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Twelfth Night Celebration At Raynham Hall Museum

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 Notes

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.

What’s In A Name?

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.

News

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com