Swan’s Island Select Board Chair Myron “Sonny” Sprague Jr. served in the Army from 1964 to 1966 and started lobstering after he returned home. Involved in many community activities, Sonny helps organize the annual Island Memorial Service, held each Memorial Day weekend to honor Swan’s Island veterans. PHOTO BY BRIAN SWARTZ

Swan’s Island Selectman Sonny Sprague Jr

Myron Sprague Jr., known as “Sonny,” has served the town of Swan’s Island since 1968.

Shortly after his birth in 1941 his family moved to Rockland, where his father worked at Snow’s Shipyard during World War II. In 1946, the Spragues moved back to Swan’s Island to be with Sonny’s grandmother, who had lost a son during the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 28, 1944.

Sonny attended the Swan’s Island Consolidated Grammar School and graduated from Pemetic High School in 1959. In 1964, he graduated from Southern Maine Vocational Institute in South Portland.

On Aug. 19, 1964, Sonny was drafted into the U.S. Army and after basic training was stationed at Fort Belvoir, Va., working in the Office of Director of Instruction. Sonny said that is where he finally grew up.

After completing his tour in 1966, he returned to Swan’s Island and started lobstering that fall. Sonny married his wife, Nadia, in 1967. “She was always my biggest support, no matter what I did. In 2001 she passed away after a 17-year battle with emphysema,” he said.

Swan’s Island voters first elected Sonny to the Board of Selectmen in 1968. He served until 1993, and voters elected him again in 2007. He has been active in many endeavors, including Fishermen’s Cooperative Trap limits, scallop lines, salvaging a salmon farm, and restoration of the Odd Fellows Hall. He has served on the Maine State Ferry Service Advisory Board, Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and Maine Department of Marine Resources Advisory Council.

“I was asked to join the Swan’s Island softball team at the age of 38 and played for six years,” Sonny said. “Those were great times. I’ll never forget how we did our best everywhere we played representing our town. I think we did a great job.”

Sonny is the ticket collector at the Odd Fellows Hall during the summer breakfasts. “Great fellowship,” he said. “I love seeing folks have a good time getting together.”

Each year, he helps organize the Island Memorial Service on Memorial Day weekend to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as honor those who have served. “That day means a lot,” he said.

With his old cap embroidered with ARMY, Sonny talks about his old friends. “I wear this hat in honor of the Vietnam veterans and for my uncle killed in the Battle of the Bulge,” he said. “When this hat wears out I’ll get a new one.”

“My life has been a heck of a ride,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.