It was a cold night for the annual Menorah lighting at the Derby Hall Bandstand last Monday. The event, which is sponsored by the Oyster Bay Civic Association, was well attended though, with Oyster Bay Jewish Center’s Rabbi Marvin Demant leading the crowd in cheerful Chanukah songs.
“Every year we gather at the gazebo to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah,” said Rabbi Demant. “It is actually very special this year because Thanksgiving and Chanukah will overlap for the first time in almost 100 years.”
It takes a great deal of organization to run the annual Holiday Sharing Program of CSAC, the Community Social Action Committee. Rows of cardboard boxes were set up on tables in the Parish Hall of First Presbyterian Church on Sunday night, Nov. 24. One hundred sets of boxes, that fit just right at two boxes per family, were in the process of being filled with the makings of Thanksgiving dinners on Monday, Nov. 25. The CSAC Holiday Sharing Program offers food certificates or food baskets to needy families and individuals living in the OB-EN community through community support, in an inter-religious community effort working with local agencies, churches and schools to identify those in need.
First Presbyterian Church is a hub of activity in November as it holds its annual Victorian Fair and holiday luncheon, on Nov. 22 and 23, traditionally the start of the holidays in Oyster Bay.
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, as the hall was being set up for the Victorian Fair, we asked if the rummage sale would be in the basement again. Isa Gutierrez said, “Oh, no. It’s our Granny’s Attic sale, we don’t call it a Rummage Sale.”
True, the Episcopalians, across the street at Christ Church, call it a Rummage Sale, following their English tradition. The Presbyterians have Scottish roots, which was evident on the first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 1. “It is our St. Andrew’s Day Worship, it is close to the actual day, and in keeping with the church’s Scottish roots, people will wear tartan plaids. It’s done in many Presbyterian churches,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Prey.
On a crisp November evening, more than 200 people arrived at Chelsea Mansion in East Norwich for the Long Island Jewish Community Relations Council Holiday Party, "Multicultural Visions, Artists Exploring Identity." People from all ethnic and religious walks of life mingled under the heated tent viewing art from six local artists, equally as diverse.
There was Stanley Covington, an African American artist from Hempstead; Paul Kolker, a Jewish doctor, lawyer, and artist from Westbury; Rene Efi Hakimian, a Persian Jew from Great Neck; Simon Zareh a Jewish Iranian art collector from Rosyln; Lisbeh Herrera, a Nicaraguan American artist from Bayshore (her husband and children were present but not the artist); and Manu Kaur Saluja, a Sikh artist from Old Brookville now living in Queens. While guests and many politicians viewed the magnificent art and chatted with the artists, the background was filled with beautiful music played by high school students from Suffolk County Asian American Advisory Board Orchestra. Talk about diversity.
Oyster Bay remembered its veterans by laying wreaths at the American Legion and VFW monuments in front of Town Hall West on Nov. 11. While the number of veterans attending is decreasing, the need to remember them is even more important. Quentin Roosevelt American Legion Post No. 4 Commander Reginald Butt, Jr. said the veteran group goes to schools to speak to the children about what the veterans have done.
“There is a lot of history they don’t teach,” he said. “We go to schools and do flag presentations and say things to students even the young teacher’s don’t know. Every Memorial Day we hold an event here, so we can all remember those veterans.”
This year on Veterans Day, Commander Butt talked about the toll of suicide on returning veterans.
Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District’s Media Communication Specialist Tom Gould received a 2013 NYSPRA (New York State Public Relations Association) award at the school board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19. It was an award of merit for the video “The Pearls of Oyster Bay” that he produced last year, along with an accompanying CD.
“We put together a sort of music video that focused on all of the great things in our school district,” said Gould. “Making the video was a lot of fun for both the students and staff.”
The Election Eve Party could have been an Election Night Party with local Republicans celebrating gaining seats.
The Banjo Rascals set the tone for the Oyster Bay Republican Club Election Eve Rally, held Monday, Nov. 4 and famed photographer Palma Monaco Douglass was there taking snapshots. Republicans did well in the 2013 election and many of the local candidates were there working to get the vote out.
If you’re looking for a holiday gift for your husband or boyfriend, your shopping just got a little bit easier with the grand opening of James Guy Men’s Clothing Store earlier this month. Located at 77 South Street in Oyster Bay, the store sells fashionable items like Timberland jackets, flannel shirts and Trask boots, and shoes made from bison, elk and Longhorn leather.
The store is owned by Catherine Drabin of Chrison & Bellina LLC.
On a crisp autumn evening while the last of the golden leaves floated down on the circular driveway leading to Coe Hall, more than 150 guests filled the great hall to celebrate the restoration of Mai Coe’s beloved Steinway piano, which had not been played in 50 years. And what better way to do it than with a celebration of Broadway show tunes. For two hours guests were entertained by six talented performers whose credits range from Broadway and national tours as the original cast members from award-winning plays such as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and South Pacific. Curator Gwendolyn Smith and Executive Director of the Planting Fields Foundation Henry Joyce were thrilled with the turnout.
With the Coe ancestors looking down at the audience from their portraits hanging in the hall, Smith gave the audience a history of the piano. “Mai Coe loved contemporary music and played the piano often. It was our dream to restore the Steinway for many years. It had a cracked keyboard and had several issues with it mechanically so it was not in playable condition. We put together a restoration project and had it sent to Steinway to have it completely mechanically restored so it is in concert performance condition. It will be used for many events to come. It was played by Mai Coe and it is was ‘born’ on December 24, 1913 and delivered here to Oyster Bay. It is such a special occasion for us because it is the 100 year anniversary of the Planting Fields estate. The piano is solid mahogany, heavier than most Steinways, and will stay in the Great Hall because we want to use it for future performances.”
It was all for the snowflakes. The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual fundraiser to Light Up The Holidays on Nov. 7, at Mill Neck Manor for the Deaf, a chamber member. The event celebrated the chamber’s successful programs presented over the year, including Cruise Nights, the car show held on Tuesdays; and ArtWalk held Sundays in the summer.
The board presented an award to Jim Perna of Long Island Picture Frame and Art Gallery for his support of ArtWalk. He held special events in support of ArtWalk, attracting more visitors to attend the event held on the first Sunday of the month during the summer.
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