Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00
Carle Place’s John Heslin has been regularly called the “unofficial mayor” of the hamlet, but perhaps now the title is a bit more official.
On Dec. 6, Town of North Hempstead Clerk Leslie Gross presented Heslin, a retired New York City policeman, with the distinguished title at the Westbury Manor on Jericho Turnpike.
“It’s just like John Heslin to be the ‘meeter,’ the greeter, the ‘smiler,’ the ‘facilitator’, and in my mind, one of our Hometown Heroes,” said Gross.
“He’s such an activist of the community. You know he carries around his portable office – he’s got the documentation, he’s got it all,” Gross added.
Heslin, president of the Carle Place Seniors for the past six years, prides himself on the great turnout at Fuschillo Park meetings and keeping tabs on all things Carle Place during his walks around town.
One of his ongoing concerns has been the deterioration of the facility at Carle Place’s Fuschillo Park, citing how he’s been promised a new roof from several elected officials. These days he’s still got the buckets on hand for rainy day meetings.
When he’s not leading senior meetings (every Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Fuschillo Park), which sometimes feature attendance nearing triple digits, Heslin is active within the Carle Place Civic Association (director), Westbury/Carle Place Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Relay for Life, the Family Fun Run/Walk, the annual tree lighting … to name a few.
“He’s such a great advocate for the community, he’s everywhere,” said Gross, who, in one of her many capacities, performed the marriage ceremony for John’s son at the Westbury Manor several years ago.
“When I got that phone call, I teared up. I think that it was the most wonderful honor that anybody could have – to be asked by a friend to perform a wedding for a family member,” said Gross.
Chances are if you’re at an event in Carle Place, you’ll see Heslin there – meeting, greeting, smiling, facilitating – nothing less than one would expect from a hero.