Meet The 2022 Labor Day Parade Grand Marshals: Margot & Robert Hall
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 its guests in the parade. She is often stationed with Marie Smith at the committee’s water tent on Queen Street near the conclusion of the parade route.
This year the Halls will instead be driven over the traditional 1.1-mile route, in the coveted lead position granted to Grand Marshals.
The Newtown Labor Day Parade, on hiatus 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 offering of the end-of-summer tradition which this year will have as its theme “Celebrating Newtown’s Hidden Gems.”
Parade Participant Chair & Lineup Coordinator Melissa Kopcik said the decision to honor the Halls is overdue.
“They’re an integral part of our community, in many capacities,” she said. “He’s been a town attorney, and still practicing law, and she was a probate judge. They’ve also served on so many committees.
“Everybody knows Bob and Margot. What an honor it is to have them both as this year’s Grand Marshals.”
The Halls laughed this week when asked how they felt being described as hidden gems.
“Oh, we’re definitely not hidden,” Bob said Monday afternoon.
“Oh my gosh,” Margot said, chuckling.
Seated in the meeting room of The Newtown Bee office, the couple talked about their love for the town’s end-of-summer celebration, their family, their careers and volunteerism, and his love of politics.
The Halls have been married for 61 years. He grew up in Newtown; she moved here two years before they were married, when she took a job as an au pair.
Margot and Bob have three adult children (two daughters and one son), all married; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
He is a practicing attorney with a specialty in land use. She is a retired judge of probate.
They have both been members of Newtown Congregational Church (NCC) for decades. Bob grew up in the church, in fact, and Margot became a member when the couple’s first child, Elinor, was born.
The Halls proudly note that the final act done on October 25, 1964, by the Reverend Paul Cullens before he stepped into retirement was the baptism of Marianne Hall, Bob and Margot’s middle child.
Bob was also baptized by the Rev Cullens.
Having grown up in town, he was also among the many Newtown youth who participated in the Newtown Young People’s Club, a group Cullens led while also serving as NCC pastor. Bob was additionally a member of Boy Scout Troop 270 under Cullens’s leadership.
Bob is a former Moderator for the church. He has been “very active” on the church’s board of trustees, including serving as chair, he said. He served as chair of the fundraising efforts for the NCC’s Building Committee a few years ago when the church underwent an addition to its sanctuary, an effort that raised more than $1 million.
Margot has been a member of Newtown Woman’s Club for years, and currently serves as 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 Dodgingtown Homemakers.
She is a former longtime clerk to both the local Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance. She was even called on to serve as clerk for one sitting of a just-seated Legislative Council, she and her husband said this week.
“They really needed someone to take notes,” she said, laughing.
She has also been a member of the Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers since 2010.
Bob is a member of The Literary & Social Club of Newtown Street, “a really fun, strictly social club that dates back to the 1890s,” he proudly noted. He has additionally been a member of The Rotary Club of Newtown for many years.
He was the town attorney from 1967-1975, he said; during the same era he was also chair of the Charter Revision Commission. Under his leadership, the commission changed the town government from town meeting to Legislative Council format.
“It was a lot of work,” he said.
Bob also worked actively on the campaign for Thomas Meskill, who was elected Connecticut governor in 1972.
“I worked really hard to bring Newtown into the fold,” Bob recalled. “I served as his manager in Newtown.”
He was later appointed by Gov Meskill to serve a six-year term on the now defunct state Public Health Council.
Bob also served, for 32 years, on the Republican State Central Committee.
“When I retired I was the longest serving member of the state central,” said Bob, who will be heading to the Connecticut Republican Party’s state convention this weekend, when he will serve as parliamentarian.
“I really believe that being active politically is a matter of public service,” he said May 3. “I really do. Being involved in the political process is what government and civic responsibility is all about.”
The Halls will put their political hats aside for Labor Day this year, however. He will not be walking with the local RTC, and she won’t be handing out water to marchers.
They will, however, have one of the best seats in the town when they are joined by their hand-picked judges to take their place of honor on the Judges Grandstand on Queen Street.
He’ll have a great view of the Shriners, who he gets a kick out of navigating their small vehicles, he said.
She can watch for “anything with children, and the tractors, which I love.”
In turn, marchers and other parade participants will have the opportunity to look toward the grandstand and salute two people who have lived in and served Newtown for decades.
Melissa Kopcik reminds residents that there are several different ways to be part of the Newtown Labor Day Parade.
Marchers, bands, performers, vendors, et al, will all be needed come September 5, the parade committee leader said. There are multiple planning and behind-the-scenes roles that also need to be filled.
“We are ready to hear from participants, volunteers, and potential sponsors,” Kopcik said. “We have a strong committee thus far, which is super exciting.”
The parade committee’s next meeting is Wednesday, May 25, at Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main Street.
Anyone who would like to learn more about or join the committee is welcome to attend. Kopcik asks that those planning to attend reach out first.
“Due to space restrictions, we’d just like a heads-up,” she said.
Kopcik can be reached at 203-994-6435.
Anyone seeking additional information on participating and/or sponsoring the parade is encouraged to visit NewtownCTLaborDayParade.org.
Managing Editor Shannon Hicks can be reached at email@example.com.