Sunday, October 1, 2023

Williamsburg Awards Inaugural Mace Bearer’s Award To Neighborhood Council Founder Jim Joseph

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WILLIAMSBURG –The Neighborhood Council  of Williamsburg founder Jim Joseph is the inaugural recipient of the Mace Bearer’s Award, which was recently established to honor individuals or groups who have made a lasting, positive impact on the Williamsburg community.

Joseph, now 86, founded the Neighborhood Council, a community of volunteers whose goal is to foster improved communication between residents and their government. The council was established in 2001.

“I’ve been doing something for twenty years that I really like and now I’m getting an award for it,” Joseph said.

Under Joseph’s leadership, the Neighborhood Council has established itself as a vital resource for residents. He enlisted whole neighborhoods to join the organization, recruited speakers who led initiatives or headed organizations that affected the lives of residents and structured monthly meetings so that they were informative and the dialogue was respectful.

“For the past 21 years, Jim Joseph has dedicated his time, energy, and expertise to the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg to the greater benefit of the Williamsburg community,” Williamsburg Mayor Douglas Pons said. “His leadership from the very beginning shaped this group into an invaluable resource for residents and city government. Because of his efforts, our residents are better informed and engaged, and our elected officials and city staff are more responsive to residents’ needs.”

Joseph has lived in Williamsburg since 1996, when he moved to the city with his wife, Marjorie, who died in 2016. He also served on the Planning Commission from 2007-2012 as well as the Beautification subcommittee, where he started a grant program to support communities to enhance their entrance landscaping.

Joseph’s first foray into civic life in Williamsburg was as a member of a committee to find a use for the former site of the Williamsburg Community Hospital. He has also served on a committee to work with College of William & Mary to solve problems and enhance communications.

Joseph is a member of the Cedar Grove Historical Society and volunteers for Cedar Grove Cemetery to repair the American flags used at each Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag-setting ceremonies.

The new award is named for the Mace of the City, a Colonial-era artifact that is now part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s museum collections. In the 18th century, maces were used to convey the importance of an event. It is believed that the Mace of the City of Williamsburg was carried in a municipal procession on May 1, 1783, in celebration of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.

“With Jim as the inaugural member, we are building a society of mace bearers who embody the values of One Williamsburg and carry this honor with them wherever they go,” Pons said.

The award was presented to Joseph at the city’s biennial State of the City event on December 8. A video presentation of the city’s goals, initiatives and objectives can be viewed on YouTube. A video of the tribute to Joseph can be found on the city’s YouTube page at

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