, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 30, 2013

MacFarlane, Dillingham-Mailman honored as Unsung Heroines

NEWBURYPORT — Olga MacFarlane of Newburyport and Laura Dillingham-Mailman of Merrimac yesterday were honored by state officials as Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women hosted the recognition event for the 10th year.

MacFarlane was nominated by state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, and the name of Dillingham-Mailman was forwarded by state Sen. Lenny Mirra, R-West Newbury.

MacFarlane has been the president of the Friends of Newburyport Council on Aging for six years.

She also has been involved with the Newburyport Education Foundation, and she has been a key figure in the planning of the city’s proposed senior recreation center.

“Olga has involved herself in many community activities,” said O’Connor-Ives, “but she is not one to seek recognition for herself.

“These awards honor women in the community who don’t always get credit, and Olga is very deserving.”

Dillingham-Mailman was recognized for her efforts with the Merrimac Council on Aging.

Jill Ashton, who heads the Commission on the Status of Women, said, in a statement, “Unsung Heroines use their time, talent, spirit and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others.

“Thousands of women from every community in the state perform unheralded actions on a daily basis that make our homes, neighborhoods, city and towns better places to live.”

MacFarlane said, “I am humbled by this award, I’m glad Katy chose me, and I was very pleased to be with so many great women at the ceremony in Boston.

“I have tried to be active in every community in which I lived, and I have always wanted to make a contribution.”

MacFarlane is a native of Newburyport, and is a class agent for the Class of 1943. She lived in California for about 50 years before returning about a dozen years ago.

She said, “One project I worked on that I am very proud of is the senior recreation center that has been approved by voters. We have needed one for many years, and now plans are being made to make it happen.”

Dillingham-Mailman, who is executive director of the Merrimac Council on Aging, could not be reached for comment last night.

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