PHOTO: The English Speaking Union welcomed Evelyn Giovene to its Christmas party and enjoyed her dramatic presentation of Princess Elizabeth’s first radio address. Left to right: Event Chairman Robin Blair, Miss Giovene and ESU Scholar Theresa Ciccone.
RUMSON, NJ - The members and guests were dressed in their Holiday best as they mixed and mingled at the Monmouth County Branch of the English-Speaking Union’s Traditional English Christmas Dinner held at the Rumson Country Club on December 15th . The roast beef and Yorkshire pudding were followed by a most wonderful sticky-toffee cake specially made by the Chef from an English recipe discovered by Robin Blair, Chairman of the event. The silent auction item was an elegant white phalaenopsis orchid beautifully bedecked for the holidays from Foggia’s Florist in Oceanport.
The evening’s entertainment was a reading by Evelyn Giovene of the first radio broadcast done by Queen Elizabeth on October 13, 1940 many years before she became Queen. At the time, she was fourteen years old, and the Second World War was raging in Europe. Thousands of English children had been evacuated from London and other cities to rural areas in England and to all of the countries of the Commonwealth. Princess Elizabeth, with her sister Princess Margaret beside her, delivered a message of sympathy and encouragement to all of those displaced children. Miss Giovene, a finalist in the ESU’s Shakespeare Competition last year and now a student at Princeton University, brought the speech to life. ESU Past President Shirley Adler was one of those London children evacuated in 1940. It was a poignant moment as Shirley described her experiences after Miss Giovene completed Princess Elizabeth’s speech. All of this was followed by Christmas Carols led by the ESU’s most recent Scholar, Theresa Ciccone. Mrs. Ciccone is an English teacher at Monmouth Regional High School and an adjunct at Kean University. As the ESU’s teacher scholar, she studied contemporary literature and creative writing as part of the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School at the University of Edinburgh.
PHOTO: ESU President Richard Biernacki and Chairman Robin Blair stand with the holiday bedecked orchid, which was the evening’s silent auction item.