It started with five gallon buckets of water that he dragged into the back of his truck.

About 30 years later, Chris Bodkin, former assistant manager of Islip Town, stood in front of his garden near the corner of Candee Avenue and Main Street in Sayville, remembering the early days of flower care.

“I would get the buckets of water out of my house. They were heavy, ”recalled Bodkin, 73, who was honored Saturday by Sayville business executives and city and county officials for his maintenance of the garden.

Bodkin, a city councilor for over 15 years, received special certificates for their decades of care for “Chris Bodkin’s Garden” together with his classmate Bill Venegas from Sayville High School and Karl Auwarter, owner of Bayport Flower Houses.

Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar spoke of the three men’s “exceptional commitment and volunteering,” quoting Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Bodkin has often made it his business to help the community and local organizations. He was instrumental in getting the names of Vietnam and Afghanistan war veterans included in Sayville’s Sparrow Park Memorial.

Here are some photos from the inauguration event on Saturday organized by the Chamber. Be sure to check box # 2 to see all of them.

Sayville High School classmates and friends Bill Venegas (left) and Chris Bodkin. In 1965 they completed their studies together.Chris Bodkin (left) and Bill Venegas receive volunteering awards from Eileen Tyznar, President of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce.(from left) Eileen Tyznar, president of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce, Karl Auwarter, owner of Bayport Flower Houses, Bill Venegas, a Sayville resident, Chris Bodkin, former Islip councilor, and the chamber’s second vice president, Ron Trotta.Chris Bodkin with Angie Carpenter, director of Islip Town.Former Islip Alderman Chris Bodkin.