2016 MV Medal Winners (from left to right):
Robert S. Douglas, Catherine (Kay) Mayhew, and Len Butler.
The Annual Meeting hosted August 8, 2016 reviewed the 2015 year, recognized the work of outgoing board members, and awarded the Martha's Vineyard Medal to leaders in the community to recognize their outstanding commitment to preserving the history, arts, and culture of Martha’s Vineyard.
2016 MV Medal Winners
Presented by Richard Skidmore
Len Butler was building committee chairman for the Gay Head Lighthouse move. He is a senior site supervisor and founding member of John G. Early Construction where he has worked on countless Vineyard homes since 1972. Len navigated a number of complex problems involving many stakeholders to move the Light hundreds of feet back from the eroding cliffs. He oversaw geological studies and studies of erosion rates, helped solicit bids for moving the Lighthouse, and consulted with Nantucket where a similar group moved the Sankaty Light in 2007. Len was eager to educate the community about the Lighthouse move, especially Island schoolchildren. Moving the Light became Len’s day job. He was known as Aquinnah’s “steady hand on the tiller,” a responsibility that consumed countless hours.
Robert S. Douglas
Presented by Denys Wortman
Capt. Robert S. Douglas is the designer and builder of the topsail Black Dog schooner Shenandoah, which he captained for 48 years. He became involved with boats summering and sailing on Martha’s Vineyard as a youth. In the early 1960s, he began working at the Harvey Gamage Shipyard in Maine where he designed and built Shenandoah to take guests on charters around New England. Bob always wanted people to experience sailing in the wind, on the water, and without 20th century technology. He moved to the Island full time in the late 1960s. Later, as the market for adult passengers declined, he began focusing on kids’ cruises. Countless Island school children have had the experience of spending days on Shenandoah learning about life at sea.
Catherine (Kay) Mayhew
Presented by Anna Carringer
Catherine (Kay) Mayhew has been involved with the MV Museum since it was the Dukes County Historical Society. She served on the Board and was also Vice President and Secretary. Kay volunteers over 600 hours a year as the Museum’s genealogist, helping people find their family history through various sources including the Museum’s archives. She has an encyclopedic memory of families on this Island. Kay is the former president of the MV League of Women Voters and currently writes the weekly Tisbury column for the Martha’s Vineyard Times.