Friday, June 6, 2008

Walk Through South Berwick History

Historic New England offers a walk through South Berwick history with a series of unique walking tours the second week in June.      
The series begins on Wednesday, June 11 with a Landscape and Garden Tour at Historic New England’s Hamilton House located on Vaughn’s Lane. Take part in a special opportunity to learn about the landscape and gardens at Hamilton House with Historic New England’s Piscataqua Region Landscape Manager Gary Wetzel. Imagine the changes in the land as wilderness yielded to a busy commercial waterfront, then to farming, and finally, to formal gardens. Learn about the flowers, trees, and other plants that surround Hamilton House and how Wetzel and his gardeners maintain the beautiful formal gardens. Tour begins at the Garden Cottage at 10 am. Historic New England members $8, non-members $12. Registration required.
In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Sarah Orne Jewett’s former haunts. Explore downtown South Berwick with your tour guide and imagine what life was like during Sarah’s lifetime. Each participant will receive a copy of the new Sarah Orne Jewett Walking Tour brochure recently produced by the Jewett Eastman Committee. This wonderfully informative and easy to follow brochure is available for free in downtown shops and establishments and will serve as a jumping off point for the guided tour on June 11. The tour will include historic photographs, excerpts from Jewett works describing her beloved home town, and stops at places Jewett family members knew and frequented. The tour begins at the visitor center on the Main Street side of the Sarah Orne Jewett House at 1pm. Historic New England members $5, non-members $10. Registration required.
The Historic New England series of special tours continues on Saturday, June 14 with the return of the popular “The Way They Were” tour at Hamilton House. On this tour go behind-the-scenes of Hamilton House to learn about the daily routines of domestics, grounds keepers, and others who worked for families like the Tyson’s early in the twentieth century. See the fourth floor attic space where servants lived and enjoy the stunning view of the river from the rooftop skylight. Explore the grounds and discover where the chauffeur once slept. Tour begins at the brown garden cottage at 10:30 am. Historic New England members $8, non-members $12. Registration required.
Also on June 14 is a Burial Ground Walking Tour of the Oldfields Burial Ground located on Vine Street and the Goodwin family cemetery located on the grounds of the Hamilton House. Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery as tour leader Dr. Neill De Paoli takes you on an exploration of the evolution of gravestone art and mourning practices. Read the long epitaphs of Jonathan Hamilton and his wife and seek out the headstone of a local woman kidnapped by Indians. Tour begins at 2:30 in the Hamilton House parking area. Historic New England members $8, non-members $12. Registration required.
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Caption: The Hamilton House near Vaughn’s Woods (Courtesy photo)

Community Organization Rallies Support
for Family in Need

The Ogunquit Rotary Club rallied to support the Spearin family of Wells that recently lost everything as a result of a house fire.      
Ogunquit Rotarian Gordon Lewis, who is also the Assistant Coach for the Wells/York Legion Baseball team, coached Hunter Spearin last summer. Lewis heard of the Spearin family’s loss and requested a $500 donation from the Ogunquit Rotary Club. As the request was being discussed, the Ogunquit Rotary Club decided to “pass the hat” to match the monies donated by the Club. As a result, a total of $1,115 was collected.
Hunter will play out his High School baseball career with the Wells Warriors and, hopefully, help carry them into the State playoffs. He will again play Legion baseball this summer and hopes to play next year in college.
The entire Ogunquit Rotary Club wishes the Spearin family good luck as they work on rebuilding their home and lives.

Caption: L to R - Wells High School Baseball Coach Chuck Chadbourne, Hunter Spearin, Gordon Lewis and York High School Baseball Coach Richard Sirois. (Courtesy photo)

South Berwick Woman Leads Hong Kong Volunteers in Fight Against Polio

As of May 29, Volunteers from Hong Kong have departed for India to help immunize children against polio, a devastating disease that still paralyzes and sometimes kills children in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
These volunteers are members of Rotary, a worldwide humanitarian service organization that has polio eradication as its main philanthropic goal. Leading the group is polio survivor and Rotary member Ann Lee Hussey of South Berwick.
“I witnessed first hand the devastation polio had caused to the people of India. I saw crawlers, young and old, begging in the streets, dragging themselves by their hands and arms with legs twisted in unimaginable contortions,” said Hussey.
Beginning on June 1, the Rotary members will have joined other volunteers and health workers to administer drops of oral polio vaccine during a sub-National immunization program that will target 75 million children under age five in nine critical states in India: Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharash, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
“Rotary has promised to give a world without polio to our children,” said Hong Kong Rotary member Kenneth Yuk Shing Chow. “We must fulfill our commitment. “
To that end, Rotary members in Hong Kong have appealed to local clubs in an effort to raise US$500,000 toward Rotary’s $100 million challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
New methods and more effective oral polio vaccines have led to steady progress in India. Yet to date, India holds the highest number of polio cases of any single country this year, having reported 222 cases in 2008.
Overall, tremendous progress has been made toward a polio-free world in the last two decades. To date, the number of polio cases has been reduced from 350,000 children annually in the mid 1980s to 1,312 in 2007. Only four countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, are still polio-endemic.
Rotary has contributed US$84.3 million to fight polio in India, and more than US$700 million worldwide – a figure that will increase to $850 million once polio is eradicated. Besides raising and contributing funds, over one million men and women of Rotary have volunteered their time and personal resources to help immunize more than 2 billion children in 122 countries during national immunization campaigns.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is spearheaded by the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
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