Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 18 January 2013 00:00
The Twelfth Night Celebration at Raynham Hall Museum filled the historic house with music and the conversations of friends. It celebrated what Raynham Hall is: a house museum. The post-holiday party on Jan. 5, Twelfth Night, is a traditional event at the museum that celebrates the eve of the Epiphany, to mark the last day of Christmas festivities.
Harriet Gerard Clark, RHM executive director said earlier, “There is so much going on in town and in people’s homes before Christmas, that we chose to celebrate the end of the Christmas holidays, when things quiet down to just enjoy getting together.”
The celebration is in keeping with the background of the Townsends Victorian English tradition. The house interprets both colonial and Victorian eras of the Townsend family.
She said after the party, “Aside from being a fun event, this party is a thank you to members and supporters of the museum from the board and staff.”
Ancestry is always a good topic of conversation at Raynham Hall events. Jonathan Wehle of NYC, a Townsend relative was one of the guests. Mr. Wehle said graciously, he was one of thousands of Townsends, since they are all the decedents of the original three Townshend (the British spelling of the family name) brothers, John, Henry and Richard, who immigrated to America in the 1600s.
Harriet Clark said she too has a Townsend in her extended family. Neither he nor Mr. Wehle has taken the DNA test that the Townsend Society in America uses to trace which branch of the family their members are from.
Museum educator and musician, Michael Goudket, played traditional Christmas carols and Scottish and Irish music of the 19th century on his harp as the musical background to the party. He said his name means “gold chain.”
Thomas Valentine, another RHM staff member said his last name, Valentine, is English and the family has traced it back to a 15th century death certificate.
“It’s probably a saint’s name,” offered Mr. Goudket.
Raynham Hall is especially delightful to visit when it is hosting a party. Former museum director Stuart Chase used to say he loved it when there were young children running around the house. Today, the museum continues their tradition of hosting a tree decorating party for children in local nursery schools. The Oyster Bay Co-operative Playschool at the First Presbyterian Church and children from the Wesley Nursery School at the Community Methodist Church of East Norwich.
Their tree decorated with the children’s handmade ornaments was tucked under the staircase in the front hall.
Longtime board member Patricia P. Sands, treated everyone to her special holiday punches – the temperance as well as the traditional version. There were light sweet refreshments, cheerful company, and a rendition of Auld Lang Syne completed the evening.
For more information on membership and volunteer opportunities please call Theresa Skvarla at 922-6808.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Local author Rajdeep Paulus of Locust Valley is living the writer’s dream. After having her first young adult novel published last year with positive reviews, she has just released her second novel, and will be holding a book signing at The Book Revue in Huntington on March 12.
Her first book, Swimming Through Clouds, is about a high school transfer student and her friendship with the basketball captain during their senior year. The sequel, Seeing Through Stones, was released March 1.The mom of four girls only recently tried her hand at novel writing; an English major in college who then taught for a few years, says, “I spent about a decade doing the mom thing...then as my youngest got to be school age, my husband asked me, ‘What do you want to do with your life now?’”
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
February, Black History Month, was celebrated by the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church of Oyster Bay with a series of special events.
“The whole month was inspiring, so I am looking forward to doing it next year,” said Black History-Harriet Tubman Committee Chair Diane Cortes-Evans.
The month included a visit from Assemblyman Charles Lavine, who attended the Feb. 9 service and presented Pastor Linda Vanager with a citation from the NYS Legislature for the church’s work in preserving the Pine Hollow Cemetery, and a lecture by historian Simon Rutledge.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 12:01
On Saturday, Feb. 22, as temperatures rose to well above freezing for the first time in weeks and the melting snow created a thick fog, the Oyster Bay High School Varsity Lady Baymen Basketball Team showed up at Long Island University ready to play.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:48
The Winter Varsity Sports Season is into post-season play in Oyster Bay. Many fine young athletes have excelled this season and were chosen by the Oyster Bay High School coaches as Athletes of the Month for February.
Cassidy Exum has been a member of the varsity wrestling team since his freshman year. Since that time, he has achieved All-County honors, which includes a Nassau County Small School County Championship. This year, Exum started his competitive season with success. He was a place winner in the annual Locust Valley Tournament, a Hank Paris Tournament Champion and a Bethpage Tournament Champion, where he was presented with the Champion of Champions Award. Exum’s success is due to his work ethic, dedication and discipline.; he is a fierce competitor which will help him as he competes for his second Nassau County Championship. Exum is coached by 2012 Coaches of the Year Jay Davis and Doug Axman.