More than 60 family members, friends, and students from the Catatonk Valley Woodcarvers Club gathered on April 26 at Carol’s Cafe to recognize and honor Candor artist and community leader Roger Westgate for his significant contributions during the past 40 years to the craft of woodcarving, and to the well being of his family and his community.
Roger and his lovely wife Georgia were thanked by all those present for their gracious and generous nature and for being wonderful role models of good character. Their three sons and granddaughter spoke personally of the nurturing and caring influence that helped shape their lives.
Gabe O’Donnell, a ninth grade Owego Free Academy student and Board member of the Charles H. Bassett Youth Foundation, presented to Mr. Westgate his finished photo booklet highlighting and celebrating Roger Westgate’s life and woodcarving art. Many of Roger’s present and former students attended along with former IBM work and community service colleagues. All expressed sincere admiration, respect and friendship for Roger.
Proclamations from the Tioga County Legislature and Town of Candor were read declaring April 26 Roger Westgate Day and letters of congratulations were shared from the Tioga County Arts Council, History Museum, Chamber of Commerce, Rural Ministry, Tourism, and Bassett Youth Foundation.
Robert Clarke Bassett, master of ceremony, declared Roger Westgate Tioga County’s greatest woodcarver and presented both Roger and Gabe with gifts thanking them for their citizenship, community service and contributions to local history.
Bassett noted the celebration was particularly meaningful being held at Carol’s Local History Cafe on national Arbor Day.