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Sweltering temperatures did not keep a good number of Joyce Lyons Terhes’ friends from attending the formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of a park bench dedicated in her honor. On Tuesday, July 17, many gathered at Dunkirk Park to greet and join Terhes as she cut the ribbon on a newly installed park bench. Terhes was joined by all five Calvert County Commissioners — Clark, Nutter, Shaw, Slaughenhoupt and Weems, along with Maryland House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s), as she cheerfully “cut” the red ribbon on the bench. Terhes received the gift at the April Maryland Republican Convention, a press release states.

Terhes is retiring as national committee woman of Maryland for the Republican National Committee and is a former Calvert resident and commissioner. A plaque on the bench reads, “In honor of Joyce Lyons Terhes for her commitment to our community.” Local craftsman and longtime family friend of Terhes, Richard MacWilliams of Owings, built and donated the bench to the Maryland and Calvert GOP, the release states.

Calvert County Republican Central Committee Chairman Frank McCabe praised onlookers at the dedication for braving the hot weather, according to the release. He spoke of Terhes’ work in Calvert and throughout the state to strengthen two-party competition. McCabe thanked the county employees, especially V. Wilson Freeland, director of General Services, who helped to select the site and arrange for its installation. Crape myrtles trees are planted on each of the benches. Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) spoke of how these trees will grow and spread just as Terhes grew and spread the Republican party in Calvert County and the state of Maryland. O’Donnell spoke of how Terhes had encouraged him to run for political office and how Terhes is a leader in the state who helps others see that a two-party system is possible.

Each commissioner gave remarks and thanked Terhes for changing the political landscape in Calvert County, the release continues. Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt (R) remarked that the five Republican commissioners stand on Terhes’ shoulders. Commissioner Pat Nutter (R) said he served under Terhes when she was a commissioner and spoke of his time working with her. Commissioners’ Vice President Steve Weems (R) spoke in poetic terms, saying that he first met Terhes 16 years ago. “She was a lady then and a lady now,” said Weems, according to the release.

Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) said, “Joyce was the person who proved it could be done — she was a pathfinder,” according to the release. Michael Brown spoke on behalf of the Dunkirk Area Concerned Citizens Association and offered gratitude to Terhes for founding DACCA and serving as its first president, noting that three former presidents have or are now serving as commissioners.

Central committee member Judy MacWilliams thanked Terhes for her work with the women’s clubs in the county and for the many training classes she has conducted for women across the state. MacWilliams recognized Terhes as a founding member of the Republican Women Leaders of Calvert Club in northern Calvert and noted that last year, the RWLC established a Joyce Lyons Terhes Scholarship in her honor, according to the release.

Terhes thanked all for the wonderful honor and said, as quoted in the release, “In the winter when my family home was still there up on the hill, I would have been able to see this area of Dunkirk Park. I am so honored by this.” Terhes’ family farm is where the current Dunkirk Shopping Center now stands. As a child, Terhes used to play on the land where Dunkirk Park is today.

A small reception followed the dedication.