Congratulations to Cheryl Andrews-Maltais on her victory in winning the seat as tribal council chairperson for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). She will take office Jan. 5. Cheryl is the daughter of Joseph R. and Edith (Correia) Andrews of North Dartmouth. She is the wife of Daniel Maltais and the mother of 11-year-old Samantha Maltais.

A great week of winners all around. Congratulations to the Vineyarders and their success in keeping the Island Cup as they played the Nantucket Whalers over the weekend. Also, congratulations to Sandy Grant on her lottery winnings.

Thank you to Rose B. Styron for her invitation to attend a forum Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA, sponsored by Amnesty International. Their message and campaign is clear to take action today to stop sexual violence against Native American and Alaskan Native Women as they experience much higher levels than other women in the United States. The reception was held at the Museum of the American Indian in New York city on Nov. 15. Rose was there to greet our sister Judith Manning Milavsky and yours truly.

We were honored to meet Larry Cox and his wife. Larry Cox is the executive director of Amnesty International USA. We were pleased to meet and spend time with one of the keynote speakers, Winona Flying Earth, a member of the Standing Rock Lakota-Dakota Sioux Tribe and a descendant of the Ojibway. Other keynote speakers included John Haworth (Cherokee), director of the National Museum of the American Indian’s George Gustav Heye Center in Manhattan; Kerry Kennedy, an advocate for the vindication of fair and equal justice and is chair of the Amnesty International USA Executive Director’s Leadership Council; and Georgia Little Shield, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. It was also a pleasure to once again meet up with Davis and Betsy Weinstock of Quansoo after not seeing them for a number of years. It is anticipated that this forum will be held again in the spring of 2008. In the meantime, we will look forward to a continued friendship with those we met.

While Judith and I were in Manhattan, our youngest sister Jyl accompanied our cousin Ruth VanBrakle to the Cape for her outpatient surgery.

Judith Manning Milavsky returned to her home in Toronto on Sunday evening after attending the annual tribal election and spending time with family and friends.

Leigh Moreis surprised his wife Christy with an early anniversary gift. They attended the Stevie Wonder concert at Mohegan Sun this past week and had a wonderful time. They returned home in time for the annual election.

Evelyn Vanderhoop arrived from Masset, British Columbia, in time to celebrate the 25th birthday of her daughter Tiffany A. Vanderhoop on the 18th, and to visit with her children Carrie Anne and David Elliott Vanderhoop II.

Condolences to the family of the Rev. Arthayer Sanborn who died Nov. 18 in Florida. Reverend Sanborn was the father of the Rev. Peter R. Sanborn, the husband of Ruth Sanborn, and the grandfather of Heather and Jennifer and their children. The Sanborns were frequent visitors to Community Baptist Church until they moved to Melbourne, Fla., where they have enjoyed their retirement years. He had recently celebrated his 91st birthday.

Condolences to the family of Nancy Hodgson Whiting, who died on Friday. She is survived by her son Tom Hodgson and his wife Christine, and to his sister Michelle and their families. Nancy is also survived by her stepchildren, Danny, Alan, and Prudy Whiting and their families. Nancy was one of the five courageous women who left the Vineyard and headed to the South during a tumultuous time in history. Her efforts and those who traveled with her were recently honored with the presentation of the plaque by the African American Heritage Trail to be placed along Music street.

Happy first birthday wishes to Billie Diamond Vanderhoop Shephard as she celebrates today.

Kenneth F. Belain Jr. will party on Saturday. Peter Temple will celebrate on Sunday, as will Dr. Mark Bankoff as he observes a major milestone. Capt. Dick Thompson will be 81 years old on Nov. 26.

A very special happy birthday wish to Sweet Caroline as she observes a major milestone on Nov. 27.

Aquinnah emergency medical technician Martha Thorne will party on the 27th and shares the day with Josh Bergan and Peter Ochs of Aquinnah and Vienna. Carlos Montoya will party on Nov. 28 and shares the day with Diamond Vanderhoop. Al Alley will party on Nov. 29 as will Karl Burgess and Jane Belanger Norton.