Meeting of the Society - March 16, 2008
The Randolph Caldecott Society of America recently held its twenty-fifth Annual General Meeting/Caldecott Birthday Celebration at the Main Branch Library, in St. Augustine. The purpose of the society is to bring together those people who are dedicated to the remembrance, appreciation, and promotion of the art of Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), nineteenth-century English illustrator, artist, and sculptor. Caldecott is buried in St. Augustine's Evergreen Cemetery. His grave received the distinction of becoming a Literary Landmark site in 2005. RCSA has placed a spring floral arrangement on the Caldecott grave site.

Several greetings to the group were read from England the first being one being from Margaret Tye, chairman, UK Caldecott Society.

RCSA was very pleased to have a Caldecott family member, Judy Caldecott Fleming, attend this meeting along with her husband Alan. The Flemings reside in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Also, the group was delighted to be introduced to Debra Rhodes Gibson, the newly appointed Library System Director for St. Johns County.

Tiffany Solomon, Children's Librarian, The Randolph Caldecott Children's Room at the Main Library, introduced the group to the 2008 American Library Association's Caldecott Medal winning books. The Caldecott Medals are given annually for the most distinguished American picture books for children, published during the previous year. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, received the 2008 Caldecott Medal award. Four books were named Caldecott Honor books this year: Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, illustrated by Kadir Nelson; First the Egg, written and illustrated by Laura Vacarro Seeger; The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, written and illustrated by Peter Sis; and Knuffle Bunny: A Case of Mistaken Identity, written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best in literary materials for youth. The local Caldecott Society has purchased the above books for the Randolph Caldecott Children's Room for the enjoyment of children in our community.

Sir Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), English Painter and Randolph Caldecott's Mentor and Best Friend, was the topic of the program presented by Gwen Reichert, President, RCSA. The presentation covered the years of 1832-1880 of Armstrong's life. His years as an artist made up the major part of the program. Part II of this program is planned for next year's meeting and will cover the next phase of Armstrong's life as a married man, father, and the Director of the South Kensington Museum, which is now known as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England.

This special anniversary meeting was held in memory of Barry Latham, deceased in 2005. Latham was a member of the UK Caldecott Society and a long time supporter of RCSA. He often contributed items and information to enrich RCSA's meeting programs, such as appropriate Victorian coins when RCSA studied Caldecott's "banking days",  and the post cards distributed this year which illustrated a painting, WOMAN WITH LILIES, by Sir Thomas Armstrong. The original painting hangs in the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England.

Refreshments and meeting arrangements were provided by: Linda Ginn, Dot Taylor, Art & Anne Boccieri, and Gwen & Allan Reichert
Door prizes consisted of a lovely 25th. Anniversary floral arrangement by FLOWER WORKS, donated by Art and Anne Boccieri and was won by Rose Ann Beason, RCSA member from Jacksonville, FL. Two certificates to Green Manual Therapy, 2692 US1 South, 794-9411, were donated by John and Sharon Green. The winners were: Gertrude Mickler and Carolyn Calhoun.

Tiffany Solomon during her introduction of the Caldecott Award Books

Refreshment table attended by Dot Taylor

The next general meeting will be held in March 2009.

Anyone interested in more information concerning the Caldecott Society is invited to contact Gwen P. Reichert, President or Arthur R. Boccieri, Vice President.

Submitted by:Gwen P. Reichert, President, RCSA
Phones: 794-5091 (Work) or 797-5686 (Home)

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