Southport Column: Garden, graduation and more

Posted:  Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 2:30pm

Many losses are painful, but losing a child, whether young or an adult, must be among the losses most painful to bear. Thus our sympathies go out to Ruth Story whose son Gaven Edward Townsend died last week. He was taken ill suddenly and diagnosed with liver cancer. Professor Townsend was a beloved teacher of art at the University of Chattanooga. He was instrumental in the revitalization of Chattanooga, seeing the potential in the older brick buildings in town, encouraging their repair, and repurposing them for boutique businesses. In addition to Ruth, he will be sorely missed by his wife and adult son.

Last week I described the plans for the Southport School children to plant a pollinator garden at the Southport Memorial Library. On Thursday morning I found the children busy at this work. Divided into two groups twelve younger children began planting both the flowers they had grown from seed (very tiny and fragile) and the larger plants provided by the Garden Club. They worked carefully, digging the holes, pouring water in the holes, placing the plants, and then gently covering them. This group finished about half the crop and then went off to explore while the older children completed the job. Most of the plants are perennials to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Supervisors Linda Bonin, Sandra Seifert, Principal Lisa Clarke, and even bus driver, Matt Thibault, lent a helping hand along with the classroom teachers, but the children did most of the work. Well done everyone. Do stop by to enjoy their efforts.

Sadly I missed the school children’s concert a week ago Wednesday evening, but look for coverage elsewhere in this paper.

As for the remainder of the school year, June 11 was an all-school day at Burnt Island, June 12 was Field Day; June 14 the children will spend the day at the Botanical Gardens; June 15 is Sixth Grade graduation; and June 18 is the last day of school with dismissal at 10:45 a.m. After such a busy and exciting schedule, summer may seem boring to these students.

It was a sell-out crowd on Thursday, June 7 for the 18th annual fundraising dinner at Newagen Seaside Inn in support of the Southport Volunteer Fire Department. Over 130 people gathered at the Inn for cocktails, appetizers, and a three-course family style meal served by the firefighters, who at this point, know their way around the Newagen dining room quite well. The focus of this year’s dinner was bridging the gap in funds for new self-contained breathing apparatus air packs that are compatible with those of the region’s other volunteer departments. At last year’s dinner, Newagen owners Scott and Corinne Larson pledged $20,000 in matching funds if the firefighters could raise an additional $20,000. Through solicitations, donations and a few very generous private commitments, they were able to raise $19,350, the balance of which was achieved at this year’s dinner.

Guests were treated to music by local band Junction 27, and a delicious meal prepared by Newagen’s Executive Chef Theron Thomas and his staff.

As summer continues ‘Icumen In’ , a reminder that Sunday services will begin at the summer chapel of All Saints by-the-Sea on June 17, at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The dock is in so you can come by boat, either your own or on the Novelty from town. Handicapped parking is available down All Saints Road with a golf cart available down the path to the church. The preacher will be The Reverend Maria Hoecker from St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Boothbay Harbor.

To get to All Saints by-the-Sea by car, follow Route 27 onto Southport Island. Just after crossing the bridge onto the island and passing Robinson’s Wharf, turn left on Route 238, crossing a smaller bridge. In about two miles watch for All Saints Road on your left.

Lynn Schafer has happily returned from Kansas heat to Maine's cooler weather. As gardens are weeded, grass mowed, and library and friends visited, Lynn also will open her antique shop this week. Hours are flexible, most afternoons or by appointment. To check on availability of both shop inventory and Lynn, please call 633-0788.

We welcome Ashlea Tibbetts to the Southport Town Hall staff as administrative assistant and secretary to the selectmen, and we thank Karen Cronk for her good work in the position for the last several years.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 24! The Southport Island Association will kick off its summer activities with Bolster Day from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Southport Town Hall. Donations of appetizers are greatly appreciated. Come join the fun. This is the perfect way to reconnect with Southport neighbors you have not seen since last fall.

The community is invited to attend an Open House at the Hendrick's Hill Museum on Tuesday, June 26, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to celebrate the season opening of the museum. Refreshments will be served in the boathouse. All those who volunteer at the museum during the season are invited to attend an orientation session on Wednesday, June 27 at 9:30 a.m.

In the evening of June 26 at 7 p.m. come to the Southport Memorial Library for a talk by mystery writer Bruce Coffin.