business Community Association did with a round of champagne this week.

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