Reverend Alden Besse has a high-flying 92nd birthday


Reverend Alden Besse celebrated his 92nd birthday by taking a biplane ride with his son Mark. Rev. Besse has long been well-loved in the community. He has been pastoral assistant at Grace Episcopal Church, chaplain at Windemere, president of the Island Clergy Association and longtime member of the Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council.

“We were trying to think of something special to do for Alden’s birthday and we were riding by the biplanes out at Katama and I said, ‘Alden, do you think you’d like to do that?’” Alden’s wife Barbara said in a phone conversation with The Times.

Although Rev. Besse had once been gliding, he had never been in a biplane before and he was all for it.

“He went up with his son Mark,” Ms. Besse said, “and they flew from Katama, over the Lagoon and around all the beaches and the places on the Island he loves so much. He had a ball!

“I only wonder what he has planned for his 93rd.”

This story by Geoff Currier was originally published on