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They come from every corner of the state, representing all kinds of professions, and all contributing to what makes up the unique character of Rhode Island – this is the 57th class to be inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, the Class of 2022.
The nine newest Hall of Fame members will be inducted tomorrow (Sunday), joining nearly 800 others inducted since the Hall’s founding in 1965.
This year’s class couldn’t be more diverse – a boxer, restaurateurs, a journalist, historians and educators.
The Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame was founded, according to its mission statement, “to honor and recognize, and to extol and publicize the achievements of those Rhode Island men and women who have, in the words of the Hall of Fame induction citation, ‘made significant contributions to their community, state, and/or nation.’”
The inductees include:
- Roberta Mudge Humble, who was born in Westerly and lives in Warwick. She is the founding president of Westerly Armory Restorations. Humble, who lives in Warwick, is an author, professor emeritus of English at CCRI, and is perhaps best known for her preservation work with Rhode Island’s 18 historic armories.
- Dr. Edward A. Iannuccilli of Bristol, a former practicing physician who has chaired numerous health organizations, including the Board of Trustees of Rhode Island Hospital. He’s authored several medical essays and books on local Italian American heritage.
- James “Jimmy” Burchfield, a North Providence restaurateur (Classic Restaurant and Lounge) and internationally prominent professional boxing judge and promoter. He founded Classic Enterprise Sports and first began promoting boxers in 1992.
- Mark Patinkin, a columnist for the Providence Journal for some four decades, has chronicled the lives of numerous Rhode Islanders, from recognized leaders to unsung heroes. He came to the Journal as a young reporter, inheriting a column that had been a mainstay of the paper for years. His columns are not only insightful, but inspirational.
- Robert I. Burke, the owner of Providence’s Pot Au Feu, who may be as famous for his unique way of opening a bottle of champagne (sword in hand), as his role in establishing the Independence Trail Educational Foundation, an organization that teaches local history to the public along a 2.5-mile Independence Trail that winds through the center of Providence.
- Arnold Buffum Chace, Jr., a prominent Providence businessperson and developer, and major philanthropist and community activist. He is a descendent of the 19th century reformers, Arnold Buffum and Elizabeth Buffum Chace.
- Wilfred W. Greene, also known as “Chief Eagle Heart,” a South Providence legend who was ranked seventh in the world among middleweight boxers. He was also New England middleweight champion, compiling a career record of 30 wins, seven losses. Twenty of those wins were by knockout. Greene went on to be Chief of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe of the Wampanoag Nation, and a strong advocate for native American rights. He died in 2016.
- John B. Harwood, former Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives (1993-2003). He served in the House from 1980 to 2004. A resident of Pawtucket, he’s a member of the Pennsylvania Athletic Hall of Fame.
- Stanley Weiss, a prominent Providence civic leader, businessperson and developer, and among the nation’s most prominent collectors of fine American antiques.