by Berkley Duck III,
President, Fishtown Preservation
Where do we go from here? You might naturally assume, from the work that we do to preserve the history of Fishtown, that Fishtown Preservation is about the past. Our main focus, however, is and always has been upon the future. Iâ€™d like to invite you to think about Fishtown in the futureâ€”and in the more distant future, too.
Our focus in Fishtown, as with most of us in our own lives, often settles upon whatâ€™s most urgent right now. But when youâ€™re moving through a crowd, you always move faster if you look not at your next step but at that faraway spot youâ€™re trying to reach. In that way, throughout the challenges and occasional crises weâ€™ve faced, weâ€™ve tried to keep our eyes on the longer view.
Weâ€™ve been gratified to be able to share with you the good news weâ€™ve had over the years since the Fishtown Preservation Society (FPS) purchased the Carlson propertiesâ€” the strategic planning, the in-depth reports, the repairs completed, the history published and the recognitions received.All of these, of course, have happened only because of your help, and I hope weâ€™ve let you know how thankful we are.
But if our focus remains on the future, we canâ€™t avoid facing the challenges to comeâ€”important infrastructure work awaits, and finding ways to meet our operating expenses is always in our minds. Even more, the specter of what we canâ€™t anticipate, some unforeseeable emergency, is always before us.
There is a way, though, that you may be able to help Fishtown far into the future: Make a bequest to Fishtown Preservation part of your estate plan. My wife, Nancy, and I have done so, as have members of the FPS board and other friends of Fishtown. When we think about the future, we want to make sure we continue doing all we can for Fishtown.
The oldest known bequest (to a university) is attributed to William of Durham. We know only a little about him, since he was born in the early 1200s. What we do know, however, is that he left 310 marksâ€”a significant sum in medieval Englandâ€”to support several scholars in theology, and that these scholars founded Oxford University. The funds he left have formed an endowment that has been active and purposeful for more than 750 yearsâ€”and without which, William would be entirely unknown today.
We intend that Fishtown will be â€œforever,â€ and weâ€™re doing what we can to make that true. Will you join us in being a part of Fishtownâ€™s enduring future?