March 29 – Happy Birthday John Naple

Amsterdam_LibraryHe was the first of six kids born to John and Dorothy Naple and he was named after his Dad. He graduated from St. Mary’s Institute in 1964 and got his teaching degree from Plattsburgh. John Naple then served his country as a member of the Peace Corps. He went to Ghana in West Africa and worked as a teacher for some of the poorest children on planet Earth. (John’s wife Linda went to Ghana too and served as a nurse.) When he came back to the states, he became a science teacher at Galway High School and is now retired.

John loves Amsterdam and fortunately for all of us, he’s also the kind of guy who sees something or someone that needs help and instead of complaining or criticizing, he does something about it. His greatest passion has been the Amsterdam Public Library on Church Street. He works tirelessly on its behalf, serves as a Trustee on its board and is an integral part of the very popular “Amsterdam Reads” program.

When most people around here look at the Chuctanunda they see a creek. John sees the history of Amsterdam flowing though the heart of our town. When he’s not picking up litter out of the creek bed, he’s leading hiking tours up and down its banks, explaining the important role this waterway played in the development of this City.

Most if not all of John’s volunteer efforts are far out of the limelight but they make an incredible difference to the quality of life in our community. There are plenty of useful beautiful things from Amsterdam’s past that aren’t useful or beautiful anymore. Because of folks like John Naple, the Amsterdam Public Library and the Chuctanunda Creek are not among them. Thanks John and Happy Birthday!

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