Land's End catalog personel including photographers arrived on the Island recently with models to take pictures of their clothing line for an upcoming catalog. They were also doing staging in Door County.
Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands had a busy weekend on Plum Island. The Festival of Nature brought two boatloads of visitors plus the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel conducted an interview on the Women in Preservation Program (WIP). Volunteers planted over 1700 pollinator plants. Some even braved the storms and overnighted on the island. (Info from the FOPPI website).
44th Annual Salon of Door County High School Art is a celebration of students' works in the Visual Arts. A variety of mediums from over 100 students in all 5 Door County High Schools age 15-18 were displayed at the Miller Art Center in Sturgeon Bay from April 21 through May 29. The Art Teacher at the Island schools is Melanie Enger. $100 Award of Excellence was presented to Korrina Ervin and an Honorable Mention Award of $50 was presented to Alissabeth Mohn. The Art Departments of each school also receives a check for $100.
Congratulations to Valedictorian Benjamin Johnson, son of Marleen and Don Johnson and to Salutatorian Bradley Jordan, son of Tom and Michelle Jordan.
Graduation is June 8th at the Community Center at 7 P.M.
Happy Graduation and End of Year School Picnic at the Red Barn Friday June 8th. WICHP provides sloppy joes, hot dogs and beverages. This is a community potluck so bring a dish to share. Thanks to the Washington Island Ferry line the children will be able to get on board the Packer train and ride from school to the park. Parents or guardians should join their child/children at the Red Barn Park, have lunch and provide the ride home.
Who Were The Washington Island Merchant Mariners?
Flags are placed on Veteran’s graves in the Island cemetery for Memorial Day. It is one of the honorable duties of the American Legion Post #402 members. The number of flags throughout this place “under the pines” give a visual reminder of the many Islanders that served since the war of 1812 and are now departed. There is a quiet reverence here, yet the delightful cries of happy children also belong. It is a day to honor those that have sacrificed all so that we can enjoy freedom in America.
Beautiful Quilts of Valor were displayed over the backs of pews in the Sanctuary of Bethel Church. The colors of red, white, and blue were stitched in a variety of patterns with loving care. A large crowd gathered for the Memorial Day program sponsored by the American Legion Post #402. Post Commander Bill Nauta welcomed everyone and led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the National Anthem. Pastor Rick Smith gave the invocation. Patriotic songs were enthusiastically sung accompanied by pianist, Donna Briesemeister.
The essay question presented to students this year was timely – As an Island student what would you do to stop school shootings? The winning essays are chosen by Legion members without knowing the names of the students. This year the ones chosen were written by Kayla Ervin, Rylie Lux, and Jonathan Bass. Jonathan Bass proposed stronger gun laws and leaders that act on banning assault rifles. He noted that there should be emphasis on providing schools with mental health professionals with regular student health evaluations. Rylie Lux noted that our government needs to do something as the number of school shootings rises. Leaders need to act, not just talk. She noted that there were less shootings after the enactment of the Federal Assault Weapon ban but that it ran out in 2004 and was not renewed. Kayla noted that there have been 18 school shootings so far this year although not all resulted in deaths. We honor our veterans for fighting for our freedom but now we need to protect children that are being gunned down at schools. Kayla also supported re-enacting the Federal Assault Weapon Ban. “The children are our future!” Even one child saved is worth it. Following the speeches the three students were presented with a special medal.
The main address was about “Island Merchant Mariners during WWII”. It was presented by Bill Nauta who gave credit to those who had done the research for the topic. This service branch has been given little recognition and yet it played a critical role in every war since the Revolution as an auxiliary of the U.S. Navy. Its biggest role came during WWII. Their tankers and freighters brought arms, ammunition, food, medicines, planes, trucks, amphibious craft – whatever supplies were needed by troops all over the world. The men were trained in navigation, engine operation, and maintenance of the vessels in addition to gun and cannon use.
Additional interesting facts reported by Nauta:
* The pre-war number of experienced mariners was 55,000 and increased to 215,000 for the war.
* About 8,300 mariners were killed at sea.
* 12,000 were wounded.
* 663 were taken prisoner.
* 66 died in prison camps or aboard Japanese ship while being transferred.
* 31 ships vanished without a trace.
* 733 cargo ships were lost.
* Estimated total loss of life of Mariners in WWII is 9,300.
* 1 in 26 mariners serving aboard merchant ships in WWII died in the line of duty, a greater percentage of war-related deaths than all other services.
* For 43 years the U.S. Government denied benefits for Mariners including housing and health care until Congress awarded veterans’ status to in 1988 to those that had served between December 7, 1941 and December 15, 1945. For about half that had served it was too late.
