BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Charter Day 2018 was rained out last Saturday, but one part of the celebration went off without a hitch _ The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills installed the first bricks in the new historic Walk of Honor at the Brick Academy in Basking Ridge to recognize the lifetime achievements of past and present members.
With some attendees viewing the occasion from under umbrellas, the society celebrated what was supposed to be only the first event of Charter Day with the inaugural laying of three monogrammed bricks to the new brick walkway. The bricks are inscribed with the names of the winners of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards back in January 2018.
The brief ceremony took place at 10 a.m. on Saturday outside of the Brick Academy at 15 W. Oak St. in downtown Basking Ridge. The Brick Academy, a former school dating back to the early 1800s, is the headquarters of the historical society.
Basking Ridge resident and former historian June Kennedy’s brick was added to the walk, along with the bricks bearing the names of the other two winners, Mary Conkling Ellis and Mildred “Millie” Van Dyke.
Kennedy is the only one of the three recipients still alive, but did not attend the "low key" ceremony because of the rain, said Brooks Betz, a trustee with THSSH.
June Kennedy of Bernards township was a THSSH Trustee for 25 years starting in 1988, according to information about her from THSSH.
However, Kennedy may best be known as longtime role as Bernards Township historian. She chaired the Education Committee for THSSH. She also taught a history camp at The Brick Academy.
Other honorees wee Mary Ellis Conkling of Bernards Township, who served as the very first president of the Society in 1928. She was re-elected to the position of president for 12 years straight before her death in 1940, according to THSSH.
Mildred Dunham Van Dyke of Bernards Township was first elected as one of the society's trustees in 1997. She served for the next 13 years. She lived until age 103, according to the society.
Among those who came out in the rain were Vincent and Suzanne Tufariello of Basking Ridge and Cynthia Crosson of Bedminster.
No plans to reschedule this year's Charter Day
A full slate of activities throughout downtown Basking Ridge had been scheduled for May 19 before steady rain _ and the resulting cancelations by amusement vendors and others _ persuaded township officials to take the highly unusual move of calling off Charter Day. There are no plans for a rain date for this year, officials said.
However, Mayor John Carpenter added later on Saturday that he had been talking with Township Committeewoman Carol Bianchi earlier in the day, and she had suggested raising the topic of arranging a rain date for future years.