Whispers in the Forest
Newtown Forest Association
Connecticut's Oldest Private Land Trust
Wes Gillingham, Sr, was a resident of Newtown for over 40 years and a member of the Newtown Forest Association for nearly that long. Wes also served for many years
as a member of the Inland Wetland Commission.
Wes joined the NFA board in May of 1994 and has been a valuable resource for all board members ever since then, including his terms as president of NFA. During his
tenure on the board he has been an important part of the tremendous growth of the organization. Together with his favorite dog, Wes spent many hours visiting and
monitoring the many NFA properties in town. If there was ever a discussion or question that came up on a particular piece of land, more often than not, Wes was able to
add, "When I was over there a couple of weeks ago…" or made it a point to visit the property again and report back at the next meeting. Wes particularly enjoyed
Hattertown Pond and was our expert on that property. Wes also passed along his love of the outdoors to his family.
Wes recently relocated to New York and then to Tennessee to be closer to his family, where he passed away last week. The board has missed his insight and field
knowledge. Wes may have been our oldest board member in years only, but not in spirit.
We would like to take the time thank Wes for his devoted service to the Newtown Forest Association and the Town of Newtown over these many years.
We recently recognized Wes at our annual meeting on May 19 (See Dedication Below). On behalf of the entire membership of the Newtown Forest Association, as well
as the board of directors, we want to express our condolences to Wes's friends and family.
ANNUAL MEETING SPEECH (5/19/2011) - WES PASSED PEACEFULLY THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND:
WES GILLINGHAM SR. HAS BEEN A RESIDENT OF NEWTOWN FOR OVER 40 YEARS AND A MEMEBR OF THE NEWTOWN FOREST ASSOCIATION FOR NEARLY
THAT LONG. WES HAS ALSO SERVED FOR AMNY YEARS AS A MEMBER OF THE INLAND WETLAND COMMISSION.
WES JOINED THE NFA BOARD IN MAY OF 1994 AND HAS BEEN A VALUABLE RESOURCE FOR ALL BOARD MEMBERS EVER SINCE THEN. INCLUDING HIS
TERMS AS PRESIDENT OF NFA.
DURING HIS TENURE ON THE BOARD HE HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE TREMENDOUS GROWTH OF THE ORGANIZATION
TOGETHER, WITH HIS FAVORITE DOG, WES HAS SPENT MANY HOURS VISITING AND MONITORING THE MANY NFA PROPERTYS IN TOWN. IF THERE IS EVER
A DISCUSSION OR QUESTION THAT COMES UP ON A PARTICULAR PIECE OF LAND, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT WES WAS ABLE TO ADD “ WHEN I WAS OVER
THERE A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO” OR MADE IT A POINT TO VISIT THE PROPERTY AGAIN AND REPORT BACK AT THE NEXT MEETING. WES PARTICULARLY
ENJOYED HATTERTOWN POND AND WAS OUR EXPERT ON THAT PROPERTY.
WES ALSO PASSED ALONG HIS LOVE OF THE OUTDOORS TO HIS FAMILY. HIS SON WES JR IS THE CATSKILL MOUNTIANKEEPER PROGRAM DIRECTOR.
WES RECENTLY RELOCATED TO NY AND THEN TO TN TO BE CLOSER TO HIS FAMILY. THE BOARD HAS MISSED HIS INSIGHT AND FIELD KNOWLEDGE. WES
MAY BE OUR OLDEST BOARD MEMBER IN YEARS ONLY, BUT NOT IN SPIRIT.
ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE NFA BOARD, WE WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS TIME RECOGNIZE WES FOR HIS SERVICE TO THE NEWTOWN FOREST
ASSOCIATION AND THE TOWN OF NEWTOWN OVER THESE MANY YEARS AND WISH HIM WELL IN HIS NEW LOCATION.