Myron “Mike” Coplan will be honored with the title “Senior Man of the Year” on Monday, but the long-time town resident said he has not done much lately to earn that title.
Perhaps those selecting the Senior Man of the Year from the Natick Council on Aging looked back at his contributions to Natick through town boards or his involvement in saving the Leonard Morse Hospital.
Coplan moved to Natick in 1953, and within a couple years he became engrossed in town politics. He was a member of the first group of elected Town Meeting members when the town switched to an elected body in 1954.
“When we had the election, people in the neighborhood got to know me, and they thought they ought to put me forward as a member from West Natick,” Coplan said.
He referred to himself as a “community organizer,” and helped create the West Natick Civic Association.
For many years Coplan served on the Finance Committee and the Board of Health. He also was part of the Long Range Planning Committee, the Fire Station Building Committee and the Hospital Needs Study Committee.
In the 1990s, Coplan said, there was serious danger that Natick would lose its hospital. He fought to keep Leonard Morse open.
“The attempt to decimate the Leonard Morse Hospital was the thing that occupied myself and other people from about 1990 to 1995,” Coplan said. “At a certain point there was an effort made by Framingham Union Hospital to assume the title to Leonard Morse Hospital.
“Ultimately the purpose was to put it out of business, take the equipment and patient care out of Natick, and deliver in Framingham Union.”
When a deal was finally reached, Leonard Morse was kept open.
Professionally, Coplan works as a chemical engineer, and he has worked in the field of water desalination. Through that work, he said, he also became involved in the effort to stop the use of fluoride in drinking water.
Coplan said he regards fluoridation as a something that harms people, so he opposed its use in Natick and testified at the state level when a proposal came up to require it in all drinking water in Massachusetts.
“Through my work with water, I have come to see that water fluoridation is a scam and does not work,” Coplan said. “And more importantly it is a hazard.”
Coplan will be honored at a dinner Monday night along with the Senior Woman of the Year, Winola Sinclair — who was profiled in last week’s Bulletin & Tab. The dinner will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Natick Elk’s Club, 95 Speen St.