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NO. R-212.  House concurrent resolution in memory of John Dostal of Bennington.


Offered by:  Representatives Morrissey of Bennington, Botzow of Pownal, Corcoran of Bennington, Krawczyk of Bennington, Livingston of Manchester, Miller of Shaftsbury, Mook of Bennington and Peltz of Woodbury

Offered by:  Senators Hartwell and Sears

Whereas, in 1980, John Dostal relocated from Garden City, New York to Bennington in order to reside near his son, and

Whereas, at the time of this move, he was past the age of three score and ten, but a whole new and meaningful life awaited him upon his arrival in southeastern Vermont’s largest community, and

Whereas, John Dostal began a love affair with the town of Bennington that continued until his death at age 98 on March 23, 2007, and

Whereas, the civic culture of Bennington benefited in numerous ways from John Dostal’s tangible and intangible contributions to his adopted community, and

Whereas, he was an active participant in community forums, including town meeting, and was always ready to champion a cause that he deemed worthy of his attention and advocacy, and

Whereas, his sharp political focus was not limited to topics of concern to older residents as exemplified by his speaking out on behalf of a proposed skateboard park at the March 2007 Bennington town meeting, and

Whereas, among John Dostal’s most passionate interests were Bennington’s historic preservation and the town’s physical beautification, and

Whereas, with respect to beautification, John Dostal rightfully earned the title “Mr. Lilac” for his decade-plus personal campaign to plant lilacs in Bennington both to enhance the community’s appearance and to attract tourists to visit, and

Whereas, his inspiration for this innovative idea was derived from a 1995 trip to view the Shelburne Museum’s Lilac Sunday which convinced him that a similar botanical adventure in Bennington would result in aesthetic and economic advantages, and

Whereas, John Dostal proceeded to plant more than 500 lilacs at various locations throughout Bennington, including in a landscaped area near the Bennington Chamber of Commerce, at an open space adjacent to Mount Anthony Union High School, and at a location on Route 9 near the Bennington Center for the Arts, and

Whereas, despite the lilacs’ predominate location on public property, he never requested reimbursement from the town or school district, considering these flowers as his gift to the community, and

Whereas, John Dostal was recognized in the 2005 Bennington town report which was dedicated in his honor, and he was designated the grand marshal of the 2006 Bennington Battle Day parade, and

Whereas, the town of Bennington was extremely fortunate to have John Dostal as an integral member of the community for the past quarter century, and his memory will endure through his deeds and the beautiful lilacs that now grace the town’s landscape, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly extends its sympathy to the family of Bennington’s very own John Dostal “Mr. Lilac” and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the family of John Dostal in Bennington.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont