Ladies Aid tops busy week

What a week GCI has had, starting August off with a bang. Three major events brought islanders together in order to support important island organizations. Wednesday was the annual Ladies Aid Fair, and between the white elephant sale, bake sale and all of the participating island artisan vendors displaying their work, everyone found something to take home in exchange for supporting the Ladies Aid and Community Center. A big thanks to Patrick Allen and Mark Alley for staffing the grill and keeping everyone well-fed so they were fueled up and ready to spend.

Thursday evening at the church, a number of local artists and musicians took the stage to raise money for the Great Cranberry Island Library. The Night of Music and Poetry is an island event hosted by Sam King and Jim Gertmenian. Those who attend for the first time are usually surprised by the hidden talents of their neighbors. The event raised more money than the previous year and was super successful. Thanks to Kathy Graven for being a great master of ceremonies and thanks to all who supported the library that night.

The week ended with an old tradition that many islanders have missed, the Fireman’s Supper. Kids were driven around the island in the old Studebaker to solicit donations for the Cranberry Isles Fire Department, and islanders emptied what was left of their pockets after a week of fundraising. Everyone came together for a potluck dinner afterwards complete with Mark Alley’s cooking and had a wonderful evening.

A group of Ashley Bryan’s music friends from down south, all the way in the Portland area, came up on Saturday to celebrate his birthday, which had been in mid-July. Originally planned just as a gathering at his house, it was changed to a meeting at the Islesford Congregational Church with others welcome. James Ford and Linda Ashe-Ford, Pamela Cummings, Eileen Floros sang, with Thew Elliott at the piano. The songs were from Ashley’s books and included “My Lord, What a Morning” “Steal away to Jesus,” “‘O When the Saints Go Marching in” (the beginning of songs the audience joined), “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Down by the Riverside.” Linda Ashe-Ford read the poem “Saying thank-you to Ashley,” written by Elijah Ford, Linda and James’ teenage son. Elijah described Ashley as one who has changed the world with art and a smile like the sun.

Joy Sprague greeted those who came and explained how the event had come about. The piano in the corner was going to be the source of music and singing, so chairs were turned around and repositioned. Among those who were able to be there were Gail and Henry Grandgent, Katya Mocarsky, Bob and Pat Mocarsky, Barb Fernald, Trinks Howard, Jeri Spurling, Starr Cummin Bright, Skip Stevens and Sally Rowan, Ellie Miller, Deborah and David Brooks, and Dan and Sidney Callahan.

Some of the islanders weren’t able to go to the music-Ashley birthday celebration because they were taking part in the rowathon. The rowathon was changed to an earlier party time of noon instead of 1 p.m. in hopes it might be possible for people to get to both. The course also was changed, from around Islesford to over to part of Great Cranberry and back. Even that was shortened because thick fog descended. A skiff was included, with Tom Powell and Rick Alley among the rowers/cox. Rowers included Patrick Mocarsky, Courtney and Whit Chaplin, Gretchen Blank and Colleen Sinnott, Jim Fortune, Jeri Spurling with others in the skiff Tiger Shark, Amanda Ravenhill and Ryan Kushner, and Ann Fernald and David Hawkes.

Islesford’s residents and visitors are saying goodbye to Richard Dudman, who died this past Thursday, Aug 3. He and his wife, Helen, were on Islesford much of last summer and have been missed this summer. Their absence from island events at Town Field and the movies each Monday have been noticed and felt. Our sympathy goes to Helen. There is a much bigger article about it in this paper.

Sally Rowan and Sarah McCracken

Sally Rowan and Sarah McCracken

We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Sally Rowan at [email protected] com, and for Great Cranberry, email Sarah McCracken at [email protected] or call her at 978-879-5939.
Sally Rowan and Sarah McCracken

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