METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Upon receiving word he had been selected as the grand marshal of the city’s annual Labor Day parade, former city councilor Walter Bonin initially balked at the idea.
“I was surprised,” said Bonin, who claims he is uncomfortable in the spotlight. “I didn’t know why they would’ve picked me. I initially told them no. I told my wife and she said ‘You better accept.’ I called them back the next day and said I had to do it.”
Mayor Arthur Vigeant and Leanne Cordishi, program coordinator for the city, announced their choice of Bonin at a press conference at City Hall Tuesday morning.
The theme for this year’s parade, scheduled for Sept. 5, is “Marlborough – Where Tradition and Economic Vitality Meet,” a spirit city officials say is fully embodied by Bonin, a lifelong resident.
Vigeant lauded Bonin’s efforts to enhance transportation as the leader of Marlborough’s Transportation Task Force and his leadership on the Community Development Authority’s MetroWest Growth Management Committee. One of the committee’s most important accomplishments was reaching an agreement with the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority to extend bus service to the city.
Bonin has also been a member of the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation’s board since its inception 10 years ago and serves as chairman of the Licensing Board. He was also a member of the Finance Committee and Marlborough City Hospital Board.
“It was a pretty easy decision,” said Vigeant. “He’s been a significant influence for many, many years.”
Bonin served 11 years as city councilor for Ward 2, including seven as council president.
First elected in 1968, Bonin said the city had many accomplishments, including the construction of Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, building elderly housing facilities on Main and Pleasant streets and attracting businesses to the city.
“It was great to be a part of that,” he said.
Bonin characterized Marlborough’s economic growth and vitality the past few years as “exciting” and hopes it will continue.
“We’re growing so fast,” said Bonin, who operates Walter Bonin Financial Service and Insurance. “All the right things are happening. It’s really great to be a part of the city. I love the city. I love being here.”
A frequent spectator and marcher in the Labor Day parade, Bonin said it will be exciting to have a different view of this year’s festivities.
“I’m very thankful for this proclamation and appointment,” he said. “I look forward to a great parade. It will not rain.”
For more information on the Labor Day parade visit www.marlboroughlabordayparade.com.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.