The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit included poetry and history tributes to Hope Moody Shelley of Wells, and Richard W. Perkins of Ogunquit. Joined by family and friends, this accomplished pair was celebrated for their impact on the community and towns. SUBMITTED PHOTO

WELLS — On Oct. 2, the Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit brought the community together to honor two outstanding citizens of each town, Hope Moody Shelley, Wells Volunteer of the Year, and Richard W. Perkins, Poet Laureate of Ogunquit.

The organization opened its doors for their Annual Meeting with the program “A Celebration of Poetry & History.”

Eight “readers” including one for each decade, of Perkins’ 88 years, selected a favorite from a list of more than 1,000 odes.

Each recitation brought audience approval with applause and bursts of laughter on subjects such as fall, turkey, Thanksgiving, vodka, his restaurants, and his dear friends, including the late Isabel Lewando. It was like a history lesson of the town and its characters brought to life.

For many years, members of the Historical Society have enjoyed, and continue to look forward to, Richard Perkins’ contributions to their quarterly newsletter. His ode to the historic 1862 Meetinghouse, the headquarters of the Historical Society, is on view for their visitors to enjoy.

Hope Shelley received a standing ovation, as well as a tribute from historian Joseph Hardy.

From behind a stack of history books written and edited by Shelley, “My Name is Wells, I am the Town,” and the hefty “Vital Records of Wells from 1619-1950″ and more, Hardy’s tribute was heartfelt and revealed the depth of his gratitude for her many years of research.

He read aloud from passages, including this, “I was born on July 4 and 5, 1653, and my birth certificate is my incorporation papers. The bloodlines of the oppressed world run in my veins because I offered opportunity. I am the town.”

Hope Shelly is responsible for the Meetinghouse being listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Irene Crocker, chair of the Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit Board of Directors, said she was glad to have participated in the event.

“The annual meeting is a great chance for our friends and members to enjoy our beautiful Meetinghouse and find out what we’ve been doing over the past year,” Crocker said.

She presented the highlights from 2018, and remarked how this evening is one of them.

The Meetinghouse Museum collection of artifacts from local families, fishermen, farms and businesses are on exhibit to tell the story of Wells and Ogunquit which began as one town.

For the month of October, the exhibition spaces will undergo a refreshing with newly painted walls and label designs. The community will soon be invited to special events and programs when the new space is revealed.

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