Town Column

Oak Bluffs

By Megan Alley
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Posted March 1, 2007

Exactly 95 years ago today a ninth child was born to Frank and Mary Madeiras in their small four-bedroom farmhouse on Norris Avenue. Eventually, two more children would be born to this couple, with nine surviving beyond infancy. The couple had both been born on the island of San Miguel and arrived in the United States at a very young age. Today that child born to them in 1912, Betty Alley, is celebrating her birthday at the same small cottage on Vineyard Avenue where she has lived for over 70 years. Betty, or Aunt Bette as she is known to so many people, or Bumma as she is affectionately called by her two children, daughters-in-law, six grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren, will be waiting for visitors to arrive and greet all with a welcome smile, ready to listen to whatever tale they have to tell, as she has always done. She is a very petite yet amazingly strong woman who has always been a gentle presence, quietly accepting whatever life offered her and non-judgmental of whoever entered her door. So, if you get a chance today, drop by and wish this amazing and much loved woman a very happy birthday.

The second grades would like to thank the Oak Bluffs School Community for their caring and support of the 17th annual second grade food pantry drive. A total of 1,167 items were collected.

The school nurse requests that you keep your eyes open for signs and symptoms of chicken pox; two students came down with this disease on Feb. 17. There is a possibility of more students becoming sick during vacation week, and if this should happen to your child, please report it to your doctor and let the school know.

Friday Conversations at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center on Friday, March 2, will feature Art Flathers, who is a member of the County Government Charter Study Group. He will discuss their concerns and current thinking. The programs run from 10 to 11:30 am.

The Oak Bluffs Library invites everyone to come and view their Beatrix Potter display. Thanks to Cora Ripley Hart, who kindly donated her Beatrix Potter Figurine collection, an antique cloth book of Peter Rabbit and a commemorative printed towel to the library's children's rooms, these items are now on display in a new case for everyone to enjoy.

Judy Searle is in Allston getting a lot of cuddle time with her new granddaughter Charlotte Jones Wright. Charlotte was born on Feb. 16 weighing 9 pounds, 12 ounces. Her Mom and Dad are doing fine and Judy says Charlotte is already looking forward to summers on the Vineyard at Nana's and Papa's house.

The class of 1962 from the regional high school is hoping to get a class reunion organized for the Fall of 2007. This was the third class to graduate from the new "Regional High School" and has held reunions about every five years since until 1992. Please contact Beth Mayhew or Cindy Barrett for more information.

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life planning committee met for the team kickoff meeting last Thursday. It has 26 teams already for this event, which raises money for research for cures and services for people who are currently fighting or have previously fought cancer. If you were unable to make the meeting but would still like to have a team, all materials are available for pick up at the Vineyard Haven Library. The next meeting of team captains will be March 21 at the Martha's Vineyard Hospital cafeteria at 6:30 pm. If you have any questions, e-mail Amy Sullivan at

We send birthday smiles to Orlie Alwardt and Heather Ferreira tomorrow and her sister Allison who will celebrate on March 4.

Enjoy your week and send your news along to me.