New Officers Elected for Gates Historical Society

The Gates Historical Society announces election of Board member Garth Brokaw as incoming President, replacing Susan Swanton who served as Society President 2019-2021. Susan Swanton will become Secretary to the Board and Marjorie Bouwens moves up to Vice President and Newsletter Editor.

Elected for a three year term is Paula Blackburn, Adult Services Librarian, Gates Public Library and filling the balance of a two year term is Betty Cline. Elected for a second three year term is board members Marlene Sutliff and Susan Swanton.

Garth currently assists with several Society Committees and works closely with Marlene Sutliff who as Curator for the museum ensures that donations to the Society fit in the Hinchey Homestead’s period of significance 1870’s to 1910’s. Garth and Marlene are constantly at work to tell the history of Gates through the Homestead that the Society manages for the Town of Gates.

Garth says “The Hinchey Homestead is a remarkable visual cue that stimulates ones curiosity about the history of the town of Gates. The history of every town reminds of as to who we are as a community, as a nation. Every story is a treasure. I am honored to serve as the Gates Historical Society works to preserve those treasures. ”

President Brokaw’s background: Retired minister, Executive Director, American Baptist Homes and Caring Ministries Association. 22 years as President/CEO for Fairport Baptist Home. 40 years living 19th ward, 35 years, Fairport/Perinton Senior Living Council Board; last 10 years as President. 7 years on Linkages Board for Rochester Sister City program. Docent, Landmark Society and Genesee Country Village and Museum

Marjorie Bouwens is a lifelong resident of the Town of Gates, a Gates business owner of ‘Sign of Jonah’, Secretary of the Gates Garden Club. She says “I am very happy to be a part of the Gates Historical Society. So much of our history guides our future. Preserving and sharing our rick history is very important. The Society is working hard to keep our history alive for everyone.”

New officers and Board members were elected by the Society membership at their Annual Meeting on June 14 by secret ballot Deputy Town Supervisor Chris DiPonzio swore in the new officers and board members. Kudos to former Society Board member, Lee Krist, who chaired the Nominations Committee.

Continuing on the Board are: Raymond Coons as Treasurer, Christine Maurice, Virginia Paddock and Susan Swingle. There is a one year vacancy on the Board that President Brokaw is seeking to fill. Email him at

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