A Very Fitting Memory to Emery Booska

October 24, 2014

by Len Lathrop

A beautiful stone bench sits outside the vocational wing at Alvirne High School.  On Tuesday, on a rainy autumn New England afternoon, the spirit of the FFA students and their mentors from the school was unbridled, authentic excitement.

Emery Pierre Booska was a lifelong advocate for education and all forms of agriculture.  From 1956 to 1967, Booska was the Vocational Agriculture Instructor, Farm Manager and Vocational Programs Supervisor at Alvirne High School.  During his tenure he was the advisor for the Alvirne Chapter of the Future Farmers of America.

After his leadership at Alvirne, he continued to be involved with the FFA at the state and national level. As a judge and as an instrumentally valuable fund raiser, he was honored with a National FFA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

This memorial was organized by Roger Pellerin, a former Alvirne agricultural program student. Pellerin states he heard of Mr. Booska’s death which led to working with Alvirne Principal Steve Beals with regards to the bench design, engraving and placement of honor of the memorial stone bench at the school.  Words cannot do justice to the bench that Pellerin produced at his company, Gate City Monuments.  Once the proper location at the school was determined, workers from Gate City Monuments arrived to expertly install the bench.  When one sits on the bench, the expansive sweep of the farm buildings, cattle yard, the fields and woodland beautifully and gracefully viewed before you.  Beals, in addressing those gathered, spoke about growing up in Hudson and coming to see the cows as part of his family trips.  As a student at Alvirne, he learned the importance of agricultural education. Now as principal of the school, he learned how very special, rewarding and inspiring the vocational programs are to many students. He noted that the bench location will allow many more to see the great expanse that these programs offer.

Manny Catala, the FFA State President, spoke passionately about Booska’s legacy to the guests assembled. He is a senior at the University of New Hampshire, in their Agricultural program.  Catala was accompanied by Future Farmer’s of America’s State Secretary Maria Daneault, who is a student at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.

Catala spoke of Booska‘s spirited advocacy, love and dedication to the vocational studies and how his work had impacted the students he worked with. Perhaps one of Booska’s more notable and memorable legacies include the 600 current state FFA members who walk on the foundation that Booska laid.