–By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
Massachusetts Speaker of the House, Winthrop’s own Robert A. DeLeo, was honored as the Winthrop Lodge of Elks’ Citizen of the Year Wednesday night, during the organizations’ annual Flag Day Ceremonies at the Elks Lodge on Washington Street.
The presentation of the award was made by State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, who previously had served with Speaker DeLeo in the House of Representatives.
The ceremony, which was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (after the Transcript’s deadline),included remarks by Town Council President Jeffrey Turco, a musical selection by Sergeant Daniel Clark, known as the Massachusetts State Police’s “Singing Trooper,” and presentations of awards to the winning entries in the Elks’ annual essay contests.
Lodge of Elks’ Exalted Ruler Steve Rosenthal and Esteemed Loyal Knight Pamela Milton presided over the ceremony.
Speaker DeLeo, who has served as Winthrop’s State Representative since 1991, was recognized for his efforts on behalf of Winthrop’s citizens in the Massachusetts House, but also for his many charitable and advocacy efforts.
DeLeo became Speaker of the House on January 28, 2009 and before that served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which annually develops the House’s budget priorities. Before that he chaired the House Committee on Bills in Third Reading, served as House Chairman for the Joint Committee on Local Affairs and chaired the House Committee on Ethics.
Since becoming Speaker of the House, Speaker DeLeo has made it a priority for the House to adopt new rules on Ethics, House Rules, transportation and pension reform. He has also led the House effort on expanded gaming in Massachusetts, and this year led the effort to rein in municipal health care costs, by advocating for a sweeping new proposal that would give Massachusetts’ cities and towns the power to design health care plans for their employees without having to negotiate with unions.
Locally, Speaker DeLeo has long been active as a member of founding member with a number of community and civic organizations including the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce, Lodge of Elks, Friends of the Council on Aging, Friends of the Parks and Recreation Department, Justinian Law Society, Knights of Columbus, Lodge of Moose, Revere League for Special Needs, Revere Santa Fund, Sons of Italy, Friend of Belle Isle Marsh and Winthrop Airport Hazards Committee.
Also honored during Wednesday night’s ceremony for their creative essays in several categories were the essay winners.
In the Winthrop Emblem Club #15, winners for their essays on the theme “What the flag of the USA means to me,” were Third Place winner Ashley Miles, Second Place winner Francesca Capone and First Place winner Grace Carlton were recognized.
For their Drug Awareness Essays, themed “Not Now Not Ever” – Patrick Sullivan was the Boys District Poster winner and Jake Letterie was the Boys District Essay Winner. Ava Bertino was the girls state poster winner and Poli Tsiotos was the girls state essay winner.
In the category of Americanism essays, Regi Musai won third place at the state level for the fifth-sixth Grade Category and Jake Letterie won first place in the state for seventh-eighth Grade Category.