Melrose Heritage: How “Demarathon” Brought Pride to Melrose

By Keith Lovett

Melrosians gather every year to participate in Boston’s annual marathon. The race is run by thousands from across the world.  It is a little known fact, however, that Melrose has more victories in the Boston Marathon than any other city.

This is due to a man named Clarence DeMar, who, in 1911, gained his first of seven total wins in the 26.2 mile race, in addition to setting a new record. The legendary figure first ran the marathon in 1910, when he placed second. After participating twice in the marathon, DeMar, who belonged to the Melrose American Legion Post, took a five year long break, after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

Upon his return to the marathon, DeMar won seven gold, three silver, and two bronze metals. “DeMarathon,” as the extraordinary runner became known, achieved his last Boston Marathon victory in 1930. He was forty-one years old at the time, and is still the oldest winner on record.

During DeMar’s years as a runner, he competed not only in the Boston Marathon, but also in the Olympics, placing twelfth in 1912, third in 1924, and twenty-seventh in 1928.

For DeMar’s amazing performance, dedication to Melrose, and service in the armed forces, the city created a small monument in his name, which stands overlooking Ell Pond.


Come to the Mayor’s Night Out on August 9!

The annual Mayor’s Night Out has been rescheduled! The new date is Thursday, August 9, from 6-8 p.m. at the Cabbage Patch in front of Melrose High School. Everyone is invited to enjoy free slush and children’s activities, and the Fire, Police, and Health departments will be there with information about public safety. Come on down and enjoy a pleasant evening with friends and neighbors.

Joshua Yee: National Merit Scholar!

Of the 1.5 million American high school juniors who took the Preliminary SATs/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) in the fall of 2010, only 8,300 received National Merit Scholarships. Of those 8,300 National Merit Scholarship winners, only 4,800 received college sponsored scholarships. And of those 4,800 college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners, one was from Melrose. Joshua Yee, a recent Melrose High School graduate, is the first National Merit Scholarship winner from MHS since 2007. He will receive a four-year $2000 scholarship sponsored by Boston University, where he will study mathematics and economics in the fall.

The National Merit Scholarship program is a nation wide contest in which the highest PSAT/NMSQT scorers throughout the United States compete for a limited number of scholarships sponsored by colleges and corporations. Winning one of these prestigious scholarships is no easy feat: Only 0.5% of those who take the test become National Merit scholars. Not only did Yee receive one of the highest PSAT/NMSQT scores in the state of Massachusetts, but he also completed a detailed application in order to secure a spot as a national finalist. “It was kind of like filling out another college application,” says Yee of the application process, which included grades, standardized test scores, an essay, letters of recommendation, and a record of extracurricular activities throughout high school.

As a member of the MHS orchestra, lifeguard at the YMCA, co-captain of the MHS Boys Swim Team, member of the National Honor Society, intern in Mayor Dolan’s Office, and volunteer for many local charities, Joshua Yee was one of best and brightest at Melrose High School. As a National Merit Scholar, he has been recognized as one of the best and brightest in the United States. Through his accomplishments, Yee has made Melrose proud. There is no doubt that he will continue to do great things as he moves on to Boston University with hopes of becoming a professor of mathematics. Congratulations and good luck Joshua Yee!

Written by Emily Conn

“Having Fun Isn’t Hard if You’ve Got a Library Card”

By Keith Lovett

Second graders across Melrose will soon be able to put one very lovable and literate aardvark’s words of wisdom to the test. Beginning this year, all second grade  students in Melrose will have the opportunity to get a Melrose Public Library card as part of Mayor Dolan’s initiative to teach students the importance of a library’s resources starting at a young age.

“Most people remember a library card as the first thing you own,” says Dolan. “A library card should be an intrinsic part of a child’s life… Every study shows that reading increases test scores.” Starting this year, all second graders in the Melrose Public Schools System will take a field trip to the Melrose Public Library. Students will take a brief tour through the library, followed by a lesson from the library’s staff on how and where to find specific resources.

“After the tour, students will receive a library card,” says Marianne J. Stanton, Children’s Librarian.  Using their new library cards and knowledge of the Dewey Decimal System, students will embark on a “scavenger hunt” to find specific books.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” says Stanton.

The mayor believes that “getting kids to read twenty minutes a night” will greatly improve their education. “Parents may say, ‘Now I have to go buy twenty books at Barnes and Noble’… With a library, you don’t have to do that.”

This welcome change will ensure that the Melrose Public Library becomes a home away from home for even more enthusiastic young learners.

Another Successful Neighborhood Night Out

On Thursday July 12, families living near the Horace Mann Elementary School turned out for a night of fun, games, face painting, and, of course,  slush at Hesseltine Park. This gathering provided these families with the opportunity to spend a relaxing evening getting to know their neighbors and some local politicians. “It is a good community bonding time and it’s good to see the local politicians in a relaxed atmosphere” says Joe Pelrine.

“The timing is right,” says the Buzare family, “It’s the perfect thing for us to do after dinner and before bed, and it’s great to have something that allows people to meet each other.” Don’t miss out on the fun!  Be on the lookout for the next community event! Our Mayor’s Night Out will be held on Thursday August 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Cabbage Patch in front of the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School!

By guest blogger Emily Conn.

Summer Interns Back in the Office

The summer internship program has begun again.  My office is happy to welcome over forty-five ambitious high school students who will spend the next five weeks completing important tasks within the various departments of city hall. They will be helping out everywhere from the elections office to the parks department, and will acquire some very important office skills. Most importantly, they will learn how the city operates. Each intern will get a feel for many of the offices and jobs that help the city of Melrose run efficiently.

Kristen Terry and Angela Soto working hard at the front desk.

These talented high school students will also have the opportunity to put some of their own ideas into action. In the past, interns have created a welcome packet to help new residents feel at home and initiated a recycling competition among the Melrose Public Schools to further the city’s efforts to go green.

This summer’s program is led by recent Melrose High School graduates Maggie Moriarty and Emily Conn. In the fall they will be heading off to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the College of the Holy Cross, respectively. Until then, they will coordinate assignments for the interns and assist with projects. The two are really excited about the program and are confident that this group will be an asset at City Hall and will have a positive impact on Melrose. So, welcome interns! I am sure that, with your help, this will be an outstanding summer at City Hall!