WILLIAMSTOWN -- A large crowd gathered at the Williams Inn Tuesday afternoon to honor Henry Flynt Jr. with an award for his 60 years of service to the community.
Flynt, 91, received the award from the Rotary Club of Williamstown President Anne Skinner and Rotary District Governor Eileen Rau.
"It's an honor and a pleasure to present an award on behalf of the club with gratitude for all that he has done," Skinner said. "Not only for the club, but also for the community."
Flynt attended the luncheon at the Williams Inn with his wife, Mary, with whom he has four children.
A 1944 graduate of Williams College with a degree in political science, Flynt would go on to serve as associate dean of student financial aid at the college. In 1953, he was inducted into the Rotary Club of Williamstown, Skinner said. He served as club president from 1957-58, and has been a member of the board of directors since 2006.
"We need our longtime members," Rau said. "They remember the traditions and the importance of what Rotary does. They live that ‘service-above-self' motto. Hank is an epitome of that motto."
"One of the values of Rotary to me is you get to know a good cross section of people in the town," he said. "You ordinarily wouldn't run into them for years and years. It broadens your base."
Flynt added that he believes the organization's members are its most important components.
Skinner listed numerous
"It remains something that people see as soon as people get into town," Skinner said. "They see a connection with our history."
Flynt was also an active member of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, serving as moderator for two terms and holding almost every other position. He has also been involved with the Williamstown Historical Museum, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Historic Deerfield.
In addition, he has documented famous fires in Williamstown, including one in 1970 that destroyed Pine Cobble School's main building.
Over the years, Flynt's dedication and service have been recognized by several organizations and institutions. Awards recognizing those attributes include the Faith Scarborough Award, which he received in 1992 for community service and an honorary degree from MCLA in 2001.
Flynt attributed his longevity to living an active life. He often road a bicycle to work, he said, and practiced healthy eating habits.
The Williamstown Rotary is one of 32,000 similar clubs in more than 200 countries. The organization unites business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service. The organization addresses challenges such as illiteracy, poverty and environmental concerns.
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