Ted and Mary Murphy, owners of Garrison’s Golf Center in Haverhill, are recognized for their long service and dedication to the city, with the Hilldale Avenue Bridge over Interstate 495 being named in their honor.
Gov. Charlie Baker signed the “Ted and Mary Murphy Bridge” legislation last week that has quietly worked its way through the State House over the past year. The legislation was devised by Haverhill attorney Sean P. Gleason and other committee members of the Penta Par 3 golf tournament, which is held annually at Garrison Golf.
“We thought about how great the Murphys have been to us over the years, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what they’ve done for this community. We thought it was a nice and appropriate gesture. We hope they feel how much this community loves them,” Gleason told WHAV.
The legislation was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Diana DiZoglio and in the House by Rep. Andy X. Vargas. The House and Senate each signed the bill into law on August 22 and submitted it to the governor. The law requires the Highway Division to place and maintain “appropriate beacons bearing such designation in accordance with the standards of said department.”
The Murphys were grilled last Saturday at the Penta Par 3 golf tournament, but, Gleason said, an official 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 the Garrison Golf Center in 1969 and made Haverhill their home. DiZoglio told WHAV she was happy to table this legislation and thanked Gleason for approaching her.
“Over the past five decades, Ted and Mary Murphy have, through their charitable endeavors and golf instruction to countless young people, left a positive and lasting impact on the Greater Haverhill community. Their belief that confidence, self-respect and happiness can be developed through sport continues to inspire young men and women in our region,” she said.
Vargas added: “Mary and Ted Murphy are steadfast leaders in the Haverhill community. From serving on various boards and civic groups to volunteering with their church, the Murphys’ countless hours and contributions have made Haverhill a better place for everyone, especially our young people… It’s no exaggeration to say that many young people, service clubs and non-profit organizations would not be able to achieve all they have without the generosity of the Murphys. They are an exceptional couple who represent the best of Haverhill.
Gleason noted that 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 is also a life member of the Greens Superintendents of America, a former member of the Lions Club, a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus, and a 40-plus 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’s cheerleading 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 the committees of St. Joseph’s School and St. Joseph’s Church, including serving as leader of the school’s parent-teacher organization and as chair of the school’s Christmas bazaar; member of the Haverhill Parks and Recreation Commission and board member of the Haverhill YMCA.
The couple also organized and co-sponsored the Haverhill Gazette Santa Fund’s 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 Outstanding Business People of the Year by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce. They received the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Community Leadership Award in 2003. In 2008, they also received the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Yankee Clipper Council Boy Scouts of America.
“Coming into the Garrison is like coming into your home. Everyone feels at home,” Gleason added.