NO. R-144.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating Donald G. Bell on being selected as the Swanton Chamber of Commerce's 2003 citizen of the year.

(S.C.R.18)

Offered by:  Senator Collins of Franklin County.

Offered by:  Representatives LaVoie of Swanton and Winters of Swanton.

Whereas, Donald (Don) Bell’s life has been centered in the far northwest Vermont town of Swanton, and

Whereas, in 1943, having graduated from Swanton High School and trained and worked as a private sector aircraft mechanic, he then performed similar technical duties as a member of the U.S. Navy, and

Whereas, upon returning to Swanton after his honorable military discharge, Don Bell entered into private employment at local garages, ultimately purchasing the Bus Line Garage which included a fleet of five school buses, an inventory which would ultimately expand to 42 buses under his proprietorship, and

Whereas, while mastering the transporting of school students, he added to his business operations when he became an International truck dealer, and

Whereas, Don Bell’s public service roles included service as a school director, and as a cemetery commissioner, as well as a justice of the peace and member of the board of civil authority, these latter positions he held with distinction for 30 years, and

Whereas, his other public sector duties included membership in the Swanton Fire Department where he rose to the position of First Assistant Chief, and

Whereas, on the night of January 28, 1970, with the town’s fire chief being ill, Don Bell supervised the extinguishment of the large Hall Hardware blaze which included the participation of over two dozen area fire departments, and

Whereas, his outstanding and calm performance that evening convinced the Swanton village trustees to promote him to the rank of chief upon the incumbent chief’s retirement, in which capacity he directed the village’s firefighting service for six years, and

Whereas, for many years he has been an active member of the 76 Lodge #14 of the Free and Accepted Masons and of the Mt. Sinai Temple of the Shrine, and

Whereas, Don Bell and his wife Marie have been married for nearly 53 years and are the parents of a daughter, Linda and son, Don Jay, and

Whereas, the Swanton Chamber of Commerce, recognizing his many years of public service and entrepreneurial ingenuity, has selected him as the organization’s 2003 citizen of the year, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is pleased to congratulate Donald G. Bell on his selection as the Swanton Chamber of Commerce’s citizen of the year, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Don Bell in Swanton.