By Joseph T. O’Leary, Journal Inquirer
MANCHESTER — Seventy-three years is a long time. Just ask Merv Clemson.
On Thursday, Fuss & O’Neill celebrated Clemson, 89, and his long career with the company as a land surveyor, installing a permanent survey monument in his honor outside the company’s Hartford Road building.
Clemson began working for Fuss & O’Neill in 1944, when he was just 16.
Mayor Jay Moran declared Thursday, Nov. 2, as “Merv Clemson Day.”
“What you’ve done for the company and for the community is amazing,” Moran said of Clemson’s work history, military service, and volunteer duties as a firefighter for the 8th Utilities District.
“We wanted to take an opportunity to celebrate Merv’s service to the company,” Fuss & O’Neill CEO and President Peter Grose said. When he started at Fuss & O’Neil more than 30 years ago, Grose said, Clemson was already one of the company’s oldest and most valued employees.
“It says a lot about his dedication,” Grose said.
“It feels great for me,” Clemson said of the celebration. Clemson noted that 70 years meant 70 winters, all spent outside with his teams.
“These are all good people to work with,” he said of his fellow surveyors and coworkers at Fuss & O’Neill. “All top-shelf people.” He took special notice of a picture, dated from the 1980s, of him standing with his crew. “There’s a lot of knowledge there,” he said.
Clemson said his career had a lot of incidents, both good and bad.
“Every day’s an adventure,” said Paul Charette, party chief for Fuss & O’Neill, adding to Clemson’s comments. “There’s always something there.”
Clemson said Manchester, the town he was born and raised in, has transformed as he worked there. “This town, excluding the Cheney properties, all the new houses, I was involved in all of it. Broad Street wasn’t even built yet.”
After 73 years, with a break for Clemson to serve in the Korean War, he finally retired on June 22, Grose said.
He noted the ways the company, and surveying, has changed in the last several decades, with Clemson being a constant there.
“We really appreciate all you’ve done over the years,” Grose said. “You’ve been an important part of the company and we want to thank you for what you’ve done.”
Clemson’s fellow surveyors thought the service marker, which has its own specific latitude and longitude, was the best way to honor him and serves as a permanent reminder of his service.
“I can’t believe it, the recognition is fantastic,” Clemson said. “I’ve never been thanked this way.”
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