Cook On Concord: Remembering two ‘distinguished ladies’
Former Manchester Mayor Robert A. Baines was named Citizen of the Year by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce last month at an annual dinner that celebrated the diversity of residents in the state’s largest city. Citizens of the Year are recognized for things they do outside of their jobs, and Baines, longtime high school principal and mayor, was recognized for going the extra mile in helping to establish the Arthur Mirabile Scholarship at the University of New Hampshire in honor of his music teacher at Manchester Memorial High School — who inspired Baines to go to college — helping to save the Palace Theater, being the guiding force behind improvements to Manchester schools, being a friend to refugees and other new city residents, and raising vital funds to keep both the New Horizons Food Soup Kitchen and Angie’s Shelter open. Baines accepted the award in the presence of his extended family at the time that his sister, Shirley Brulotte, lay in the Elliot Hospital in the final stages of a courageous battle with cancer. Brulotte, one of the Baines siblings — who are close, loyal and devoted — was a key player in Baines’ mayoral campaigns. Also a local businesswoman, she ran a flower shop and was in other businesses for many years. Those who know the Baines family know how important each member is and how Shirley was the “enforcer” of family loyalty. Both the family and Manchester will miss her after her death on Feb. 21.