Meeting of the Society - 3/20/2010

The Randolph Caldecott Society of America (R.C.S.A.) recently held its twenty-seventh Annual General Meeting/Caldecott Birthday Celebration at the Southeast 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 having been sent to RCSA from: Dr. Richard Simons, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, England, Local History Society; Dr. and Mrs. Peter Tomson, the present owners of the Abbots House in Abbots Langley; The Revd Dr. Jo Spreadbury, Vicar, St. Lawrence Church, Abbots Langley; Philip Richards, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England, and the fifth greeting came from John Knox, retired, BBC Scotland, and freelance writer in Edinburgh

RCSA was very pleased to welcome Jane Eilbacher, from Hillsborough, New Jersey, who is a member of RCSA and of the UK Caldecott Society, along with her mother, Beatrice Beckenbach of Atlantic Beach, FL, and her brother, Peter Beckenbach of St. Augustine. Attending the meeting were two members of the Southeast Branch Library staff, Cheryl Hirschi, Branch Manager, and Alyssa Gilbert, Youth Services Librarian.

Alyssa Gilbert, Youth Services Librarian, at the Southeast Branch Library, introduced the group to the 2010 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 2010 Caldecott Medal winning book is THE LION & THE MOUSE, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney. The two 2010 Honor Books are: ALL THE WORLD illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, and RED SINGS FROM TREETOPS: A YEAR IN COLORS illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman.

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. Art and Anne Boccieri, Life Members of RCSA, have purchased, on behalf of the society, a set of the above books for the Randolph Caldecott Children's Room at the Main Library. RCSA purchased an additional set of the books for the Children's Room at the Southeast Branch Library, all for the enjoyment of everyone in our community.

A congratulatory card was signed by all present to be sent to Jerry Pinkney on winning the Caldecott Medal this year, and two thank you cards were signed for Marcia Lane, RECORD writer and Peter Willott, RECORD photographer in appreciation for the excellent article published in THE RECORD recently on Caldecott.

RCSA presents jointly with the First Coast Pilot Club an Art award, annually, to a deserving high school student in our county to support and encourage the study of Art.

Sir Thomas Armstrong (1832-1911), English Painter, Museum Director, Abbots Langley Retiree, and Randolph Caldecott's Mentor and Best Friend, was the topic of the final three part program series presented by Gwen Reichert, President, RCSA. Parts I and II presented over the past two years, covered the years of 1832-1881 of Armstrong's life. His years as an artist made up the major part of that program. Part II of the series, presented at last year’s meeting, covered the next phase of Armstrong's life (1881-1898) as a married man, father, and the Director of Art at the South Kensington Museum, in London, England, which is now known as the Victoria & Albert Museum. Part III and final program in the series, was presented at this year's meeting. A summary of the previous two meetings was given by Anne Boccieri. This session covered the retirement years of Thomas Armstrong (1898-1911) in Abbots Langley and the completion of his work on the memorial for his young son, who died at the age of eleven. The memorial is located inside the St. Lawrence Church in Abbots Langley. Armstrong, his son, Ambrose, and his wife, Alice, are buried in Abbots Langley Churchyard. Gwen and Allan Reichert visited Abbots Langley in 2002 which began Gwen’s research for the three RCSA presentations.

Refreshments and meeting arrangements were provided by: Alice McDaniel, Dot Taylor, Sharon Green, Mary Ford, Joan Scopinich, Art & Anne Boccieri, and Gwen & Allan Reichert.

Door prizes consisted of a free car wash by SOAPY WHEELS and a free session at GREEN MANUAL THERAPY along with English Tea and English Digestives.

Alyssa Gilbert during her introduction of the Caldecott Award Books

Refreshment table attended byAlice McDaniel and Dot Taylor

The next society meeting is planned for Saturday, March 19, 2011 at the Southeast Branch Library. Anyone interested in more information concerning the Caldecott Society or interested in joining the society is invited to contact Gwen Reichert, President or Art Boccieri, Vice President.

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
Phone: 797-5686 (Home)

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