Margot and Robert (“Bob”) Hall are usually involved in the Newtown Labor Day Parade through their active membership in the Newtown Republican Town Committee. He walks with RTC and his guests in the parade. She is often stationed with Marie Smith at the committee’s water tent on Queen Street near the end of the parade route.
This year, the Halls will instead be driven on the traditional 1.1-mile route, in the coveted lead position granted to Grand Marshals.
The Newtown Labor Day Parade, paused for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will return on Monday, September 5, the parade committee recently announced. Margot and Bob Hall will serve as Grand Marshals for the 60th End of Summer Tradition Offering which this year will be themed “Celebrating Newtown’s Hidden Gems”.
Melissa Kopcik, chair of parade participants and programming coordinator, said the decision to honor the halls was overdue.
“They are an integral part of our community, in so many ways,” she said. “He was a city attorney and still practices law, and she was a probate judge. They have also served on so many committees.
“Everyone knows Bob and Margot. What an honor to have them both as grand marshals this year.
The Halls laughed this week when asked how they felt portrayed as hidden gems.
“Oh, we’re definitely not in hiding,” Bob said Monday afternoon.
“Oh my God,” Margot said laughing.
Sitting in the meeting room of The Newtown Bee’s office, the couple talked about their love for the town’s end-of-summer party, their family, their careers and volunteering, and their love of the Politics.
The Halls have been married for 61 years. He grew up in Newtown; she moved here two years before their wedding, when she took a job as an au pair.
Margot and Bob have three adult children (two daughters and a son), all of whom are married; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He is a practicing attorney with a specialty in land use. She is a retired probate judge.
They have both been members of the Newtown Congregational Church (NCC) for decades. In fact, Bob grew up in the church and Margot became a member when the couple’s first child, Elinor, was born.
The Halls proudly note that the last act performed on October 25, 1964 by the Reverend Paul Cullens before he retired was the baptism of Marianne Hall, Bob and Margot’s middle child.
Bob was also baptized by Reverend Cullens.
Growing up in the city, he was also among many Newtown youths who participated in the Newtown Young People’s Club, a group led by Cullen while also serving as a NCC pastor. Bob was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 270 under Cullens.
Bob is a former church moderator. He has been “very active” on the church board, including as president, he said. He was chairman of fundraising efforts for the NCC Building Committee a few years ago when the church underwent an addition to its sanctuary, an effort that raised over $1 million.
Margot has been a member of the Newtown Woman’s Club for years and is currently its recording secretary.
She was a member of the now defunct Newtown chapter of Business & Professional Women, even holding the title of state president. She was also a member of the now defunct Dodgeningtown Homemakers.
She is a longtime former clerk of the local Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance. She was even called upon to serve as clerk for a session of a Legislative Council that just sat, she and her husband said this week.
“They really needed someone to take notes,” she laughed.
She has also been a member of the board of directors of the town hall of Edmond since 2010.
Bob is a member of the Literary & Social Club in Newtown Street, “a really fun, strictly social club that dates back to the 1890s,” he proudly noted. He has also been a member of the Rotary Club of Newtown for many years.
He served as a city attorney from 1967 to 1975, he said; at the same time, he was also chairman of the Charter Review Commission. Under his leadership, the commission changed the city’s government from a town assembly to a legislative council format.
“It was a lot of work,” he said.
Bob also worked actively on the campaign for Thomas Meskill, who was elected governor of Connecticut in 1972.
“I worked really hard to bring Newtown into the fold,” Bob recalls. “I was his manager in Newtown.”
He was later appointed by Governor Meskill to a six-year term on the now defunct State Board of Public Health.
Bob also served for 32 years on the Republican State Central Committee.
“When I retired, I was the longest-serving member of the central in the state,” said Bob, who will be heading to the Connecticut Republican Party state convention this weekend, when he will be a parliamentarian.
“I truly believe that being politically active is a matter of public service,” he said on May 3. “I really mean it. Being involved in the political process is what government and civic responsibility is all about.
However, the Halls will put their political hats aside for Labor Day this year. It will not work with the local RTC and she will not distribute water to walkers.
They will, however, have one of the best seats in town when they are joined by their hand-picked judges to take their place of honor on the judges’ stand on Queen Street.
He’ll have a great view of the Shriners, who he likes to race around in their little vehicles, he said.
She can monitor “everything about kids and tractors, which I love.”
In turn, marchers and other parade participants will have the opportunity to look up to the grandstand and salute two individuals who have lived in and served Newtown for decades.
Melissa Kopcik reminds residents that there are many ways to participate in the Newtown Labor Day Parade.
Marchers, bands, performers, vendors, etc., will all be needed on Sept. 5, the head of the parade committee said. There are several planning and behind-the-scenes roles that also need to be fulfilled.
“We’re ready to hear from attendees, volunteers and potential sponsors,” Kopcik said. “We have a strong committee so far, which is super exciting.”
The next Parade Committee meeting will be on Wednesday May 25th at Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street.
Anyone wishing to learn more or join the committee is welcome. Kopcik asks those planning to attend to contact first.
“Due to space restrictions, we would just like a warning,” she said.
Kopcik can be reached at 203-994-6435.
Anyone seeking additional information on Parade participation and/or sponsorship is encouraged to visit NewtownCTLaborDayParade.org.
Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at email@example.com.
Margot and Bob Hall have been asked to serve as grand marshals when the Newtown Labor Day Parade returns for its 60th outing later this year. —Bee Photo, Hicks
The Halls share a laugh before heading to the Bee Publishing Company office on May 2, when they discussed their love for the town’s end-of-summer party, their family, their career and their volunteerism, and his love of politics. —Bee Photo, Hicks