Alice "Pat" Granahan
Alice "Pat" (Foley) Granahan has worked at making Hingham and the world at large a better place for much of her adult life. Born to Frances and John Foley on February 7, 1928, she was raised in Newton, Mass. During her years as a student in the public schools she participated in many different activities, including archery, hockey, the Spanish Club, and the Camera Club.
After graduating from Newton High School in 1945 Pat attended Regis College in nearby Weston. She lived with her parents throughout her years at college and after graduation worked as a laboratory assistant. In 1952 she married College of the Holy Cross student Leon Granahan, who would later become a chemist. The two lived in and around Boston before moving to Hingham.
In the 1970s, Dr. Helen Caldecott of Australia was speaking out against nuclear energy and its dangers, and specifically the harmful effects to humans. Her words inspired Pat, who quickly joined the anti-nuke campaign. She founded REACH, the Responsible Energy Alternatives Coalition of Hingham in 1979 with the goal of swaying the Hingham Light Board away from their support of the Nuclear Power Plant in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Through REACH Pat was able to bring noted experts on the subject of alternative energy to speak in Hingham and encourage all residents to become fully informed regarding this issue.
In 1983 Granahan was the first woman elected to the Municipal Light Board of Hingham, on which she would serve until 1986. During her tenure she devoted herself to promoting wind power and other alternative energy sources not only to the rest of the Board, but also to her constituents. These efforts included successfully petitioning the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy Resources to conduct a study focusing on improving efficiency and on using alternative energy at the Light Plant. Although never utilized, the study did find that Turkey Hill might be a suitable place for wind turbines.
Pat continued her fight for alternative energy use even after leaving the Municipal Light Board. In 1988 she led a campaign to ban nuclear power in Massachusetts and to close the two plants currently in use. She helped gather the 74,000 signatures that allowed it to be included on the November, 1988 ballot and was also involved in a campaign to stop nuclear waste. She was actually arrested for trespassing in 1989 while protesting the reopening of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant of Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was the first of several times that Pat would practice civil disobedience.
To this day, Pat is involved in promoting the use of alternative energy sources. She is also involved in raising awareness about the dangers of pesticides and advocating for peace rather than war. Pat states that she will continue to fight for the causes she believes in for as long as she is able to do so.