Southport Column: Lots of school news

Tue, 06/01/2021 - 10:00am

Memorial Day was celebrated on Southport both at the Southport Memorial Library in Newagen and at the monument in front of the Southport General Store. In spite of the spitting rain and temperatures in the low 50s, both locations drew good crowds. Gerry Gamage gave an interesting explanation as to how the first unknown soldier was chosen from American graves in France and then welcomed to Washington D.C. both by President Harding and Woodrow Wilson before being reburied at Arlington National Cemetery. Many thanks to Gerry and to all who participated. Look for further descriptions and pictures of the activities elsewhere in this paper.

Lots of school news this week. Recently the school children visited the Botanical Gardens to see the Trolls, occasioning great pictures of the adventure on Facebook. On June 3-4, the sixth grade graduate and last year's graduates are going to the Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson for two days and one overnight of fun. While there, they will enjoy hiking, swimming, fat tire biking, paddle boarding, and many more outdoor activities.
This Friday, June 4 at 1:45 p.m. the students will be coming together to celebrate individual and small group talent. If the weather is favorable, the event will be on the lawn in front of the school and open to the community! Please bring your own chair.

On June 8, the school is organizing a graduation parade around the island. The parade will feature our only graduate this year - Madisyn Blackman, who will be accompanied by her friend fifth grader Makayla Abbe. The parade, lead by Southport's firetrucks, followed by our school bus filled with Madisyn's schoolmates and teacher, will leave school at 5:30 p.m. The parade will go south on Route 27 to Newagen and back to the school via Route 238. No side roads will be taken. Once again, we are asking all Southport residents to come out to the sides of the route to cheer on Madisyn, as well as her classmate, and be prepared to make some noise...the more, the merrier. Following the parade, all Southport Central School's families and staff are invited to join in some fun with an ice cream social on the school grounds. Sorry, this is not for all Southport residents. In the case of inclement weather, events will occur on Thursday, June 10 at the same time.

The ever-popular Field Day is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, with a rain date of June 10. School doors are still closed for visitors or anyone other than students and employees of the school; however, Southport folks are welcome to come and watch the outdoor activities and/or join us for lunch, which will be served between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. “It's always a fun day for our kiddos,” writes principal, Lisa Clarke. June 11 will be graduation for Boothbay Region High School and a 10:45 a.m. dismissal for Southport Central School. June 14 is the last day of school; again, with a 10:45 a.m. dismissal.

Southport Island Association (SIA) announces “Southport Sprouts – Let’s Get Growing!” They suggest that you reserve your garden starter kit now. On Saturday, June 12, from 9 until 11 a.m., SIA will have 60 starter seedling kits to offer, free of charge, to Southporters of all age. Each kit will contain three vegetables, a Marigold, and an herb. Two Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) educational staff members will offer tips on planting and growing. The location is yet to be finalized but likely to be the Southport School grounds. Stay tuned for more details. Sharma Schacknow and Janet Duchaine, SIA Board members, are co-leading this
new initiative. To reserve your seedling kit, please call Sharma at 561-876-5151 or email to

The end of last week were a few busy days on the Southport Bridge as state workmen conducted a structural inspection of the bridge, which is done thoroughly every two years. In addition they were drawing up rehabilitation plans for the bridge, which is 81 years old. A meeting is being planned for Southport residents to voice their opinions about the bridge, especially as to when in the year would be the best time for stoppage of boat traffic under the bridge, a procedure necessary for the refurbishment of the structure, so stay tuned for the meeting time and date. No decision has yet been made as to when the rehab will start, but as you have read before in this column, I am the same age as the bridge so I know work needs to be done.

The Barn has opened at the Southport General Store featuring Maine-made products and Maine gear. To keep up with activities there Google Southport General Store. Look for more about the store next week.