Mary Vorpahl Is Named G.O.P.’s Woman of the Year

Mary Vorpahl, center, was flanked by her grandson Kyle Ballou and her daughter Susan Vorpahl as she accepted the East Hampton Town Republican Committee’s Woman of the Year award at a county Republican Women’s Association gathering last week. E.H.T.R.C.

The East Hampton Republican Committee honored Mary Vorpahl, its nominee for Suffolk County Woman of the Year, at a gathering of the Suffolk County Republican Women in Holbrook last Thursday. 

Reg Cornelia, the East Hampton Republicans’ chairman, cited the many years’ work and perseverance by Ms. Vorpahl and her late husband, Stuart Vorpahl, to preserve the rights, privileges, and obligations of the East Hampton Town Trustees. 

The Dongan Patent of 1686 created the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton. The town has been governed, entirely in its early years and in some part to this day, by the rules and rights set forth in the document. 

Ms. Vorpahl and her late husband “almost single-handedly kept alive the Dongan Patent and the very idea of the role of the trustees in preserving the rights of the citizens of East Hampton to access and enjoy the lands granted to them,” Mr. Cornelia said. “Without their tireless efforts, the Dongan Patent and the rights of citizens granted by it might have become just a museum artifact, not a living, breathing force on behalf of the citizenry.”

Mr. Cornelia said that Ms. Vorpahl had not always been a Republican, and that while he was proud that his party was honoring her work, he was sure that all political parties in East Hampton hold her in equally high regard. 

“Mary and Stuart were fiercely dedicated to restoring and preserving the role of the trustees in the life of our town, and that has been and will continue to be to the benefit of us all,” he said.

Ms. Vorpahl’s daughter, Susan Vorpahl, who was elected to the trustees last month, and grandson, Kyle Ballou, who is the East Hampton Republicans’ secretary, were present at the gathering. “If Susan is anything like her mother, and I know she is, she will be a major asset for the trustees,” Mr. Cornelia said.