Edith Fairgrieve

 

GOSA Founders

(l. to r.) Edith Fairgrieve, Priscilla Pratt, Sidney Van Zandt and Omar Allvord, at the GOSA annual meeting Oct. 12, 2006, in the Latham Chester Store, Noank, where they were honored for pioneering contributions to land conservation in Groton.

Edith Fairgrieve, a former GOSA director and one of four beloved pioneers of the Groton land conservation movement, passed away on August 4. A memorial service was held in her honor on Sept. 12 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Mystic. Click here for more information about Edith’s conservation work with GOSA and beyond. An obituary was published in The Day on Aug. 17th.

Photo, left to right: Edith Fairgrieve, Priscilla Pratt, Sidney Van Zandt and Omar Allvord, at the GOSA Annual Meeting Oct. 12, 2006, in the Latham Chester Store, Noank, where they were honored for pioneering contributions to land conservation in Groton.

GOSA’s president, Joan Smith shared the following with GOSA’s Board of Directors:
It is sad to see the passing of one of GOSA’s earliest and stalwart members. As Jim Furlong once said, Edith had a moral compass of “true north.” Her legacy lives on in many of GOSA’s principles and projects. She made especially generous contributions to the acquisition of Avery Farm and to the Mystic Woods appeal. We admired her quiet but firm defense of the environment.

Click here to read more about Edith and her work in defense of the environment, including Sidney Van Zandt’s “Remembrance” from the memorial service.

Sidney Van Zandt’s “Remembrance” on Edith Fairgrieve

The following was written by Jim Furlong, former GOSA director, in remembrance of Edith…
This line… is pure Edith:

“Resident opposition, culminating in arrests on the day construction began, was insufficient to deal with a divided community backed up by the political clout of road builders and commercial interests favoring the Connector.”

In my earlier note to Joan, I think I failed to get to Edith’s essence as a GOSA member. Here’s another try:

Though she spoke quietly, Edith was a hard-nosed and uncompromising advocate for the environment. She was fiercely independent and took strong stands against contractors and town planners.  She would not think of tempering her positions in advance in order to avoid disputes. She put GOSA’s case as strongly as possible with the aim of winning the maximum protection for the animals, woods and waters she loved.

Cheers, Jim

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