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Annual Member Kickoff /Lifetime Achievement Awards

Historical Society Announces Three 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

UPDATE: Winner Presentations to be held at the Society’s Member Social at the Brick Academy on February 8, 2018

News Release – Basking Ridge – January 18, 2018

Congratulations to THSSH’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners
June Kennedy, the family of Mary Conkling Ellis, and the family of Mildred Van Dyke

Presentation will be Thurs. Feb 8, 2017 7:30pm at the Brick Academy Museum

The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is proud to welcome back the THSSH Lifetime Achievement Award, presented this year to three people recognizing their dedication and outstanding service to supporting history in the Somerset Hills area including Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. Nominees were submitted by the THSSH Board of Trustees and the winners will be will be honored at the Annual Membership Kickoff Social in February 2018 with three winners receiving a brick inscribed with their name and placed on what is being called “The Brick Academy Walk of Honor.”

The 2018 Honorees

June Kennedy

June Kennedy, a former Society trustee for over 25 years started serving back in 1988. She served for many years as the Education Committee Chair with focus on educating children across the Somerset Hills. June was also named the official Bernards Township historian and served in that capacity for over 20 years. While June retired from THSSH about 5 years ago, she is near and dear to all that know history in the area and her volunteerism and dedication towards preserving and promoting history is worthy of June receiving our first memorial brick on the new “History Walk of Honor.”

Mary Conkling Ellis

Mary Conkling Ellis – Mrs. Ellis is known as the first president and co-founder of the Society. Known then as the Basking Ridge Historical Society, Mary served as president for twelve years before her retirement. She was responsible for the founding of the six original trustees, incorporating the society, and building the membership to over 150 people in the first year. Mary passed in 1940 and has left a legacy in Basking Ridge having street names recognizing both the Conkling and Ellis names.

Mildred Van Dyke

Mildred “Millie” Van Dyke is the third recipient to be added to the historic Walk of Honor. Millie was first elected trustee in 1997 and served on many committees as trustee for over thirteen years. Millie loved working on the archives committee where she would often be called upon to recognize people in our photo archive collection. Since she grew up in the area, the photos often had her friends and childhood neighbors in the photographs. She was our oldest member when she passed at the age of 103. She is survived by two children who we hope attend the presentation.

Bricks were created for each honoree that will be installed in the Society’s Walk of Honor on the western side of the Brick Academy before the start of Bernards Township’s Charter Day on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Above: Winners of the 2018 THSSH Lifetime Achievement Awards to be set in the inaugural History Walk of Honor outside the Brick Academy in Basking Ridge.

December 1, 2017

The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is proud to welcome back the THSSH Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to two people each year recognizing their dedication and outstanding service to supporting history in the Somerset Hills area including Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. Nominees are submitted by the THSSH Board of Trustees and announced in December. All of the nominees along with two winners will be will be honored at the Annual Membership Meeting in February 2018 with two winners receiving a brick inscribed with their name and placed on what is being called “The Brick Academy Walk of Honor.”

Ten Nominees Announced

Nominees for the THSSH Lifetime Achievement Award were submitted by members of the Society’s Board of Trustees. Trustees were permitted to submit one nominee for two categories, one “living” and one “in memory”. “We are so excited to reintroduce the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Awards as part of our commitment to recognize people that have literally dedicated their lives to preserving and promoting history in our Somerset Hills community,” said Brooks Betz, Programming Chair at the THSSH. “I can say that being nominated for this award puts you in a class of very noteworthy volunteers that have made a difference in our history community.”

2018 Nominees

Here is the list of the nominees submitted for Society’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award:

Nominees: Present

John Campbell ‐ Former THSSH trustee and founder of the Friends of the KMS Farmstead. First elected Trustee in 2002. Served for next 12 years. Focus: Preservation

June Campbell ‐ Former THSSH Chair for 10 years, Trustee for 24 years. First elected Trustee in 1990. Focus: Museum Curator.

June Kennedy ‐ Former THSSH Trustee for 25 years starting in 1988, Education Committee Chair, Bernards Twp Historian. Focus: Education

Daniel Lincoln ‐ Current THSSH Trustee, President of THSSH for 24 of 27 years. Historic Preservation Chair, Grant producer, founder of Bernardsville HPAC and Friends of Dunster Squibb House. Focus: Preservation

2018 Nominations: In Memory

Archibald Carswell ‐ First elected Society trustee in 1933. Served on the board for 26 years. President for 12 years from 1957 through 1968.

Mary Conkling Ellis  ‐ First President of the Society in 1928. Elected President for 12 years straight before dying in 1940.

Pritch Matthews – Became Bedminster Township Historian in 1988. Member of the Township’s Historical Preservation Commission. Her involvement with local history led to her writing in 1999 “Bedminster Township ‐ 250 Years”. Died in 2009.

Richard Rozewski ‐ First elected Trustee in 1986. First president of renamed THSSH. Served 2 years as THSSH President.

David Stone ‐ First elected Trustee in 1996. Served as Trustee for the next 8 years.

Mildred Dunham Van Dyke ‐ First elected Trustee in 1997. Served for next 13 years. Died at age 103.

Nominees & Winners To Be Honored at 2018 Annual Kickoff Member Meeting

Winners and their immediate families will be notified of the award after the January THSSH Trustee Meeting.  A formal announcement and presentation will be made at the Annual Membership Meeting on February 8, 2018. The nominees will be honored, and the 2 category winners will be awarded a brick inscribed with their name to be placed in a new “Walk of Honor” alongside the Brick Academy’s western walkway along with a certificate of appreciation. The brick will be installed and unveiled at Bernards Township Charter Day in May 2018.