Library dedications

DeBaggis Library Dedication

Virtue may be its own reward, but we believe that virtuosity deserves some concrete and tangible form of recognition.  And that is why we gather here today — to recognize Vinnie DeBaggis.  From the time of the laurel wreath awarded by the ancient Greeks, we recognized that in every field of endeavor, some people are outstanding in that particular work, and some people are outstanding simply as people.  Vinnie DeBaggis is honored here today because he is simply one of those outstanding people and it is for that reason that this cherished library in the school is dedicated in his name.

A library represents one of the most cherished gifts we pass on to future generations.  As some have said, a library holds the legacies that genius leads to mankind.  Oliver Wendell Holmes said that old books are books of the world’s youth, and new books are fruits of its age.  John Adams reminded us that quote you never alone with the poet in your pocket,” a clear reference to the importance of the written word.

It is only fitting that we recognize one of our neighbors Vinny DeBaggis with the honor of naming the home for these books after him.  His dedicated service to the Franklin community set the standards ambulate.  He has dedicated himself to the school department as an employee, parent and volunteer.  In each endeavor, is off his wisdom, hard work, and dedication.  And it is with that in mind that I wanted to thank him on behalf of of the Franklin school committee and welcome you all to the new Vincent DeBaggis library.

And it is further fiting that this ceremony is conducted on May 4.  Horace Mann, the father of American public education, was born on May 4, 1796 in Franklin, Massachusetts. Although his family was poor, he taught himself to read and write by going to the town library.  Now a new library, named after Vinnie DeBaggis will be the foundation for learning for generations to come.

I wanted to get Vinny gifts and I thought long and hard but what would be most appropriate.  The only answer of course was a book.  While trolling the shelves of the bookstore, I came across a volume entitled Helen and teacher which details the remarkable lives of the women for whom this school is named.  Vinny, you will be forever associated with these remarkable symbols so I would like to offer you this book as a token of our appreciation.

Colace/Rabaioli Library Dedication

We are all influenced by books, sometimes unwittingly.  Did you know that every time you vow not to budge an inch or claim to be in a pickle or say someone is tongue tied you are quoting Shakespeare?  Did you know that every time you vow to turn over a new leaf or affirm that honesty is the best policy, you are quoting Cervantes.  If you say, “Every dog has his day” or “Mum’s the word,” you are quoting Don Quixote? And it was Cervantes in Don Quixote who first observed that “birds of a feather flock together,” that a “closed mouth catches no flies” and that “honesty’s the best policy.”

These words become a part of us.  What others have written and said is more the heart of who we are and the way we are than many of us could imagine.  And we house these ideals in the books in our nation’s libraries.  And we look to them because as Barbara Tuchman observed: “Books are the carriers of civilization.  Without books history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.”

A library represents one of the most cherished gifts we pass on to future generations.  A library is a place where history comes to life.  It is more than just a place to go for facts. A library is also a place to go for wisdom.  And the purpose of an educational institution is to teach not only knowledge, but also  wisdom.  And through the doors of this library, you can capture the whole world.

It is only fitting that today we recognize two of our neighbors Edward Colace and Edward Rabaioli (Ed and Eddie) with the honor of naming this home for these ideas and books after them.  Their wisdom and dedicated service to Franklin has set the standard for emulation.  Both men dedicated themselves to the community and schools.  Mr. Colace was a member of the United States Signal Corps, a middle school teacher, a Principal in this building (32 years as an educator in Franklin), a member of the building committee for this facility and the Keller-Sullivan School on the other side of Town.  As for Mr. Rabaioli, Mr. Colace noted in his nominating letter that Edward Rabaioli was a dedicated educator who touched the lives of thousands of young people, teachers and adults in Franklin.  Before his retirement in 1979, Mr. Rabaioli was a Principal at Theron  Metcalf School, Davis Thayer Junior High, Oak Street Elementary, and Horace Mann Middle School.  More importantly, at Horace Mann, Ed and Eddie worked together, and today it is fitting that they are reunited again in this space as co-honorees.

In each endeavor, Mr. Colace and Mr. Rabaioli offered their wisdom, hard work, and commitment.  With this facility named in their honor, they will continue to do so.  And it is with that in mind that I want to thank Mr. Colace and the family of Mr. Rabaioli, on behalf of the Franklin School Committee, and welcome you all to the new Colace/Rabaioli Library.

We have gifts for each of you – books of course.  For the Rabaioli family, the book In Search of America.  The book explores the basic ideals that continue to drive and define the American character, many traits exhibited by Mr. Rabaioli.  For Mr. Colace, the biography of John Adams – the man who reminded us to always carry books with us because “you’re never alone with a poet in your pocket.”  Thank you for the contributions you have made, please treasure this honor, and enjoy these words.

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