In 1976 while serving on the Bellingham City Council I decided to plan a ceremony honoring those who served in elected office. I felt  – and sill do – service to community in elective office reflects the goals of the revolution, i.e., self government.

Invitations were sent to every one still alive who had held elected office in Bellingham. At the ceremony, which was held in the rotunda room of the old city hall, a brass ensemble played music of the revolutionary war interspersed with readings of excerpts from major documents of the fight for independence read by members of the local theater guild.

One of the highlights of the evening was when I led Sue C. Boynton, age 95, to the microphone to read the message sent for the occasion by President Gerald Ford. Before reading the message from the president she read one of her poems on service to community. She was a published poet who loved to share her poetry with her friends and neighbors.

When I read in the local paper that Ethel Boynton Crook, daughter of Sue C. Boynton, had just celebrated her 95th birthday I went to see her and proposed the creation of a Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest and Poetry Walk in memory of her mother. She agreed with the concept and made a significant donation to get the project going. With help from some award-winning poets in this community I formed the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Committee and got the project under way.

With the intent of promoting an appreciation of poetry in our community entries are being solicited from all the schools in the county as well as from persons of any age or level of experience in writing poetry.

The poetry contest is now in its 15th year. This year the jury will select 10 works to be engraved in plastic and mounted on plinths in front of the Bellingham Public Library.  In addition 15 works of Merit will be printed on cards for mounting on the WTA buses for one year.