Robert “Bob” Courage (a very very condensed summary of 70+ years of service to Milford)
Presentation October 8, 2021 – by Selectman Chris LaBonte
Compiled from nomination submissions, Milford Cabinet articles, and input from friends and admirers.
More than likely all of the Milford residents, property and business owners here tonight know or have at least heard of the person we are honoring as Milford’s Citizen of the Year for 2021.
Certainly, we have all benefited from this person’s wisdom, knowledge and life-long dedication to the Milford Community.
As then Selectwoman Marilyn Kennison said in 1998 “He is first and foremost a Milford resident, and his heart is very much Milford, and it shows in everything he does”. That was true in 1998 and it is true today in 2021!
Our honoree is a lifelong resident of Milford. He has served this community in a variety of capacities and probably has served on or helped every municipal committee at one time or another. We understand too that back in the day he helped Joe Swiezynski set-up baseball games at Endicott Park!
Have you figured it out yet??
From 1954 to 1965 and then from 1971 to 1998 he was employed by the Town of Milford Department of Public Works moving up the ranks to lead the department as its Director for many decades. “He developed a reputation for quiet competence, hands-on management and detail oriented work that was born of hometown pride.” He has been a role model for countless employees and fellow volunteers during his decades of service. He continues to set a high standard and brings those qualities to every board, commission and project he works on.
Upon retiring in 1998, he planned to spend more time pursuing leisurely activities like playing more golf, traveling with his lovely wife and spending more time with his family.
Well, that didn’t last long! In 1999 he ran for and won a seat on the Board of Selectmen – and won by a wide margin! About his candidacy, he said “I want to give something back to the Town”
After serving a 3-year term on the BOS, he moved on to be elected as one of Milford Water & Sewer Commissioners – a position he holds today. In between he has served on or advised many other Town committees including the Budget Advisory Committee.
Other comments often heard about this gentleman are – honesty, integrity, phenomenal role model and teacher, always prepared, keeps the taxpayer at the forefront, and “without a lot of fanfare, he lives and serves his community.”
To paraphrase a quote from this person that was published in1977 – “I like my work because I like my town. Milford means a lot to me. It may sound corny but it is really nice to see your town grow and change. And to look at some accomplishments and know that maybe you’ve helped out to make them possible.”
Well, Mr. Robert Courage – you have helped!! And we know you will continue to help as we work together as a community to make Milford the best place to call home.