On Saturday, Aug. 3, the Down East Yacht Club sponsored a benefit picnic for the Burnt Island Lighthouse Restoration Fund. It was a perfect sunny day, with a comfortable breeze. 50 members and guests enjoyed a wonderful summer afternoon on beautiful Burnt Island thanks to our gracious hosts, Jean and Bob McKay, volunteer Keepers of Burnt Island Light!
Members were shuttled out to the island on boats captained by Brent Pope, George Hamilton and Dana Mulholland. Boats were greeted as they docked and assisted by Bob McKay and Commodore Steve Arkley.
Small groups gathered around the several tables set out all over the lawn to enjoy a history lesson about Joseph Muise, the Light House Keeper from 1936-1951 and his family. Joseph and his wife Annie had 6 children, two boys and four girls.
We were treated to a skit performed by daughters Ann and Prudy Muise, (played by Bea Recoing-Tallen and Azalea Bennett). Their skit portrayed their lives and experiences on the island. Members listened to their talk about family, coal burning stove, lack of refrigeration, getting indoor plumbing, sharing the bathtub in the pantry, and how water was collected in the cistern. They recalled the experience of spending Christmas morning on the Island and the wonderful Christmas family meal. They invited members into the keeper's dwelling and into the well-kept kitchen. On the wall over the enameled kitchen table hangs a 1950 calendar. Their act resulted in a roaring applause of appreciation.
Guests were welcomed to climb the tower to the lantern room where they were treated to a stunning view of Boothbay Harbor, Ocean Point, Squirrel Island and more. Vice Commodore, Dennis Hopkins and his wife Toni served the Woody Wagon refreshments in the adapted Burnt Island Gift Shop.
The “picnic” was well beyond usual sandwiches and soda. Debbie Arkley worked tirelessly to prepare the piles of pulled pork and heaping plates of brisket. Sides includes a potato dish, baked beans, sliced veggies, coleslaw, assorted salads and rolls. Desserts also exceeded the normal experience. The table was a smorgasbord of delights including a variety of cookies, pastries, bars, sweets, pies and ice cream.
To conclude the day, DEYC Commodore Steve Arkley presented Jean McKay with a generous check towards the Burnt Island Lighthouse Restoration Fund.
Shuttles began a little after 1700 hours until all visitors were safely back at port.