Monday, February 13, 2012

Brockton Historical Society, Stonehill Celebrate Collaboration

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—When AmeriCorps volunteers come to Brockton to work in the community, one of their first stops before hitting the streets is to visit with John W. Learnard, a pillar of knowledge about Brockton’s  history, and now the namesake of Brockton’s Shoe Museum.
“John’s passion for Brockton’s history is unparalleled,” said Matt Powers, a 20-something Pembroke native who joined AmeriCorps and met Learnard (pictured, right) to learn a little bit about Brockton’s history.
Powers said the visit has stayed with him and dozens of AmeriCorps workers who come from all over the country to serve in Brockton.
“I’m here because of his passion for Brockton’s history,” Powers said, “and he’s spreading that passion for Brockton’s history around the country.”
Learnard, a longtime member of the historical society and past president, was honored Sunday with the dedication of the Brockton Shoe Museum in his honor. More than 200 people attended a celebration of not only Learnard’s stewardship, but also the release of a new book, “Brockton Revisited,” by recently outgoing historical society president James E. Benson through Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. The foreword is written by Mayor Linda Balzotti.
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