Opinion: Support the ‘long-awaited Wareham Community Center’ at Town Meeting

Oct 19, 2021

To the Editor:

Years ago, I asked directions to get my small outfielder to an away game at the Decas School. We were so excited to join the community of families on a gorgeously big, tree-encircled field where kids could stretch out and holler. 

Years later, a resident, I read of a proposal to extend the Rte. 28 commercial area to the Weweantic, demolishing the Decas School. Knowing teachers who loved their "beautiful" school, I joined the Jim Munise tour inside Decas and saw time and again, each tour became a dream fulfillment tour. Participants were wide-eyed at the possibilities of programs long desired and the unimagined fresh ideas that could arise in a multi-generational family community center.  Elders and children would have a beautiful natural environment outside and an inner garden where they could read to one another and tell their life stories. Entrepreneurs and students working for their GEDs could inspire one another in co-creative lab spaces. The COA's long-wanted dinner theater with a local troupe could have its stage. And a commercial kitchen allowing possibilities for nutritional and creative classes, Damien's Family Pantry and Meals on Wheels. 

Walking along brightly painted corridors of classrooms, sparkling with custodial pride, we too were encouraged by messages encouraging each child to believe in themselves, respect and help one another and create together.  

This was the dream of William Decas and Esther Decas, whose son John W. Decas was killed at 19 fighting for our country in WWII. As they carried that great loss, they insisted that their daughter Georgia's future, their future, lay in her education. Through her hard work, she became the Decas School's extraordinarily generous benefactor and preservationist of the natural world without whom we could not dream of DECAS for All, Decas for Wareham.  

The creation of a long-awaited Wareham Community Center is at hand. With your vote and our collective energies, it will succeed.

Annie Hayes