Ted and Mary Murphy, owners of Garrison’s Golf Center in Haverhill, are being recognized for their longtime service and dedication to the city with the Hilldale Avenue bridge over Interstate 495 being named in their honor.
Gov. Charlie Baker last week signed the “Ted and Mary Murphy Bridge” legislation that worked its way quietly through the State House over the last year. The legislation was conceived by Haverhill attorney Sean P. Gleason and other members of the Penta Par 3 Golf Tournament Committee, which annually takes place at Garrison Golf.
“We’d been thinking about how great the Murphys have been over the years to us, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as what they’ve done for this community. We thought it was a nice gesture and appropriate. We hope they feel how much love this community has for them,” Gleason told WHAV.
The legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Diana DiZoglio and in the House by Rep. Andy X. Vargas. The House and Senate each enacted the bill Aug. 22 and placed it before the governor. The law requires the division of highways to place and maintain “suitable markers bearing this designation in compliance with the standards of said department.”
The Murphys were toasted this past Saturday during the Penta Par 3 Golf Tournament, but, Gleason said, a formal bridge dedication ceremony is planned. Besides Gleason, committee members include Rick Wilson, Dan “Tiger” Ruth, George Riley, Ed Fenlon, Doug Cokely and Ally Ruth.
The Murphys purchased Garrison Golf Center in 1969 and made Haverhill their home. DiZoglio told WHAV she was happy to file this legislation thanked Gleason for approaching her.
“Over the past five decades, Ted and Mary Murphy have, through their charitable endeavors and golf instruction to countless youth, left a positive and lasting impact on the Greater Haverhill community. Their belief that confidence, self-respect and happiness can all be developed through sport continues to inspire young men and women in our region,” she said.
Vargas added, “Mary and Ted Murphy are unwavering leaders in the Haverhill Community. From serving on various boards and civic groups to volunteering with their church, the Murphy’s countless hours and contributions have made Haverhill a better place for all, especially our youth…It’s no exaggeration to say that many youth, service clubs and nonprofits would not be able to achieve all that they have without the generosity of the Murphy’s. They are an exceptional couple who represent the best of Haverhill.”
Gleason noted Ted Murphy was one of the founders of Haverhill Youth Hockey in the 1970s and helped students with the Haverhill High Golf Team and Haverhill High basketball. He also is a lifetime member of the Greens Superintendents of America, former member of the Lions Club, longtime member of the Knights of Columbus and a more than 40-year member of the Professional Golf Association of America. In 1989, he received the prestigious New England Section PGA Junior Leader Award.
Mary Murphy served as Haverhill High cheerleader advisor from 1978 to 1985; established the Haverhill Boys Basketball and Golf Team Booster Clubs in 1978 and later served as president of both; served on St. Joseph’s School and St. Joseph’s Church committees, including serving as an officer of the school’s Parent-Teacher’s Organization and as chairwoman of the school’s Christmas bazaar; member of the Haverhill Parks and Recreation Commission and Haverhill YMCA board member.
The couple has also hosted and cosponsored the Haverhill Gazette Santa Fund Hole-In-One Contest and provided space for the Haverhill Kiwanis Club’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drop. They received the 1984 Liberty Bell Award from the Haverhill Bar Association and, in 1999, were named the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Persons of the Year. They received the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award in 2003. In 2008, they also received the Yankee Clipper Council Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizens Award.
“Walking into the Garrison is like walking into your house. Everyone feels at home,” Gleason added.