The temperature dropped 35 degrees in the short space of 10 hours on Sunday. The wind was vicious with gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour. Steamship Authority boats were cancelled and it was by far the coldest day so far this year. If you survived, today is the start of a long holiday weekend. Presidents Day is on Monday. The school, post office and all municipal buildings will be closed. School vacation week starts next Friday and many of you will be taking a winter break off Island. Several stores will be offering special sales on Monday.

Marian Irving, senior deacon of the Congregational Church, reports that a framed document was discovered in the back of a church closet recently and is curious to find out more about it.

The message was: “We the undersigned greet our kinsmen in West Tisbury, Massachusetts and are happy to make this link; we trust the bond between our two peoples will long be maintained.” The seal on the paper is: Mere and Tisbury Rural District Council. The document was signed byVicar F. Hugh Phillips,Wardens R. R. Foley and J. R. Paulsten, Congregational Minister W. Charles Stacey,Secretary C. W. Rogers and Treasurer F. M Sanger. Strangely, no church name is shown on the document, which was sent ove r on the Mayflower II in 1957. Tom Thatcher, a church deacon around that time, was reached over in Saigon, Viet Nam and he remembers where the document hung in the church before the extensive remodeling work that commenced in 1960.

History tells us that we have a natural connection with St. John the Baptist church in Tisbury, Wiltshire, England. Gov. Thomas Mayhew and his son were baptized in that church. We were for many years a part of the town of Tisbury, and this section of town was settled before 1669. Governor Mayhew named our town after the town in England where he was born and the Congregational church was founded by his son Thomas Jr. 

The Vineyard Gazette librarian spent several hours researching the records. She has solved the mystery. Complete details are scheduled to appear in next week’s column.

The political season is sure heating up as Richard Knabel of Panhandle Road has taken out papers to run for selectman. So has James Powell. They both will be facing incumbent Glenn Hearn in April. Greg Orcutt, general manager of WMVY, Cynthia Riggs, award-winning author, and Paul Garcia are in the running for library trustee, challenging incumbents Hermine Hull and Linda Hearn.

Lois Crane of the Vineyard Transit Authority reports that the agency’s annual bus passes are now available. You can obtain them at the VTA office building in the Airport Business Park, 11 A Street, from 8:30 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Seniors may stop in at the Up-Island Council on Aging or make arrangements to obtain them by calling them at 508-693-2896.

Bill Haynes of North Tisbury reports that the agricultural society has voted to construct an animal barn to be placed alongside the existing barn. Bill says it is needed to display and house the animals entered into the annual fair.

Richard Olsen and his wife, Lydia, returned home yesterday after spending some time in Lancaster, Pa. The occasion was Richard’s birthday and a chance to get away for a few days.

Sandra Polleys departed the Island for her home in Hemlock Farms, Pa., on Monday. She conducted 20 additional interviews of Island residents (year-round and part-time) for her health care access study and will now begin to write her thesis. Sandra is an anthropology Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University.

Catherine DeVito reports that the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club is accepting new members. They meet monthly, in the winter at the Wakeman center on Lambert’s Cove Road, and in the summer at their headquarters at the Old Mill on Edgartown Road. If you would like to come to their next meeting, which will be held on Tuesday at 1 p.m., or would like an application form, please call her at 508-693-5372.

Richard Paradise invites you to join him and members of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society at the Oyster Bar and Grill in downtown Oak Bluffs for dinner and watch the 80th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24. Call him at 774-392-2972 for details.

On Feb. 16, 1945 Bert Cahoon, Daniel Manter and Albion Alley received letters of thanks and commendation from Lieut. Commander Norman G. Asbury, officer-in-charge of the Naval Auxiliary Air Station, for the immediate and timely aid they rendered to a pilot of a plane forced down on the Orlin Davis property on Middle Road in Chilmark the prior week. This aid “was of immeasurable help in the prevention of shock and exposure to the pilot and will shorten his period of recovery.” Albion, chief of the guards at the air station, and Bert, operator of the garage, were on their way back home from finishing an assignment at the Peaked Hill military installation and witnessed the crash in a field near the road.

Happy birthday to Kevin Peter Jr., Karen Child and Suzanne Fenn today; Dan Gouldrup, Don MacDonald, Megan Higgins and Nancy Cox tomorrow; Leslie Eaton, Barbara Paciello, Janice Feltz, Garrison Vieira, and Richard McAuliffe on Sunday; Patricia Duffy, Susan Wasserman and Marilyn Bergeron on Monday; Bob Knight, Joyce Wright and Florence Paul on Tuesday; Charlene Kelly on Wednesday; and Lila Fischer, Lenny Jason Jr. and Dick Johnson on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Matthew Anniese.

Well, that is all of the social news for this edition. Please call or e-mail with news you wish to share with others. Have a nice Presidents Day weekend and a great week.