ESU Colonial NC Branch

Message from the President

Dear Colonial NC Branch Members and Friends,

Although we hoped the pandemic would be just a bad memory when we scheduled the many interesting 20/21 monthly programs, our hopes for the most part, did not become a reality. The September program was held via zoom, and the October program, held at the New Bern Civic Theatre, had few attendees, However, both were recorded and are on our website for members to view from the comfort of their home.

Realizing the option to gather socially is months away, the Board of Directors, after much discussion, made the decision to cancel the remaining programs and meetings scheduled through February with plans to reschedule them in the coming 2021/2022 year.

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News And Events

March Member Update

Dear Members,

To keep everyone up-dated, the following is a brief summary of our current Board/Branch happenings.


As noted in a previous up-date, programs for April and May are canceled, however, as the abundance of COVID vaccinations taking place, we are hopeful the annual meeting and celebration of the Queen's birthday, scheduled for June 26, with assorted appetizers, a toast to the Queen, and business meeting business meetings can take place as planned. 


The Annual Shakespeare Competition, held virtually this year on March 13, is being handled by Bob Husson. High school students participating will send him a recording of their monologue, judged by he and several teachers and the winning monologue will be forwarded to NY. 


Membership chairman, Lee Purcell is working diligently to increase our Branch's exposure and memberships. The new brochures designed by NY now include a well-designed bookmark which he is distributing to various locations. Members renewing and new members receive a small notepad with our logo and website address as a gesture of appreciation. Our membership has decreased during the pandemic, so please re-new your membership and encourage friends who may have dropped theirs, to renew. Many great programs will be offered in the coming year, as the pandemic and restrictions on social gatherings become just a bad memory. 


 As you may or may not know, T H E W A L L T H A T H E A L S . . . IS COMING TO NEW BERN.  This Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Replica & Mobile Education Center will be in New Bern at Lawson Creek Park, April 8 – 11. Our board is in support of this project and if you are interested in volunteering, slots are filling up, but many are still available. 

To volunteer you can contact RALPH AVILES, 252.638.1704, or volunteer on-line:

Details on the opening and closing ceremony on volunteer information can be found here: Walls that Heal Information 


Traffic to our website continues to grow and members are encouraged to register for the free monthly Happy Hour presentations monthly by the NY office. The programs provided by the various Branches, showcase their Branch are are very well-done.  


Hopefully, on June 26, we can all safely socialize celebrate the end of a very challenging year for our Branch.



Susan Moffat-Thomas, 

Program Chairman & Vice-President 


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Annual Shakespeare Competition – Online judging March 13

The Shakespeare Competition with high school students will take place as a virtual competition with area schools and students sending in their entries to Branch member Bob Husson. Student entries will be posted online by the March 13 judging. A private link to the presentations will be provided to members before the judging date, along with the student and school information.


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Hamlet Presentation with Dr. Armitage


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"The Ultimate Sir Archie Experience" 

On Wednesday September 2nd at 1:00 p.m., James Payne Beckwith presented, All in the Family: Diomed, Sir Archie, and Henry, from the 1780 Epsom Derby to the Grand Match Race of 1823, via Zoom for Members of the Colonial NC Branch. 

You can view the full presentation bellow. 

Beckwith's presentation tells the story of Diomed, the great English racer who came to Virginia late in life, was the father of Sir Archie and became the great foundation sire of the American thoroughbred. His son Henry, foaled near Halifax, NC, ran against Diomed's grandson, American Eclipse in the Great Match Race of 1823 in Long Island. This was the first sporting event to capture the imagination of the young republic, causing Congress to adjourn and the stock market to close. Program includes an exhibit of "all things Archie".


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The English-Speaking Union

Colonial NC Branch

Colonial NC Branch Landmark Photo