English Speaking Union Gala to Celebrate 50th Anniversary


The Monmouth County Branch of the English Speaking Union is planning a Gala on Friday June 6, 2008 in honor of our 50th Anniversary. The Branch was initiated in 1958 under the guidance of Sir Frederick and Lady Hervey-Bathurst and Mrs. Frederick Frelinghuysen. Since its inception, the Branch has worked closely with the National Headquarters in New York City and has sent Monmouth County educators to study at summer programmes in England. In more recent years, most of the selected teachers have studied at the Globe Theatre in London. Another activity has been the Shakespeare Competition, which has brought together talented young people for our local event and sent the winners to the national contest in New York. In 1996, Shannon Berry, a Red Bank Regional High School Shakespeare Competition winner, went on to win the national contest and was sent to London to the Globe Theatre. 

The black tie optional Gala will be held at the Rumson Country Club, the site where the organization began in 1958. A fabulous English style roast beef dinner will be preceded by an hour of open bar and passed hors doeuvres. There will be entertainment, an ad journal filled with historical information about the organization and a silent auction featuring English style treasures. National President and Executive Director Alice Boyne will be visiting from New York along with other distinguished guests. 

The Gala Committee is Chaired by Roberta H. Van Anda, and the members are ESU Board of Directors members Robin Blair, Branch Secretary David Henritzy, Jean Paul and Margaret Elard, Immediate Past President Shirley Adler, Branch Vice-President Joel Fleming, Eleanor Milazzo, Ron and Nanette Brown, Barbara Nevius, John Rathman and Branch President Richard Biernacki. 

Anyone who has an interest in the United Kingdom and the English Language should feel at home with this warm and inviting group. Join us as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary and begin our 51st year as an active and outward looking organization. 

Past members or friends who may have photographs or memorabilia to share are asked to contact Gala Chairman Roberta Van Anda, 732-842-4562. Readers interested in attending, please contact Mrs. Van Anda or President Richard Biernacki, 732-787-2217.

Left to right: Ron Brown, Shirley Adler, Richard Biernacki and Roberta Van Anda prepare for the English Speaking Union’s 50th Anniversary Gala on June 6, 2008 at Rumson Country Club.