6 inductees named to Waterbury Hall of Fame
Six people whose talents and contributions made Waterbury and the world a better place will be honored in November as the newest inductees to the Waterbury Hall of Fame. They include two abolitionists, a coach, a doctor who delivered more than 10,000 Waterbury babies, a strong woman who successfully fought police when they dismissed her rape claim, and a self-proclaimed diva who has graced Broadway stages and the small screen.
The Silas Bronson Library Board of Agents named the six at a June 23 meeting after their selection by a board-appointed committee. The six will formally be inducted at a 2 p.m. ceremony Nov. 14 at the Mattatuck Museum. The induction is open to the public.
The new inductees are:
Nicholas P. Augelli. He began teaching and coaching basketball at Crosby High School in 1970. His teams have won three state championships, set various City and Naugatuck Valley League records. He has produced some of the best players in City history and recently had the Crosby basketball court named in his honor. Augelli has also served the City as president of the Board of Aldermen and on the Boards of Finance, the Police and Fire Commissions and the Naugatuck Valley Development Corporation and was a trustee at St. Michael’s Church. His positive influence and dedication to Waterbury’s youth is legendary.
Donna Palomba. When this wife and mother was raped in her own home in the Overlook section of Waterbury in 1993 on the one night her husband was out of state at a wedding, police charged her with filing a false statement to cover up an affair and threatened to take her children away. She fought back, successfully sued the City and later formed “Jane Doe No More,” a non-profit agency that trains police officers in appropriate policies and procedure and advocates for rape victims. It took years and a reinvestigation of the case after police admitted the first investigation was bungled, but police eventually charged a longtime family friend in the crime. She helped change how Waterbury police handle sexual-assault cases.
Sheryl Lee Ralph was one of the original Broadway “Dream Girls” She is known for “Moesha” (1996), “It’s a Living (1980) and “Oliver & Company” (1988). She was nominated in 1982 for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She was the 1973 Miss Black Teen-Age New York and was named Best College Actress in 1974.She is a dedicated AIDS advocate and a dynamic self-proclaimed diva.
Dr. Frederick LaBrecque. He founded St. Mary’s Hospital Ob/Gyn department in 1939, was President of the Staff, Chief of Surgery, and Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He was also President of the New England Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, President of the Waterbury Medical Association and an active member of numerous other professional organizations. He authored several original studies in medical journals, and was regularly recognized as the winner of the Republican-American’s annual “Baby Derby.” Most importantly, he delivered more than 12,000 Waterbury babies.
Timothy Porter and John Miles Stocking. Timothy Porter, a deacon in the Baptist church and grandfather of Carrie Welton, decided around 1840 that abolishing slavery was his mission in life. For two decades, he held anti-slavery meetings in his home and helped escaped slaves on their journey to freedom in Canada, using his home as a stop on the Underground Railroad. John Miles Stocking, a deacon in the Congregational Church, was the other Waterbury abolitionist who was active in the Underground Railroad using his barn on Long Hill as a resting station for escaped slaves.