Former Montague Board of Health chair honored for ‘many years of dedication’

  • Al Cummings receives a gift from the Montague Board of Health after having served for roughly three decades. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Al Cummings receives a gift from the Montague Board of Health after having served for roughly three decades. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Al Cummings receives a gift from the Montague Board of Health after having served for roughly three decades. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Al Cummings was recognized by the Montague Board of Health last week for his roughly three decades of service. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 9/27/2022 11:51:09 AM
Modified: 9/27/2022 11:50:17 AM

MONTAGUE — Former Board of Health Chair Al Cummings’ face lit up as he received a surprise gift from his peers to commemorate his three decades of service during last week’s meeting.

Cummings, who joined the Board of Health around 1992, served as chair for roughly two decades before retiring in May to spend more time with family. Rachel Stoler was elected to fill his seat.

The 74-year-old resident was honored last week with a celebratory engraved timepiece that was given to him by current board members. Raising the clock to the light, a prismatic rainbow danced around its edges. Text honoring Cummings’ “many years of dedication to the Montague Board of Health” complemented the moment of joy.

Despite having no background in public health, Cummings said he was guided by sheer interest and a willingness to learn when he first ran for the Board of Health. He “went from there,” embracing a “self-taught” education at the beginning of his tenure.

“I’d go out on inspections with the (health director), and I’d read some books and stuff that we had there,” Cummings recalled.

No particular topic or project stood out as a personal favorite as the years went by, Cummings said. Every challenge being a “learning experience” was enough to keep him satisfied.

Cummings said he hopes the Board of Health continues to treat its work as a series of these experiences, emphasizing the importance of learning from mistakes. He added, however, that he has little doubt the board will continue to function effectively.

“We had a good board and we still do,” he said.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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