Winthrop Playmakers: Group is Observing Its 75th Anniversary as a Town Institution

Thursday, February 21, 2013
By Transcript Staff

We join with the entire community in congratulating the Winthrop Playmakers on its 75th year in our town. For decades, the local community theater organization has brought much enjoyment to our residents through its many shows and productions at its landmark building on Hermon Street. The Playmakers have given opportunities to countless individuals who love to perform on stage or behind the scenes and be part of a theatrical production.

What we’ve always admired about the Playmakers is the professionalism they bring in the presentation of their shows and the passion that members display about their craft. The Playmakers are well-known throughout the area for the high quality of their shows and the family atmosphere that exists at their events.

We learned from current vice president Pam Racicot that a Winthrop resident, Ross Gilchrist, founded the Playmakers in 1938. After occupying different sites in the town, the Playmakers moved to their current building, a former church, in 1973, thanks to the efforts of Pat McGee. Pat has been involved in every aspect of the Playmakers and her efforts are truly commendable. Her grandson, Max McGee, will perform at a fundraiser on March 16 at the theater.

Today Grace Meidanis serves as president of the Playmakers, and though attendance at shows has been down in recent years, she feels confident that the Playmakers can continue to be the vibrant and successful theater group it has been since its inception. With hard-working volunteers like Grace overseeing our venerable theater group, we know that Winthrop residents will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy shows for years to come.

To borrow from the title of the current Playmakers’ production, we say, “You’re a good group, Winthrop Playmakers,” and we know we join with all of our fellow residents in thanking you for what you have meant as a part of the fabric of our community over the generations.

LARRY HOLMES RETIRES: Larry did an outstanding job as Veteran’s Agent

Larry Holmes has decided to step down as the director of veterans services for our town. A United States Marine Corps veteran, Larry did a great job in the position and helped many veterans in the town. His overseeing and organizing of the annual Veterans Day ceremony on the Town Hall Lawn was greatly appreciated and the event always draws hundreds of residents who come out to salute our war veterans.

We remember when Larry stepped in as the interim town manager when the town was mired in some tough financial times and he was able to steer the town in the right direction and help it avoid fiscal calamity.

Thank you, Larry Holmes, for your service to our country and your community and for being an outstanding veterans agent.

CONGRATULATIONS, IGNACIO: NEC South Coach of the Year award is well deserved

The Winthrop High School girls basketball program is back on the map and we’re so pleased that the other coaches in the Northeastern Conference have recognized Winthrop coach Ignacio Oyola as its Coach of the Year. The Winthrop High girls basketball program has had an illustrious history, beginning with the incredible job that Ron Spinney did as head coach. Spinney was a true pioneer in high school girls basketball and recognized how quickly the sport would grow. His successor, Peter Grimes, piloted Winthrop to a 20-0 record one season and some of his players, including Courtney Finn, Kristen Finn, Caterina Mallios, Nicole Giaquinto, and Meredith Soper, went on to compete and excel in college sports.

And now Oyola has restored the program to great heights, winning 16 games this season and looming as a contender in the upcoming State Tournament. Oyola has guided this year’s team  well and the future looks exceedingly bright.

Winthrop hoop fans will recall that Oyola was a member of the 1995 WHS state champion boys basketball team that won one of the most memorable games ever at the old Boston Garden under the direction of Peter Grimes. Oyola could become the first person ever to win a state championship as a player and as a coach.

Congratulations, Ignacio, on your much-deserved coach of the year award and we hope Winthrop residents will get out there, like they always do, and support your team in the State Tournament.

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