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Shelter Island honors the Ironman

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Sidney “the Ironman” Beckwith was honored at Town Hall Friday with a proclamation, presented to him by Supervisor Jim Dougherty.

AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO Sidney “the Ironman” Beckwith was honored at Town Hall Friday with a proclamation, presented to him by Supervisor Jim Dougherty.

The Town Board honored Sidney Beckwith, one of Shelter Island’s most revered citizens, with a proclamation presented to him at the board’s Friday meeting.

At a packed Town Hall meeting room, Supervisor Jim Dougherty read the proclamation. It noted many of Mr. Beckwith’s accomplishments, including the recent celebration of his 97th birthday.

Known as “the Ironman,” Mr. Beckwith graduated from Shelter Island High School in 1937, one of a class of 12, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. At one point, Mr. Beckwith spent 38 moths straight of overseas duty. He worked for the Suffolk County Board of Health for 37 years, serving as head of the organization.

Islanders know him for his sporting prowess, running the Shelter Island 10K and winning his age division and shooting his age in golf more than 1,100 times in addition to notching 17 holes in one.

This year he was inducted into the Shelter Island Athletic Hall of Fame.

After receiving the proclamation from Mr. Dougherty, Mr. Beckwith graciously thanked the town. He noted that there have been times he’s felt important in his life, including becoming a father, his induction into his hometown’s Hall of Fame and remembering in particular the feeling of tooling around the Island in a 1950 chartreuse Ford.

“But this is bigger,” Mr. Beckwith said to a standing ovation. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I’ll never forget it.”

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