Scrooge of Besse Park: Town to replace stolen Remembrance Tree

Dec 8, 2022

Wareham resident Hugh Harp was taken aback when he drove by Besse Park on Thursday, Dec. 8 and did not see his Remembrance Tree.

“I saw maintenance workers setting up the wires for the lights and I thought that maybe they moved it, so I asked them about my tree,” he said.

The workers informed him that his tree was stolen.

The Wareham Department of Natural Resources announced that a Remembrance Tree displayed in the park had been stolen the night of Dec. 5 in a rhyming, Grinch-themed Facebook post. 

“On Tuesday the sixth, all the town workers found was a ditch, a spot where a Remembrance Tree once lay/They looked to the left and they looked to the right, they looked up and down, they looked out of sight,” the post read.

The Town of Wareham began the Remembrance Tree program last year to give residents an opportunity to commemorate the lives of deceased family members and veterans. All proceeds from the sale of the trees would go to Damien’s Food pantry. 

Harp said that he surprised his girlfriend Dianne Rossi with a tree honoring her mother, World War II veteran Marion Catrambone. The tree, decorated with American flags, also honored Harp's father, World War II veteran James Robert Harp.

He also included laminated pictures of the two veterans on his tree. 

“Here I was worried that the wind would blow the pictures away,” Harp said with a laugh. 

Despite the Scrooge-like tendencies of the tree thief, Harp said that he was grateful to learn that Town Administrator Derek Sullivan is replacing the tree free of charge.