Carniglia bust re-dedicated at senior center

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Jan. 16, 2013
Senior Center Director Anne Marie Claffey, Margaret Malec, and First Selectman Steve Wawruck with Dr. Ettore F. Carniglia’s likeness. Photos by Jennifer Coe.
Senior Center Director Anne Marie Claffey, Margaret Malec, and First Selectman Steve Wawruck with Dr. Ettore F. Carniglia’s likeness. Photos by Jennifer Coe.

In a brief ceremony on Jan. 10, the bronze bust of Dr. Ettore F. Carniglia was re-dedicated in its new home at the senior center which bears his name. This is the second time Carniglia’s legacy has drawn a crowded room at the senior center in the last six months. In November 2012, a full program about Carniglia’s life was held, focusing on the continued research of local historian and retired teacher Phil Devlin.

The bronze bust has been at Town Hall since 1985, when it was first presented. “With the resurgence of interest in Doc Carney's life, through Phil Devlin's presentation,” said Anne Marie Claffey, the senior center director, “Doc's daughter asked to have it moved to the building named for him.”

Margaret Malec, Carniglia’s daughter, was pleased to see the bust in its new home. “I always wanted him to be here,” she said.

Ettore Carniglia lived at 4 Oak St. It was an honor for a working-class family’s son to attend Loomis Chaffee on scholarship. Ultimately, Carniglia went on to attend Harvard, becoming a doctor and coming back to his home-town to offer his medical expertise to the people he grew up with.

Even with all the work Devlin has put into researching the life of “Doc Carney,” he feels it only barely touches on the impact Carniglia had in town. “The time [I spent] is very small compared to what Carney gave to our community,” Devlin said.

“He was a doctor with a big heart,” said First Selectman Steve Wawruck. “His legacy lives on through the center that bears his name.”

“This is the time of year it is appropriate to appreciate the Carniglias,” added Devlin. Carniglia would have celebrated his 102nd birthday on Jan. 8.

Before the bust was revealed, one of Carney’s colleagues took to the podium to offer his thoughts and memories. While his contemporary, Dr. Dave Crombie was much younger when he knew and looked up to Carniglia. “He was an idol to me, a giant,” said Crombie. “He was really cool, that guy.”

One day, Crombie said, Carniglia called him to his office and asked him to remove a cancerous growth on his hand, right there at his desk, and Crombie did. “He could do anything,” Crombie said.

When Malec and Wawruck removed the cloth covering the bronze bust, she leaned over and gave her father’s likeness a hug. Claffey then read aloud what was written on the plaque to applause from those in attendance: “Carney, country doctor-healer, and servant to his fellow man.”

Despite his exhaustive research on Carniglia’s life, Devlin has obtained yet more photos and information since the November presentation, making his research on the local doctor even more complete.

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