Chilmark: And what a day it was

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Parish Council chairman Patrick Boyles in his official role as fayre opener. — Courtesy Mike Scott and the Chilmark Village Voice

I missed the 325th anniversary Potluck Celebration of our very own Chilmark on Saturday, Sept. 14, since I am traveling in Tibet, but I finally heard from our friends across the pond. Some of you may remember meeting Mike and Jo Scott at the Chilmark library in 2018, when they visited for less than 24 hours from Chilmark, England. Although none of our Chilmark community made it to their 400th Anniversary Fayre, held on July 10, Mike Scott, editor of the Chilmark Village Voice, finally found the time to send me news to share about their anniversary, though he added, “It was a pity some U.S. Macys couldn’t join our small gathering.”

Here’s what he did share about their special day: “Chilmark 400th Anniversary Fayre Day — Despite forecasts suggesting thundery showers, Saturday, July 20, dawned the perfect summer day. And what a day it was, with turnout to the fayre estimated at more than 400 visitors. This included descendants of the Macey family from far and wide, ‘Chilmarkians’ past and present, and wonderful support from surrounding villages. Many villagers dressed up in period costume for the occasion, with none looking more distinguished than Parish Council chairman Patrick Boyles in his official role as fayre opener. At St. Margaret’s Church, there was a nonstop programme of events set against a backdrop of flower displays depicting 17th century scenes. These included the Great Fire of London, boats traveling to Nantucket, and a historical timeline adorned with oak leaves in front of the newly restored West Window, plus 17th century music and a history talk. It was a magnificent spectacle. Also in St. Margaret’s was a collection of local finds dating back over 5,000 years, assembled by Chilmark’s metal detectorists. The collection included a Stone Age flint arrowhead, Roman coins and brooches, a Celtic brooch (from a tribe living in Chilmark 2,000 years ago) and more ‘modern’ medieval hammered coins. One coin dated to 1619, the year of the first recorded Chilmark Fayre!”

I hope everyone who attended our potluck celebration had a wonderful evening; I look forward to learning more when I get home.