Bruce Komusin,who had fought advanced stages of colon and liver cancer for two and a half years, passed away Saturday, Feb. 12, at Birch Bay Nursing Facility in Bar Harbor. Bruce, who had been a summer resident, became a year-round resident of Great Cranberry Island in 2005.
Bruce was dedicated to preserving both the history and the sustainability of Cranberry Island. In this regard, he donated two acres of land in 2004, and along with many others, immersed himself in buying, moving and renovating the building which today is known as Cranberry House, overseeing all aspects of that immensely popular and diverse entertainment center. His passing leaves a huge void in the organization which will never be completely filled.
Bruce also donated over one acre of land behind the Cranberry House in 2012 to take advantage of state bond money available for island affordable housing projects. His efforts resulted in the construction of two new affordable housing units on Cranberry, also completed under his close scrutiny, even as he battled the effects of his illness. These homes are currently filled with young families. Less widely known were his quiet generosity of charging affordable housing rental rates with his own private properties to islanders and his constant availability to help individuals with their computer problems.
His island interests also extended to the library, where he served as treasurer as long as possible, and the Town Planning Board, where he served several years, dedicated to preserving the natural resources and beauty of the islands. It will be difficult not to see him running the projection equipment for the Seaside Playhouse movies nor enthusiastically talking with visitors to the museum about Rachel Field, Hitty or other aspects of island history. Bruce was a classic example of one individual who made a huge positive difference in his community and among the people he knew.
Thank you to Phil Whitney for this tribute to Bruce. Phil and his wife, Karin, who was with Bruce at the end, enjoyed a wonderful friendship with Bruce through the years. Bruce will be missed by the entire community, he was one man who truly did make a difference.
It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the passing of our friend David Shorey. David passed away Feb. 3 after an extended battle with cancer. David is the son of Joan Shorey and the late Ev Shorey, long-time summer residents of Great Cranberry Island. David and his wife, Nina, restored and sold antique flutes at their home in California. It was David’s passion. David was a gentle, generous soul and will be sorely missed by is family and friends. David is survived by his wife and soul-mate Nina, their sons, Josh and Clyde, David’s mother, Joan Burgess Shorey, two sisters, Alden and Katherine, and a brother, Everett. David was predeceased by his father Clyde Everett Shorey.
Thank you to all the area EMTs who have been on duty through storm after storm the past couple of weeks. Here’s to a week of truly clean weather.
Henry Grandgent was in the annual Quebec ice sculpture competition. An artist submitted an abstract design; Henry and two others then produced it in ice.
Ted and Jeri Spurling are in the Dominican Republic on their church/mission and medical care related work. Jeri has worked with the school/church staff and construction workers, often many volunteers from places like the MDI team. Ted is a translator between doctors and patients; they have clear use of the hospital’s surgical unit, and a lot of minor surgery is done each year.
The Islesford Congregational Church hosted the second annual Chili Nights Cook-off, which included a corn bread contest to go with the chili. Cari Alley organized it again, with support from Tom Powell and the church’s committee. A warm meeting place is welcome, so each year it’s been held at the church instead of Neighborhood House. Weather was foul, so it was only Islesford people on hand. The 3:30 p.m. boat ran, but the special boat after the meal was cancelled. All proceeds go to the school’s Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative, the TLC.
Contests included eight teams in chili and five in cornbread.
Meat: in first place in meat chili was Team Chili Chili Bang Bang (Lauren and Josh Gray); and the second team was Team F/V K-N (Nicko Hadlock and Katelyn Damon).
Bean: first place went to the Dragon Fire Chili brought by Team Amuso (Melissa, Jim, Beatrice and Xander); second place went to Cory Alley, Team Pressure; and third place went to Bruce Fernald.
Cornbread: in first place was Team Amuso with their Dragon Fire Cornbread (Might need a lot of gold and jewels to satisfy those dragons.); second place was a 3-way tie between Ann Fernald, Skip Stevens and Brenna Sullivan; and third place went to Amy and Adele Palmer.
There was a prize for best table decor, which went to Team Amuso. They decorated the table with a roll of toilet paper and some Pepto. They understood their winning samples!
Nicko Hadlock,Will Palmer, Lyndsay Eysnogle, Steve Palmer and Brenna Sullivan took away the raffle items.
There are still t-shirts available, with the proceeds going to the TLC.
Barb Shirey Fernald was in Portland for a meeting with friends, including Susie McNamee.
The weather has been … another week of continual snow and wind. The big one Saturday stayed south of us, so there wasn’t the anticipated 18-26 inches of snow, and it ended Sunday afternoon. But the strong wind stayed through Sunday night and through Monday. The mail boat was cancelled for Sunday and Monday.
We congratulate Joey and Marie Wedge on the birth of their daughter, Claire Hope, on Feb. 3. Claire weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. Claire will have lots of protection with big brothers Joshua and Austin looking after her. All our best to the Wedge family and their beautiful new addition. We also would like to extend our best wishes to Mike and Jessica Reed Oram on the birth of their son Bailey Jessiah, born Feb. 11 weighing 6 pounds 8.9 ounces and being 19.75 inches long. Sister Olive takes being a big sister very seriously and loves her baby brother very much. Congratulations on your new addition. Joey Wedge and Jessica Oram are the grandchildren of Clara and the late Karl Wedge. Clara must be so proud of her new great-grandchildren.
Happy birthday to Heather McCafferty Varnum on Feb. 21. Heather is the granddaughter of Gaile Colby. Gretel Green will celebrate her birthday on Feb. 22. Patrick Mocarsky’s birthday is Feb. 23, with James Westphal following on Feb. 24. Jasmine Samuel‘s is Feb. 25. Rounding out our February birthdays are Kyleigh Amber Hawes and Johnny Alley on Feb. 27. Many happy returns of the day to you all.
On Feb. 21, please wish a very happy anniversary to Phil and Karin Whitney. All the best to you both.