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After filling in for ailing mayor, Laconia councilor now also fighting cancer

By John Koziol
Union Leader Correspondent

February 20. 2018 11:28PM
ARMAND BOLDUC (John Koziol/Correspondent/FILE)

LACONIA — Armand Bolduc, one of the longest-serving city councilors in Laconia’s history, has been hospitalized and is undergoing cancer treatment. His hospitalization comes after a four-month stint as mayor pro tem, filling in for Ed Engler, who is also battling cancer.

Speaking Tuesday morning from his room at Lakes Region General Hospital, Bolduc, 79, said he is optimistic doctors have isolated the cancer in his stomach area and that its spread has been stopped.

Bolduc, who has 34 years serving as a city councilor, is also widely known in Laconia and the broader Lakes Region as “Twinkle,” one of the head elves at Christmas Village, which for more than four decades has entertained and provided a free holiday experience for thousands of children of all ages.

“I’m being treated and I think they have it secluded, so it’s not going to spread out any further,” Bolduc said of his cancer, “and hopefully, they can control it there.”

The treatment has been working, he continued, and the swelling in his stomach area has diminished, “and hopefully in the next week or so I should be getting back home and go from there.”

Although he doesn’t know exactly when he can return home, doctors are hoping, that “in another two weeks, things will be a lot different and I’ll be able to get home and relax,” he said.

Despite the challenge to his health, Bolduc said he intends to return to representing Ward 6 on the City Council, to which he won reelection last November.

“I had a long talk with the mayor and he agrees that we’ll make it work,” said Bolduc. “I’ll be there to do what I can.”

By virtue of his longevity on the City Council, Bolduc has repeatedly been elected by his colleagues as mayor pro tem, a position in which he acts as mayor in Engler’s absence.

Last September, Bolduc took up that post after Engler, who has been mayor since 2013, left Laconia for treatment of colon cancer at the University of California-Irvine Medical Center, where his daughter is a doctor. Engler returned to the city and resumed his mayoral duties in January.

During his nearly two week stay at Lakes Region General, Bolduc said he has received numerous visitors and thanked them for coming and the hospital for making accommodations for them.

Overall, he said, the hospital has been “excellent,” Bolduc said.

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