Manchester’s 56th Mayor Sworn In
On Jan. 7 the Rex Theatre became a City Hall satellite, hosting the 2020 Inauguration Ceremony for Mayor Joyce Craig and the city’s two governing boards.
It was a testament to inclusivity, and how the city has transformed itself, “from textiles to technology” under the guidance of many prominent citizens turned leaders. Craig made history when elected two years ago as the city’s first woman mayor. The city’s five previous mayors – three Republicans and two Democrats – also took the stage and were recognized for their leadership and individual contributions to the city.
Craig urged her fellow city leaders to work together with “integrity, civility and honor,” after earning the public’s trust through the election process. She highlighted strides the city has made under her leadership – lower crime rate, increased economic growth, and concerted efforts to fight the opioid epidemic and homelessness, all accomplishments and challenges that require a continued collaborative community approach.
Community members who have chosen Manchester as home were invited to participate in the ceremony, having come here from countries around the globe seeking a new life as refugees or immigrants. Young people from the Boys and Girls Club sang the National Anthem and another group, from Girls at Work, led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Musicians from Central High School played the processional and recessional. Education was highlighted by Craig, as the city focuses in on the importance of its schools. The district continues to work with locally-guided Manchester Proud in mapping out a long-term plan to raise the city’s public profile for educational excellence and raise the bar for student success.
City Year members served as officials greeters and escorts for the newly-elected board members as they made their way to the stage. The Rev. Deacon Edward Munz of St. Catherine of Siena church offered the invocation, while Rabbi Beth Davidson of Temple Adath Yeshurun, delivered a benediction.
The 2020 inaugural events conclude this weekend with the Inaugural Ball, to be held at the Doubletree Hilton on Jan. 11.
Following the ceremony, the boards made their way to City Hall for organizational meetings. You can read more about that here.
Slate of Board of Aldermen/Board of School Committee Representatives 2020-2022
- Ward 1: Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh; School Committee member James Porter
- Ward 2: Alderman Will Stewart; School Committee member Kathleen Arnold
- Ward 3: Alderman Pat Long; School Committee member Karen Soule
- Ward 4: Alderman Jim Roy; School Committee member Leslie Want
- Ward 5: Alderman Tony Sapienza; School Committee member Jeremy Dobson
- Ward 6: Alderwoman Elizabeth Moreau; School Committee member Dan Bergeron
- Ward 7: Alderman Ross Terrio; School Committee member William Shea
- Ward 8: Alderman Michael Porter; School Committee member Peter Perich
- Ward 9: Alderwoman Barbara Shaw; School Committee member Arthur Beaudry
- Ward 10: Alderman Bill Barry; School Committee member Jane Beaulieu
- Ward 11: Alderman Normand Gamache; School Committee member Nicole Leapley
- Ward 12: Alderman Keith Hirschmann; School Committee member Kelly Anne Thomas
- At-Large Aldermen: Joe Levasseur, Dan O’Neil
- At-Large School Committee members: Joseph LaChance, Jim O’Connell
Below are several slideshows with highlights of the day. Photos by Carol Robidoux
Joyce Craig took the oath of office to begin her second term as mayor with her husband, Michael Craig, administering the oath. Their daughters, Sarah and Kathryn, held the Bible, and her parents, Jan and Tom Hopkins had the best seats in the house. “She’s always been very strong and independent,” said her mom, who dabbed away some tears during her daughter’s “thank you” to her parents.
Six Mayors, One Stage
John Clayton, Executive Director of the Millyard Museum and the city’s resident historian, served as master of ceremonies for the inaugural event, highlighted the fact that Craig was the first woman to be elected as mayor in the city’s history. He also listed many other notable women who have made an indelible mark on Manchester, from the iconic statue of “Milly” the Millyard Girl, representative of the many women who labored to put Manchester on the map, to women, past and present, who continue to “carry us to that bright future.” From left, the succession of mayors who came before Craig, including Ted Gatsas, Frank Guinta, Robert Baines, Ray Wieczorek and Sylvio Dupuis.
Seven community members who have chosen to make Manchester their home, coming to the city from other countries under various circumstances — as immigrants or refugees, or seeking personal or professional opportunity – represented the city’s international community. Arnold Mikolo, Toula Barber, Dung Lee, Tilak Niroula, Viola Katusiime, Anna Lopez and Amjad Rana — offered an official “welcome” in their native language.
City Leaders Take the Oath