Saturday, December 16, 2017

A peacemaker, R.I.P.

The Rev. Alden Besse, a priest in The Episcopal Church, died last week at the age of 93 on Martha's Vineyard. Most summers for the last 15 years we'd encounter him at the annual Hiroshima Day sunrise vigil at Gay Head.

Bruce Nevin of the Martha's Vineyard Peace Council described this gentle man's faithful witness in an email.

Alden was the inspirational heart of the Martha's Vineyard Peace Council. He was an essential participant in every meeting, and served for many years as its President until he declined re-election. He was at every Peace Council vigil and rally, rain, shine, or snow, at every lecture and presentation that we sponsored, at the Hiroshima Day vigil at 6 on the 6th of August, and in the Peace Council contingent in every Fourth of July parade until the most recent. For many years he organized a Peace Council table at the Tisbury Street Fair.

Before every meeting and sponsored event of the Peace Council, he made phone calls to each of the people on his colorful, decades-accumulated list of names and numbers, legible only by him. Many of you receiving this note will remember those personal reminders from Alden. He was always a stalwart supporter of the Embarking Peacemaker awards given by the Peace Council each year to graduating seniors, and served on the scholarship committee reading and evaluating all the applications and essays.

Besse appeared more frail year after year, but his devotion to working for peace with justice never seemed to diminish.

1 comment:

lsiepw-W said...

How can you say that he "celebrated diversity" and "spoke for the vulnerable" on one of the most all-White, upper middle class/rich, and privileged pieces of real estate anywhere?