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From The Bryant Room Archive
History Matters: Honoring Roy Moger
By Myrna Sloam
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
I recently came across this quote while examining the papers of the late Roslyn Village Historian, Roy Moger. A large collection of Mr. Moger’s papers, books, photos, letters and news clippings were donated to the library’s Local History Collection, by his wife, Elizabeth Moger. For this gift, we are all grateful and we are all enriched.
I knew Mr. Moger in the last years of his life, while we worked together updating his book, Roslyn Then & Now. It wasn’t until I started looking through his papers, however, that I came to fully appreciate the extent of his commitment to Roslyn and the depth of his vision.
Mr. Moger (1907-1990) was born and raised in Roslyn and remained dedicated to serving his community throughout his lifetime. He was a teacher in the public schools, a peace activist, a member of the Roslyn Committee for Civil Rights, a Village Trustee, a Landmark Society Trustee, and served as Village Historian from 1974 until his death in 1990.
In many ways Mr. Moger was a unique man. He not only felt strongly about issues, he acted upon them. Not content to talk about community needs, he went to work to address them. In 1960, he co-founded and directed the Laurel Homes Study Hall, which served as an after-school center for elementary students needing academic assistance. His desire to see nuclear disarmament and world peace led him to write letters to political leaders such as Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. Not one to shy away from controversial local issues, Mr. Moger was actively involved in the Civil Rights movement here in Roslyn.
Throughout the collection of his papers, one can see his commitment to community and his vision of a better future for all. In his later years he continued to impart the value of history by serving as Chairman of the Roslyn Bi-Centennial Commission and as Roslyn Village Historian. He often visited schools, showing slides of “Old Roslyn” and his bus tours were always in demand. His stories of growing up in Roslyn were printed in the local newspaper and his two books on Roslyn remain the prime sources for local history research.
His death in 1990 was, in one way, the end of an era. And yet, through the donation of his papers to the library’s Local History Collection, his memory and legacy live on. For history, especially local history, is not a distant, abstract concept. It is a living legacy, comprised of the stories and the memories of those who came before, passed down to generations to come. Through history, we are all connected.
It was a great privilege to have known Mr. Moger, but he was not alone in his regard for history or in his love of Roslyn. Others came before him, and others will follow. It is up to us to continue to value their memories and their vision. I would like to once again thank Mrs. Moger for her willingness to share these gifts with all of us and for her continued support of the efforts of the Local History Collection to serve as the repository of Roslyn memory.
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