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May 20, 2014

Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame poised to add to its ranks

More than a decade had passed when in 2012 the Haverhill Citizens Hall of Fame finally added to its ranks of Haverhill sons and daughters who achieved fame in their lifetime and brought recognition to the city.

The last to be included were A. Raymond Tye, a businessman and philanthropist who often paid the medical bills of needy people here and abroad, and Ezekiel J.M. Hale, a business tycoon who also helped bring a hospital to the city along with its first public library.

Now, the Hall of Fame Committee is poised to make a few new additions as it looks to accelerate its selection process.

Paul Bevilacqua, president of the Hall of Fame Committee, said the committee experienced a period of transition with the addition of some new members and is currently focused on researching candidates known to the committee and those who others have recommended.

“Most of our current recommendations have come from the public,” Bevilacqua said. “But we don’t publicize who we are considering until we’ve made a decision.”

Bevilacqua said his committee did not recommend or induct at least four times as many people who were brought to its attention by the general public, including candidates suggested by people from across the country.

“What we look at is there a substantive connection to Haverhill and did they have a significant impact beyond the city, beyond the state, the country and even internationally,” he said.

To make it over the threshold of acceptance into the Hall of Fame requires more than having done well for the community, which Bevilacqua said many people fall into the category of.

“This has always been about people whose impact has transcended Haverhill,” he said. “We do our best to step back and now allow the emotions of the moment to guide our decisions. We really hash these things out and take our responsibilities seriously.”

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