Through an ironic twist of fate, considering the timing of the presentation of this award, Sid Diamond moved into the homes of all Needham citizens in April when they received the Needham Exchange Club telephone directory. There he is, on the cover, dressed in colonial clothing, wearing his three cornered hat, ringing the traditional bell of the Town Crier. What might not immediately stand out is the significance of the symbolism.
Sid’s professional career centered around communication, starting possibly with one of his first major accomplishments when he was still a college student: The establishment of a college based radio station at the University of New Hampshire. That creative talent continued throughout his career. Assigned as a lieutenant in the Navy to develop radio programs for service people, he first worked on the West Coast. Initially he wrote material to be produced. As his work brought him into military hospitals, he seized the opportunity to involve veterans recovering from the most serious injuries. The lasting effects of that beginning can still be seen in the existence of the Veteran’s Hospital Radio Guild, and its related activities.
Needham became home in 1951. He taught at Boston University in its College of Communication and Journalism for slightly over sixteen years. He was a significant part of a team that brought WBUR, a recognized leader in public radio, into being.
Both before and after retirement, Sid Dimond has been fully involved with his own community. If a mirror were to be held before him, he would not find time or have the inclination to look at it. He would be too busy moving to his next project. But we should take that necessary moment to look for the purpose of helping us describe this man of many images and talents.
The documentation for that goes beyond the reflection in a glass. It appears in his deeds. Note items in an amazingly long list of activities: e.g. Playing the role of Town Crier for school children, educating them about Colonial history; performing in that same role for the elderly in nursing homes; chairman of the bicentennial committee in 1976; member for six years of the Town Report Committee. Service on the Board of Directors of the Needham YMCA, the Needham Red Cross, the Visiting Nurses’ Association and the Needham Historical Society. Sid has received 8 awards for patriotism from The Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge, PA.
From his church came a note that summed up a wealth of feeling: “A wonderful person who is willing to say ‘Yes’ when asked to do something. At the same time, when he sees something that needs doing, he does it.”
Need someone to spend time with a grieving person… take someone to the hospital… serve on a committee? Just ask Sid. And know that helping an elderly person to go shopping, or performing any number of other things, is not just a one shot effort. It continues until another request replaces it.
A heartwarming characteristic: He is sincerely interested in everything and everybody. Perhaps that’s another reason why his friends smilingly refer to him as the “candy man.” With a warm greeting, he consistently shares one more of his gifts. A piece of candy.
With gratitude and appreciation for his contributions to our community, the Richard Patton Melick Foundation proudly presents Sidney A. Dimond.