Commander Nauta closed by reciting the following list of Island Merchant Mariners, asking that if anyone knew of others that had served in this capacity in WWII, to please contact him or other Legion members so they can be added to this list.
G. Phillip Anderson
Pastor Rick Smith gave the benediction. The Legion members led the way to the cemetery where Doug Huffman read the Departed Comrades Roster. Pastor Alan Schaffmeyer shared some thoughts and gave the prayer. The Color Guard and Rifle Squad gave the Salute and Tribute. Bob Gillespie played “Amazing Grace” on bagpipe. The march continued to Schoolhouse Beach where a wreath was placed for those that died at sea. The Color Guard and Rifle Squad again gave the Salute. TAPS were played on the trumpet by Leo Derrico.
Thanks to all that were involved in this service that honors those who been willing to pay the ultimate price so that we can enjoy freedoms today.
The Island Party held on May 5th at the Community Center resulted in the following Raffle Drawing Win-ners: Celebrate Party at Karly’s for 16 – Andy Austin; Big Night Out with 12 $50 certificates for Island restaurants – Ed Wasie; Family Rec Center membership – Nancy Thiele; Ferry Ticket booklet – Leo Derrico; Karfi Tickets and Lunch at Time Out Concessions for 4 – Amy Rose and Steve Lynch. Red Carpet Awards: For commitment and service to the community: Kathy and Jim Findlay, 40 years at Findlay’s Holiday Inn; Kenny Koyen at the Granary and KK Fiske; Mitt Austin; Valerie Carpenter; Washington Island Ferry Line; Mann’s Store; Dr. Beth Lux; Ed Wasie; Mack Gunnlaugsson; Nelvie Cauldwell. Costume Awards: Most Villainous – Lou and Gloria Small as Pirates of the Caribbean; Most Dramatic – Caroline Reiter as Audrey Hepburn; Best Couple – Kyle and Dean Ransom as Thursten and Luvvie Howell; Most Comedic – Steve Lynch as John Belushi (Samurai); Best Hair and Makeup – Jeannie Hutchins as Miss Piggy; Most Timeless – Amy Rose as Marilyn Monroe; Most Authentic Couple – Denise and Andy Kellerman as Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones; Best Look A Like – Dave Small as Indiana Jones; Most Original – Russell Rolffs as Tom Hanks in Castaway. Thanks to the Community Center Committee members: Jim Sorensen, Marsha Gunnlaugsson, Liz Pratt, Donna Russell, Emily Small, and Howard Scott. Thanks to Heidi Gilbertson, from Island Café and Island Bread Company, for the three course dinner, to those that donated prizes, helped with decorations and others that helped in any way to make this a great time while raising monies to support the Community Center sponsored activities including funds for the kitchen remodel. (Thank you to Emily Small for the info.)
Mayfest, held Sunday, May 27, is a Prelude to the Music Fest season. There is a concert by Fest Musicians at Trinity Lutheran Church, plus a dinner, wine pull, and silent auction at the Island Dairy. The 2018 Music Festival is scheduled for July 30-August 10th. This is the 27th season!
Baccalaureate for the Class of 2018 will be at Bethel Church on June 6th at 7 P.M.
Big rummage sale & car wash on Saturday, May 26 at the Community Center, from 9 A.M. to noon. This is a fundraiser for the Chicago/ Madison trip. If you have items to donate, contact Sue Cornell at 847-2507, to arrange for pick-up or you can drop items off in the front hallway of the Community Center or School on May 23, 24, 25. Please, no clothing! Thank you!
The Island Café and Island Bread Company will have a fund raising dinner for Guatemalan Medical Resources Partnership (GMRP) on May 21 at 5 P.M. There will be a New Orleans type dinner with music. Seating is limited so contact Island Café for reservations. Cost is $75 each with $50 of that going to the GMRP.
An Earth Day Celebration at Gathering Ground was postponed til May 4-6 due to weather (i.e. snow on the ground). There were a variety of activities such as tree plantings, vineyard pruning, wreath-making and more. Go to gatheringgroundwi.org for further information.
The Vet returns on May 25-26. Call Liz Holmes for an appointment with Dr. Ross Schilling. Deadline for appointments is before Wednesday noon of the week he arrives.
A new Art Gallery is open at Den Norske Grenda featuring Ragnar Flesvig of Washington Island Wood Gallery
and Sonja Noonan with her oil paintings.
The May Food, Fun, and Facts of Later Life will be Thursday, May 17th at noon til 1:30. All 50 and over are welcome plus parents of the senior class are invited. The special guests will be members of the 2018 senior class. They will share their future plans. Seniors are Korrina Ervin, Finn Hagen, Ben Johnson, BradleyJordan. Contact Laura Findlay Hagen for reservations by May 15.