‘Big Hugh’ much loved



There is a lot of grief on Islesford, Great Cranberry and many other places following Islesford’s Hugh Smallwood‘s death last week. Karen Smallwood reported: “I’m sure that by now most of you know that Hugh died this past Tuesday, the 17th. He was doing something he loved, boating on the Chesapeake, with his two sisters [Dedi Whitaker and Innes Kasanof] whom he adored.”

Chandler Morse wrote: “It is with great remorse that I let folks know that my father-in-law, Hugh Randolph Smallwood, passed away on Tuesday. There are not enough words to capture the man that Big Hugh was, the life he led, or even to describe his passions. … For Hugh, the measure of success was the time he had for the moments that were important to him. Time to be with his family. Time to be on the island he loved so much. Time to pursue his passions. Time to share a meal with friends. … Big Hugh loved openly. He loved bravely. And I want to as well. He was taken from us all too soon and he will be sorely missed. But, I can think of no higher tribute than to live to his example in loving our family and friends.”

Hugh was a craftsman with wood. A table in the Ladies’ Parlor at Neighborhood House is one of his creations. His craft extended to cooking in his kitchens in Baltimore and on Islesford and being a gracious host. His outdoor oven on Islesford has been well used for weekly pizza to order.

Being very involved in the Boatworks program each summer, Hugh taught kids how to use tools. As a watchman in the annual rowathon at the end of the season, he kept a close eye on those rowing around the island who might become too tired to be safe. Hugh spent time with Tony Archino, the executive director, at the Boatworks barn, for boat work and for the weekly music gathering.

When Islesford needed a new group of EMTs, Hugh took the course in Baltimore, and his license was recognized in Maine. He joined Margaret Houghton, Katelyn Damon, Cory Duggan and others who revived the service. His support of the island EMTs has been deep and constant, including arranging the Cranberry Isles and MDI EMTs’ participation in the weeklong programs at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Over the course of four or five years, eight EMTs went down to Baltimore each year, spending two days at the hospital and two days on an ambulance. Hugh and Karen hosted at least one dinner for the group.

Hugh was well loved and will be sorely missed by many.

Earth Day themes made their way into Tom Powell’s sermon this Sunday. Before Tom began, a small Earth Day ceremony was held outside on the church lawn. Indigenous peoples’ prayers were read for the land by Colleen Bunker. Audrey Noether sang “Wild Mountain Time,” and Helen Bertles organized a planting of flowers. The whole group got their hands in the soil to tuck in roots, and little Lewis Powell made sure the plants were thoroughly watered. Passersby would be hard pressed not to notice the giant inflated dragon by the flag pole that symbolized a more abstract idea of a trash monster or serpent lurking in our ocean’s water. The message is this: “Don’t feed the monster.” Don’t pollute the ocean’s waters and don’t throw trash on our shores. These things feed the monster! Some islanders are hoping to carry this theme further throughout the summer season. More to come soon.

Cindy Thomas hosted Ashley Bryan, Kaitlyn and Bode Duggan, and Elliott Damon Hadlock. Ashley read “How I Became a Pirate.” A couple of pirates had eye patches and pirate flags when they left.

The roads have been swept! No more crunch with every step announcing our arrival. Thanks to the town office for bringing the John Goodwin Company out for a couple of days.

Happy birthday this week to Eric Dyer on April 26. May welcomes Tom Morse, Sofie Dowling and Peter Benson.

Anniversaries this week are Sally Rowan and Skip Stevens on April 28 and Cindy and Dave Thomas on May 2.

Sally Rowan and Sarah McCracken

Sally Rowan and Sarah McCracken

We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Sally Rowan at [email protected] com, and for Great Cranberry, email Sarah McCracken at [email protected] or call her at 978-879-5939.
Sally Rowan and Sarah McCracken

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