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The Journal magazines are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Oct 12, 2021

Oceanic Free Library Celebrates 100th Anniversary

By Lori Draz

Under the big tent, guests could study the large timeline of the library’s history.

It was one for the record books! It seemed like everyone in town came out on Sept. 12 to celebrate the Oceanic Free Library’s 100th anniversary. 

It was a night of glad rags and flappers. The 1920s-themed Gatsby Garden Party was held at the exclusive and historic Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club. The sold-out event drew dapper crowd members who mingled as they sipped 1920s cocktails and listened to “Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society,” 1920s-style band. Guests were met at the entrance with a Model T classic car, provided by the Gallagher family. Under the big tent, guests could study the large timeline of the library’s history.

Guest also signed up to sponsor a book from the library’s “Meeker Collection” which includes a number of signed books from famous authors of the 1920s such as Benito Mussolini, Helen Keller, Charles Lindbergh and more. These precious books are in need of repair and rebinding, and more than 20 guests pledged $250 each to save these treasures. 

Greg and Debbie Phillips

For sale was “His Book” by William Henry Meeker which had only two original copies remaining until board member and honoree Ed Pomphrey had more than 100 copies reprinted in memory of his beloved son.

Local author Roberta Van Anda also sold signed copies of her book “Legendary Locals of Rumson.”

A silent auction included paintings, knit ware and art, along with gift cards for local restaurants and businesses. The live auction included a 1920s-themed speakeasy cocktail party donated by Murphy’s Tavern, plus a wine cellar dinner donated by Chef David Burke of Red Horse restaurant.

Photos courtesy of Sean Patrick Photography
Ann and Doug Rossbach, Tina Scarrone, Margot O’Connor, Jeremy Minnetian, Nancy Haaren, Carolyn Miller, Ed Pomphrey, Teresa Sperber, Lisa Halikias, Taryn Iwan, Thomas Mertens

There was delicious food by Brennan’s Delicatessen and a 100th-anniversary cupcake display donated by Cups & Cakes bakery. 

Board President Carolyn Miller thanked the staff of the library and trust members, then turned it over to board members Margot O’Connor and Ann Rossbach, who introduced the Honorees Ed Pomphrey and William and Karen Hyatt. 

The night was a rousing success and a fitting tribute to this beloved library.