A life-size bronze
statue of the late civic leader and politician will be formally
unveiled on Aug. 7 at 4 p.m. in the Brandywine Hundred branch
library on Foulk Road.
The statue and the
decision to position it in a place where thousands of people who
will benefit for years to come from the result of what was
probably the foremost of Cloutier's many public projects is both
a fitting tribute and a recognition of the respect and esteem in
which he was held by many
people whom he
served, according to Ernest Cragg, a director of the Phil
Cloutier Memorial Foundation.
"He had a standard
he lived by that caught the admiration of people," Cragg said.
The statue, a
Charles Parks sculpture, was commissioned and paid for by
private funds raised by the foundation. "The group is about as
far-ranging across the political spectrum as you'll see," he
Joseph Mitchell is
president and treasurer of the foundation. Alan Levin, chief
executive of Happy Harry's, is vice president. Donovan Carbaugh
is secretary. Directors include Cloutier's widow, state Senator
Cathy Cloutier, Senator Charles Copeland, Representative Robert
Valihura, County Councilman Robert Weiner, and Jerry Martin,
Joan Hicks and Ronald Poliquin.
New Castle County is
providing the base on which the statue will be positioned.
County Executive Tom Gordon and chief administrative officer
Sherry Freebery, who are hosting the unveiling are Democrats.
Cloutier was a Republican.
unsuccessfully for election to be lieutenant governor, Cloutier
was elected of County Council, serving in that position from
points a text from the writings of Thomas Aquinas,
which is readable on the statue of Philip Cloutier.
The statue is on a fork lift in preparation for its
being moved the the Brandywine Hundred branch
library where it will be on permanent display.
1989 until 1993. He
went on to be state representative from 1995 until his death
from cancer, at age 48, in 1998.
elective office, Cloutier was active with the Council of Civic
Organizations of Brandywine Hundred. It was while in that
capacity that he and others began pressing for a modern
regional-level public library to replace the small and outmoded
one in Talleyville.
Cragg said a telling
event in Cloutier's life what when the Du Pont Co., where he
worked for 25 years including the time he held public office,
offered him a major promotion which would have included a
transfer to Switzerland.
"He turned it down,
telling them his intention was to spend his spare time in public
service," Cragg said. "Here is a guy opting for public service
when he didn't have to and it would have been to his great
advantage not to."
The sculpture is
unusual as heroic statues go in that it depicts a seated and
relaxed Cloutier wearing eyeglasses and reading a book. It is
not just a generic book, but a volume of the works of Thomas
Aquinas, a 13th Century Christian theologian and philosopher.
That is more than
fitting, Cragg said. Aquinas was Cloutier's 'patron saint' and,
in effect, a sort of mentor.
Cragg said three
books by and about Aquinas were the last book purchase Cloutier
made before his death. "He gave them to Cathy and said, 'This is
me'," Cragg said.