William Lindsay steps up to give commencement speech

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Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer William Lindsay, still recovering from cancer surgery, surprised colleagues last week when he was commencement speaker at the Hampton Bays High School graduation where his daughter Denise Sullivan is an assistant superintendent.

Lindsay didn’t make any prior announcement about the speech because he wasn’t sure whether he’d be up to it. “It turned out I was feeling pretty good,” he said, adding, “They made it as easy on me as they could,” noting the school arranged for a golf cart. Lindsay, who had a lung removed in May, has further treatments scheduled for August and hopes to return to the legislature sometime this fall.

Lindsay brought along Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) in case he needed a fill-in. Schneiderman said Lindsay may not have been at his usual full strength, but “looked good and gave an excellent speech.”

The Holbrook Democrat gave a 15-minute address to 600 seniors and their parents and relatives under a tent. “There are certain things that my generation can pass on to you,” said Lindsay.

"Hard work is something that will always be in demand . . . Never overlook an opportunity, especially for education.” Then he sagely added, “You have one mouth and two ears. Use them in proportion.”

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