WESTPORT ISLAND — The Friends of Westport Island History (Friends) met with a couple of surprises at their annual meeting on Sunday, Aug. 17. Portland artist and descendant of Westport Island’s Colby family, Maizie Argondizza, attended the public program in advance of the annual meeting. She brought and generously donated a painting of the town’s historic North Chapel to the History Committee. Her family home was close to the church, and her parents (Violet and Lawrence Colby) attended it when she was a child. A second unexpected gift came from resident Joseph Ruzyckij who donated a hand-crafted Westport Island sign with the town’s incorporation date of 1828.
Over 20 people attended the Friends’ presentation on the development of the Westport Island History Center. Friends’ board members Mary Ellen Barnes and Jeffery Tarbox outlined the development of a new Westport Island History Center that will be opening this fall in the Wright Landing House at Westport’s historic Ferry Landing. The Friends have developed a “Wish List” of major items needed to help outfit the new History Center, including: window UV film to help protect historical items on display; cellular shades for insulation and light control; display lighting; and archival supplies.
The meeting also launched a membership program to help the Friends provide financial support for advancing the collection and preservation of Westport Island’s history as well for meeting the day-to-day operating costs of the new History Center. Annual membership dues range from the Student level at $10 to the Supporting level at $100. For more information, and to become a member and learn about volunteering, contact the Friends at FOWIH19@gmail.com. Friends is an IRS-recognized 501c3 non-profit, and donations are tax-deductible.
The final order of business was the election of a board of trustees: Mary Ellen Barnes, Jeffery Tarbox, Dennis Dunbar, Joan Mason-Bradford, Callie Connor, Paul Bonyun and Gaye Wagner.
There will be a “Celebration and Preview” of the History Center at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13 on the lawn adjacent to the Wright Landing House at the Ferry Landing.