Selectmen Rename Harmony Hall After Its ‘Patron Saint’
Apr 12, 2019 06:52PM
● By Lisa Redmond
Selectman Joseph DiRocco holds a design of the sign that will hang on Harmony Hall renaming it Harvey J. Gagnon Harmony Hall.
DRACUT – The Board of Selectmen this week unanimously voted to rename the Dracut Historical Society’s Harmony Hall in the memory the late Harvey J. Gagnon in what was Selectman Chairman Jesse Forcier described as a “fitting tribute’ to a man who gave so much of his life to the town.’’
Voting in favor of renaming the building, Selectman Tony Archinski said, “I can’t think of Harmony Hall without thinking of Harvey Gagnon…He was always in that building. Naming it after him is a fitting tribute to his legacy.’’
For more than three decades, Gagnon was the president and general manager of his well-known bus company, A.J. Gagnon & Sons Inc. could be seen driving throughout town transporting Dracut students to school, sports and field trips.
Gagnon passed away peacefully on March 1, 2019, With his loving family by his side. He was 87, according to his obituary. He was a Dracut High School graduate Class of ’49.
According to his obituary, Gagnon was longtime communicant at St. Michael's Church, Lowell, serving as lector and Eucharistic minister. His strong sense of duty and civic obligation carried over into all aspects of his life.
Not one to sit idle, Gagnon served his hometown as an active member of various town committees, foundations, and civic organizations, including the Dracut Alumni Association, Dracut Grange, Dracut Historic Commission, Dracut Historical Society, Community Preservation Committee and the Rotary Club which he joined in 1971.
He was a member of the Dracut Scholarship Foundation Board from 1964 - 2004 before retiring as director emeritus. He proudly served on the Permanent Building Committee as chairman overseeing many ambitious projects, including the Library addition, the newly constructed Town Hall, Police Station, Junior High School and Senior High School renovations.
In 2017, he was the recipient of the Varnum Award for his exemplary volunteerism and civic engagement.
Although he stepped down from most committee obligations in recent years, the Dracut Historical Society continued to be a labor of love. Gagnon was a dedicated member, filling various roles and was always an energetic participant in all activities.
One of his proudest achievements was spearheading the Harmony Hall move from Collinsville to its current location adjoining the Historical Society building in 1994. Harmony Hall was fully renovated and modernized and currently hosts a full schedule of community functions. Gagnon continued to be an active member of the organization, and this past year was proud to hand over his duties to the new president, grandson Patrick Cox.
After approving the renaming, Selectman Alison Hughes said, “Harmony Hall has its own patron saint.’’
Donations in Gagnon’s name can still be may be made to the Dracut Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 117, Dracut, MA 10826 or Dracut Historical Society, 1660 Lakeview Ave. Dracut, MA 01826.