As lifelong Berlin resident and former mayor Arthur Powers Sr. approaches his 95th birthday, it is an opportune moment to reflect on his exceptional life, remarkable achievements and enduring impact on our community. In an era where politics and politicians often face criticism and cynicism, it is truly a privilege to celebrate the legacy of a man who has devoted his life to public service and unwavering dedication to our town.
A dear friend and mentor, Art is a living testament to the power of perseverance and persistence. From the time he was elected to the state legislature in 1958, and throughout his illustrious, decades-long career, he has exemplified the qualities that make a true leader: vision, empathy and a deep commitment to the well-being of the people he represented.
From the early days of his political journey, right through to the present, Art has remained a steadfast advocate for the betterment of our community, earning the respect and admiration of countless individuals along the way.
Art’s accomplishments during his 10 consecutive terms as mayor are astonishing, and include: the establishment of the first Town Charter; the construction of Griswold, Hubbard and McGee schools, Little League fields and pools, the first senior housing complex in the community – Marjorie Moore Village, and a Town Hall located in what is now known as the Arthur B. Powers, Sr. Municipal Complex.
Also, the first renovation and addition to Berlin High School occurred under Art’s watch, and Berlin families enjoy Timberlin and Sage Park, and football, soccer, baseball and softball fields that were purchased and developed with state and federal funds obtained by him.
Art is also famous for initiating the highly-successful Berlin High School wrestling program. He officiated countless wrestling tournaments locally and nationally, and earned numerous accolades in the sport, including being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and, of course, the Berlin High School Hall of Fame.
Art’s unwavering dedication to public service is evident in the countless initiatives and projects he spearheaded, all aimed at improving the lives of residents. He has left an indelible mark on our town's landscape and future.
When his 20-year tenure as mayor concluded, Art was appointed commissioner of the Department of Transportation by Gov. Ella T. Grasso.
Art reminds us that age is no barrier to making a meaningful impact on society and that the pursuit of a better future is a lifelong journey. His legacy will forever be etched in the annals of our town's history, a shining example for future leaders to follow.
Art worked as an insurance salesman until his retirement in 2019 at the age of 91. He is the father of five – Arthur Jr., Juliann, Grace, Christopher and Rebecca –grandfather of four and great-grandfather to two.
As we celebrate Art’s milestone birthday, let us collectively express our heartfelt gratitude for the immeasurable contributions he has made to our community.
Should you pass by Art on one of his walks through town with his beloved dog Teddy, please thank him and wish him a happy 95th birthday.
May this occasion be a celebration of a life well-lived, and may he continue to inspire us all for years to come!