ROCKPORT — Town Administrator Mitch Vieira and former Thacher Island Association President Paul St. Germain have been named Rockport Rotary's 2020 Town Employee and Citizen of the Year, respectively.

Vieira was chosen for his leadership during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially in a town with the oldest population by average age in the state, Rotary said in announcing the awards. 

"Mitch took the initiative to be the source of information that Rockporters could go to, by publishing a weekly blog and telephonic Code Red messages," the announcement reads. "His weekly updates kept the citizenry well informed and up to date. The town has quickly grown to appreciate the aggressiveness and detail with which Mitch has performed his duties."

Vieira told the Times via email that he was humbled by the Rotary's recognition.

"I am fortunate to work with a great group of dedicated town employees," he said. "It truly is and has been a team effort throughout. We all continue to work diligently to ensure the health and safety of the town"

St. Germain, likewise, was honored for his work in overseeing the restoration of the historic lighthouses on Thacher and Straitsmouth islands. To date, the restoration efforts have received $3.2 million in funding.

"Without doubt, the efforts of Paul have brought great credit on the town of Rockport and will continue to do so for generations to come," writes the Rotary.

St. Germain was instrumental in having Thacher Island recognized as a National Historic Landmark. He has also written four books about the islands of Cape Ann and its many lighthouses keepers. St. Germain stepped down as president of the Thacher Island Association last month but will remain on its board of directors. 

"I was shocked," St. Germain said. "I was wondering where that came from, but it was very exciting. It was the last thing in the world I would of expected. It's a fitting end to working out at the island for the last 23 years."

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

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