The Rev. Dr. Robert Higgs, a historian and pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, will kick off the 2014 Anne and Lee Hale Speaker Series on Wednesday, March 19, with a talk on “Elizabethtown: the 350th Celebration of the Founding of New Jersey.”
The speech begins at 7 p.m. at Westfield Memorial Library, 550 E. Broad St.
Rev. Higgs is a chairman for this year’s observance of the anniversary of the royal charter that established the colony of New Jersey. His church, located next to the Union County Courthouse, is on the grounds where the colonists founded Elizabethtown.
Many activities are planned across the Garden State to celebrate the founding, and Rev. Higgs has been involved in organizing these events.
Rev. Higgs, who has served in ministries in Zambia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, holds degrees from the University of Virginia as well as a master’s and doctorate from Princeton Seminary.
His talk will be the first of four scheduled this year in the popular series named after the late Anne and Lee Hale. Anne Hale, who passed away in 2007, was an active member of the Westfield community and a library patron. Her husband, well-known for his years of leadership in many local organizations, was the founder of the Speaker Series; he died last year. Funding for the series comes from The Thomas Glasser Foundation and The Anne and Lee Hale Fund.
Later this year, the series will host talks by Dr. Darlene Gibbon of the Rutgers Cancer Institute; Bruce Johnson, ‘Devil’s Den’ columnist for The Westfield Leader, and Freia Mitarai, an ex-Westfielder who has headed the volunteer programs at the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan.
Those wishing to attend the Higgs talk are asked to pre-register online at www.wmlnj.org (click on Online Calendar) or by phone at 908-789-4090 extension 0.