Louis Allyn

Yale 60th Reunion My heritage: Lou Allyn

“To be of use to the world is the only way to be happy.” Hans Christian Anderson
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

When I retired in 1998 Cindy and I returned to Masons Island in my hometown of Mystic, Connecticut. This is my story of what I did after that.

With the freedom to choose where to spend my time I started by learning html coding and volunteering to upgrade the Town of Stonington website. While doing this I met a lot of town officials and staff and made some new friends. (You will see that working with and getting to know new groups of people is a recurring theme.)

Next I reactivated the Masons Island Ice Pond Committee whose first task was to work with the State of Connecticut to eradicate a growth of invasive hydrilla. This was a start on becoming involved with the Property Owners Association and the local Fire District and getting acquainted with many of the residents I had not met during our summer vacations here. During this time I also started working for the family residential real estate development business, the Masons Island Company. This mostly involved maintaining trails in the Nature Conservancy area and clearing off brush on land for sale. This was a very enjoyable outdoor activity and a good way to work with my brother, the company president.

Then shortly on another opportunity to participate in the local community came along: I was invited to join the board of the Mystic River Historical Society where I soon became involved with a major fund raising project and managing a $200,000 restoration of the historic school house. This led to being elected Treasurer which provided the opportunity to learn QuickBooks. I also became the Society’s webmaster (learned to use Microsoft Front Page) and started us up on Mail Chimp. This was followed by being elected President and conversion of our collections database to PastPerfect along with becoming editor and publisher of our newsletter and keeper of the membership database. I’m also deeply interested in the histories of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938; Masons Island and the Masons Island Company; the Masons Island Yacht Club; and the history of nearby Enders Island and the Society of Saint Edmunds and have written articles and given lectures on all of them.

We rejoined the Mason’s Island Yacht Club as Active members. Not long after the Commodore was looking for a new Treasurer: this is when I really became adept with Quick Books. I was Treasurer for many years, as well as webmaster, Mail Chimp administrator, Club Historian, business assistant to the Commodore and manager for various projects large such as rebuilding of the Club building, docks and grounds after Hurricane Carol in 1954, etc.

And there is always Yale. Shortly after our 50th reunion I became webmaster of our class website, which was recently switched over to a new host. This, in addition to being the class Mail Chimp administrator and, at times, newsletter editor has been a source of great pleasure working with the Class Council and being in contact with so many classmates.

In 2014 I was invited to join the board of the Lower Mystic Cemetery Association as Treasurer and Sexton. (My great-great-grandfather Gurdon Allyn, along with two wives and seven children, are buried there.)
Following my usual pleasure in connecting people and groups, I took the opportunity to create a link with the Historical Society and brought the cemetery “under the wing of” the Historical Society.

Over the years I’ve have been active, often as Treasurer, in other local nonprofit organizations as well. And now, as my activities slowly wind down I continue to take great pleasure in helping others with their questions and ideas.

And, in conclusion, I want to thank Cindy for her support and understanding of the time I have spent enjoying doing all this.