Congratulations to the Chief Marshal for our 233rd Celebration!

Kathleen D. Bazinet

March 21st, at the Bristol Town Hall, Fran O’Donnell announced the Chief Marshal for the 233rd consecutive celebration.
Please extend congratulations to Kathy, and welcome her to the Fourth of July Chief Marshal family.

 

 

On December 7th in 1999 and again in 2000 I asked Anthony Iasiello and Diane Mederos, respectively to be Chief Marshal for the upcoming 4th of July Parade.  I thought Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was the perfect day to ask someone to lead the oldest 4th of July celebration in the country.  It was the day that sent my Father and 3 of his brothers out of college and off to enlist, my Dad to the Marines and his brothers to the Army and Navy.  His pride and sense of patriotism is what drove me to join the 4th of July Committee.  It was a small way to honor his memory.  Today is his birthday, he would be 100 years old had he not died at the young age of 66.

So on December 7th 2017, I called a woman I have known for many years and simply said, “Can I stop over?”  “Sure”, she said.  Five minutes later I knocked on her door – it swung open and there she stood – in her night gown!  “Come in – what do you need?”  Without any hesitation she was prepared to help no matter what the need.

This year’s Chief Marshal is a woman who is fiercely protective of her family AND her friends.  She wraps her arms around them and looks over them.  She sees a better life for many and works tirelessly to make that life a reality.  She is driven, often opinionated but above all else, she is fair.  She expects the best from people and she gives all that she has to those she serves.

She is a Bristolian, graduating from Colt Memorial High School in 1965.  After graduation she attended Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing from 1965 – 1967.  Apparently nursing didn’t live up to her expectations because the following year she went to work at Old Stone Bank!  She started as a teller and left as Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Lending.  She is driven and if there is a job to be done, she will do the best she can.

I knew your Chief Marshal long before I ever met her.  When I first moved to Bristol in 1978, I joined the Democrat Town Committee working behind the scenes on campaigns.  I worked closely with a women who had the complete and total respect of EVERYONE.  She was the go-to person and what she said was gospel.  During our days together, she would tell me all about her daughter.  How smart she was, and how much she wished she would get involved in politics.  But, NO, her daughter had no interest at all in politics, until in 1990 she was appointed to the Planning Board.  In 1996 she was elected to Bristol’s Town Council where she served for 6 years.  Many credit this woman with putting Bristol on the right path financially.  From her years in banking, she understood the finances and she made sure Bristol’s finances were in order.

She is a Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow.  She is a member of the East Bay Chamber of Commerce serving on their Board of Directors and was honored by them as Citizen of the Year in 2007.

She is a member of Saint Mary’s Church and Chaired the Board of Our Lady of Fatima High School from 1988 – 1992.

She is a member of the Housing Resource Commission, Women’s Resource Center, RI Assisted Living Association, Affordable Housing Association and the Housing Network.  She is the newly retired Executive Director of the East Bay Community Development Corporation where she grew the organization to include scattered sites not only in Bristol but Warren and Barrington.  Housing is important – we all know that but Kathy saw a need to provide housing for FAMILIES!  That was new!  Her accomplishments are well known throughout the state and she has been recognized for them over and over.

On a trip to Sao Miguel a number of years back Kathy and I looked out to the ocean from our balcony and there a cruise ship was anchored – THE AURORA!  The woman I worked with all those years back who wished her daughter would just GET INVOLVED was Aurora Perroni.  It was like an angel had flown into the room.

On January 1st I received a text from Jim Farley.  Direct and to the point as always!  It read “Happy New Year.  If you haven’t selected a Chief Marshal yet, I would highly recommend Kathy Bazinet.  I can’t think of many more deserving.”

Well Jim, I agree!

It is my extreme pleasure to welcome Kathleen D. Bazinet to our Fourth of July Family as the Chief Marshal of the 233rd Fourth of July celebration.