BANGOR, Maine — A local lawyer known for his volunteer work in the community was presented the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor Thursday night during the Chamber’s annual dinner at the Cross Insurance Center.
P. Andrew Hamilton received the Chamber’s version of a lifetime achievement award, the Norbert X. Dowd Award, presented annually to a member of the business community whose commitment of time, resources and talent has made the Bangor region a better place to pursue one’s livelihood and dreams, Chamber officials said earlier in announcing this year’s recipient.
In his acceptance address, Hamilton acknowledged some of those who inspired him to serve his community — his late mother, who was Caribou’s first female mayor, a teacher and a child protection worker; his father, who owned a hardware store and still works at Home Depot stores in Bangor and Florida at the age of 85; Bangor lawyer and mentor George Peabody, who instilled in him the desire to do his very best; and his wife, Patty Hamilton, who as the city of Bangor’s public health nurse also is deeply involved in serving others.
Hamilton said that he is fortunate to live in a region that values and is committed to community service.
“When I [became involved with the Boy Scouts] when I first started public service in this community, we had the highest ratio of volunteers to participants of any place on the Eastern Seaboard,” he said. “It is a remarkable place.
“We live in a community that works to extend opportunities for businesses … and to those who are willing to take risks, like the waterfront and the space we are sitting in tonight,” he said. “It is a place where businesspeople still take risks amidst all the challenges even when the opportunities are not so readily apparent,” he said.
A lawyer at Eaton Peabody, Hamilton has held leadership positions with the United Way of Eastern Maine, John Bapst Memorial High School and Unity College. He also was chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors last year.
Also during the dinner, the Chamber recognized six others for their contributions to the region’s vitality:
— Business of the Year Award: Darling’s Auto.
— Catherine Lebowitz Award for Public Service: D’arcy Main Boyington, Brewer’s economic development director.
— M. Jane Irving Community Service Award: Eastern Maine Community College.
— Nonprofit of the Year Award: Greater Bangor Visitor and Convention Bureau.
— Arthur Comstock Professional Service Award: Ric Tyler.
— Bion & Dorain Foster Entrepreneurship Award: Husson University.