ISLAND POND — Lt. Col Mark C. Biron was posthumously honored with an Individual Achievement Award by the Vermont Historical Society.
Every year the Vermont Historical Society presents the League of Local Historical Societies & Museums Achievement Awards.
These awards recognize the exceptional work being done by individuals and community heritage organizations throughout the state to collect, preserve and share Vermont’s rich history.
Biron’s award was one of three individual awards presented this year at the Vermont Historical Society Annual Meeting held September 29 in Montpelier.
Individual Achievement awards honor a person’s work and commitment to local history over an extended period of time.
Biron served as president of the Island Pond Historical Society twice.
Once for a period of twelve years, and the second time for one year before he passed away.
In 2007, Biron served in Afghanistan but still remained president of the society.
While in Afghanistan, Biron thwarted a nighttime Taliban raid on his remote mountaintop compound and was able to rouse the other U.S soldiers.
A huge firefight broke out, but all American lives were saved. He received an award and was promoted to Lt. Col.
At the age of 15, Biron got involved with the historical society through his interest in photography.
Early on he realized the importance of preserving the history of the NEK, and so since his twenties served the Island Pond Historical Society in various ways.
He worked as the newsletter editor, writer, photographer, as well as secretary, treasurer, website creator, and president.
He loved the idea of retiring from all his previous roles to become the curator in the museum, and he managed to complete a lot of work during this time.
He arranged displays and drove all over Vermont with his wife Sharon to collect unwanted display stands from other museums.
Biron had a strong vision for the Island Pond Historical museum. He wanted the museum to be fully interactive, to have light and sound, not just static exhibits.
Sharon was made president only twenty days before Mark died in an airplane crash in Island Pond.
Sharon immediately got to work at making sure Biron’s vision for the museum continued.
He wanted the museum to transform into a learning center, and Sharon has been working with Craig A. Goulet to see this through.
Despite the massive tragedy of Biron’s death, they have kept the museum running, developing outreach programs, and have succeeded in strengthening the society, enlarging it, attracting more members, and turning it into a high profile success with a massive NEK presence.