A final cheer

'We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;

In feelings, not in figures on a dial.'

- Poet Philip James Bailey

The New London community will gather at 5 p.m. today at Cannamella Football Field to celebrate the life of Barbara Ann Major, who died last week at age 61. It is a fitting choice. The New London High School Whalers' football program had no greater booster than Barbara Major. From cooking for the team, to seeking donations, to cheering from the stands, Mrs. Major's deeds displayed her love for her alma mater.

It is very American for the high school football team to become the focus of a community's pride. Differences over politics and priorities are set aside on game day. And if the football team is to symbolize a community's sense of pride and purpose, then it is all the more appropriate that Mrs. Major devoted so much of her efforts there, because by all accounts Mrs. Major had a great sense of commitment to her native city, its people and especially its youth.

She displayed her devotion through service on the Board of Education, in her work for youth athletic programs, her leadership in the Harbor School Parent-Teacher Organization, her volunteer efforts with the Kiwanis Club and the New London Lodge of Elks, and through her open, welcoming home on School Street.

Perhaps appreciating a challenge, Mrs. Major was a Republican in a Democratic city. For 20 years she served as the city's Republican Registrar of voters and worked hard for the Republican Town Committee. These efforts often ended in frustration, but no matter, Mrs. Major remained loyal, loyalty a virtue she highly valued.

By the way she lived, Mrs. Major improved a city and many a life. The Day joins the community in celebrating her contributions.

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