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Historical Society's 37th ANNUAL HARVEST FAIR September 24, 2017

Kilkelly Honored at HIB Meeting

by Bobby Blair
August 30, 2017

Bloomer's met Thursday eve at the Holliston Historical Society to discuss the National America in Bloom Symposium being hosted by the Holliston group in a mere 6 weeks time. While visitors from across the country will be staying at the Sheraton Tara in Framingham, Holliston will be in the national spotlight when tour groups arrive in town on Saturday October 7th from noon till 4 pm. On Sunday, September 16th (the day after Celebrate Holliston) HIB will undertake a massive mum and fall flower planting. The 2016 mum planting effort totaled nearly 420 plants and this year's efforts totals over 750 plants. Volunteers will be needed for this huge effort and can sign up on the HIB website: http://www.hollistoninbloom.org/

Holliston is also creating a first for a National America in Bloom Symposium in the form of a five minute skit to be performed at the Sheraton Tara on Thursday September 14th. The skit titled "The Judges are Coming" is sure to resound with groups from across the country who are judged by America in Bloom. The skit will be recorded by HCAT and covered by HollistonReporter.com.

The naming of Holliston in Bloom's "Community Champion" was snagged by Murphy's Law, "whatever can go wrong will and often does"  While PJ Kilkelly was selected as Holliston's Community Champion and a nominee at the national level, the honor was to be kept a secret until Saturday August 19th at a farm to dinner event Kilkelly himself was sponsoring. A profile of Kilkelly had been sent to the national America in Bloom organization who unwittingly spilled the beans by sending Kilkelly a congratulations email. Holliston in Bloom's plaque for Kilkelly was to be presented at the affair but was still in the trophy shop which was closed on the day of the event. To make matters worse the plaque's presentation date was printed as 2015. Could all these mix-ups have anything to do with both Murphy and Kilkelly hailing from the Olde Sod. Above, HIB Co-chair Kathy Shore presents Kilkelly his hard earned award.

Below is the nomination letter HIB sent to the National America in Bloom Headquarters:

A native of Currenrue, Co. Galway Ireland, PJ Kilkelly's volunteerism and work ethic could put a smile on the Statue of Liberty. Armed with a farming and agricultural background Kilkelly has become an invaluable member of Holliston's garden, farming and agricultural community.

Never shy about taking projects head on, Kilkelly is responsible for building and raising funds for the town's first butterfly aviary as the town's Chairman of the Agricultural Commission. He also built and raised funds to fence in the community garden and did the same for a community garden at the local community farm.

Kilkelly can be found each spring and fall planting a cover crop of Buckwheat or Winter Rye by hand on 3 acres at the Community farm the way he was taught in the old country. He was also instrumental this year in clearing land and installing fencing for the state's first community bee apiary at the community farm.

Wearing yet another hat as chairman of the newly formed non-profit organization The Friends of the Community Farm, Kilkelly organized a Family Farm Day in June and a Farm to Table Dinner in August to help raise funds. Those monies now account for $20,000 worth of donations and in-kind services.

A mason by trade (farmer at heart) Kilkelly's stone creations can be found in all parts of town. Stone flower planters now grace the town owned golf course, stone entrance walls on the rail trail, and a discarded fountain made into a planter at Gooch's Corner now exist thanks to PJ Kilkelly. And did we mention the elevated garden beds Kilkelly built at the local nursing home and senior complex.

This spring Kilkelly took off the work gloves and put on the apron to cook a full Irish breakfast as a fundraiser for Holliston in Bloom. Eggs from his own chickens and ham from his own pigs along with black and white puddings graced the tables at the St. Paddy's repast. The event raised over $1,000. This summer Kilkelly built ten elevated window boxes to place in front of downtown businesses.

Married to his wife Shelly, Kilkelly has a son Brian and daughter Grace. A backyard full of goats, chickens, and pigs is a neighborhood delight. When it comes to all things involving Holliston in Bloom, Kilkelly is the first to respond with his truck, shovel and elbow grease.

Enduring as the Ever Ready Bunny, selfless to a fault, Holliston is indeed lucky to have this native of Galway Bay firmly planted in Holliston soil. The likes of people like Kilkelly nowadays are rare – and so we nominate PJ Kilkelly to be Holliston's Community Champion.

 

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Comments (2)

Thank You so much for all that you do for Holliston..

- Bob Mcgrath | 8/31/17 1:02 AM

Congratulations, PJ!! Very well deserved! Thank you for all the good you bring to the community.

- Christel DiPippo | 8/30/17 9:37 AM

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