2001 Honoree


He's "Harwie" the lion and even Santa sometimes as well. He ran a youth group (Pilgrim Fellowship) at the Harwinton Congregational Church back in the 60's; he volunteers for the Harwinton Agricultural Society including the annual Harwinton Fair.

He's a past director of the Bronc Callahan Community Fund, a lifetime member of the Harwinton Historical Society, a member of the HArwinton Lions Club and the American Legion. The Lions have named him Lion of the Year. He was even Captain of the Harwinton Police Department back in the 1950's.

Wilkins, a retired electrician, Helps decorate the towns Christmas Tree each year and also works on maintenance projects for both the Harwinton Congregational Church and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Maybe, most importantly, Don is the Deputy Chief of the Harwinton Fire Police and a former Firefighter. There are four radios in his vehicle, emergency lights on top and a scanner in his home.

"Don represents the true spirit of volunteerism. He's always willing to lend a helping hand without seeking personal recognition. That's what it's all about" said Pete Salwocki, a member of the Award committee.

Wilkins was born in New Milford and attended the old North School in Torrington for a couple of months. But he's been a Harwinton resident since 1936. He attended Harwinton's only two-room schoolhouse, the Orchard Hill School and graduated from the Torrington High School.

Wilkins served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War.

Wilkins worked for Du-All Electric in Torrington for 19 years and Dube Electric in Waterbury for about 20 years where he retired from 8 years ago.

"It's fun doing Howie. I've been in town a long time. I know a lot of people and also a lot about them," Wilkins said.

He and his wife Barbara Brown Wilkins. raised six children. They now have nine grandchildren. "I do it for my own physical and mental well being," Wilkins said of his volunteerism.


For Photos

Harwinton Historical Society Scrapbook
Republican American Newspaper