A longtime resident whose volunteer service covers part of six decade is Bedford’s Citizen-of-the-Year for 2023-24.
Angelo Colao of Page Road will be celebrated on Bedford Day, Sept. 23 and at a public reception the evening of Sept. 29. The honoree is also recognized at other events during the year, such as activating the holiday lights that decorate the Common.
Citizen-of-the-Year has been a tradition since 1979, the year of Bedford’s 250th anniversary. The award recognizes cumulative community involvement. Prospective honorees are nominated by residents and the choice is voted by an ad hoc committee composed of a few past recipients and administered by the town manager’s office.
Colao and his wife Gabriele have resided in Bedford since 1968. The following year, he was named a member of the Water Study Committee, which opened the door to a lengthy and influential career in volunteer service.
He served two terms on the Finance Committee and was elected to the Planning Board in 1981. After serving for seven years, Colao successfully ran for the Board of Selectmen. He served one three-year term and was elected again 12 years later.
In 2003, Colao voluntarily proposed a celebration of Bedford’s 275th anniversary the following year. He led the planning and execution of several memorable commemorative events.
His involvement continued on the Community Preservation Committee and the Volunteer Coordinating Committee, as well as a director of the Job Lane House.