Nov 22 2017

Letter From The Mayor Of Sullivan’s Island: November 2017

Dear Island Neighbors,

I could lead with a “Happy Thanksgiving!” line, but I can do that every year. This year’s holiday season column is the only one in which I can lead with: HAPPY 200TH BIRTHDAY, MOULTRIEVILLE And to find out what on earth I am talking about, you will just need to read (OK, or skip) all the way down.

But pending that, I will return to our November holiday… Speaking of Thanksgiving Recently our Town Administrator, Andy Benke, was contacted by a teacher from R. B. Stall High School, on Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston. The students in her class, who have various special needs, wanted to volunteer their services to the Island by doing some cleaning up at Stith Park and on the beach. Andy of course worked it out, and the 25 or so students arrived full of energy and optimism. They completed their cleaning in the park and then moved on to the beach. When they arrived at the beach the students were exceptionally exuberant, prompting Andy to ask, “How many of you are seeing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in your life?” About half of the students raised their hands. If you ask Google Maps how to get from R. B. Stall High School to Sullivan’s Island Town Hall, you will be told the trip is 24 miles and 34 minutes.

It may be hard to believe, but 24 miles and 34 minutes to get to the Atlantic Ocean is a trip too far for the circumstances in which many of these good-hearted kids find themselves. And how many others are in the same landlocked boat? So on Thanksgiving morning I will look out my windows and be thankful for the wonderful community and environment in which I find myself. And I hope I never again complain about the occasional gnat or mosquito or puddle I have to “endure” on my four-block trek to the beach.

One of our long standing, much-awaited holiday traditions is the Fire Station Lighting opening celebration. The 27th presentation of this great program will be on Friday, Dec. 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. We look forward to our annual performance by the outstanding Wando High School Chorus and a Special Visitor from northern climes. Also for snacking: pizza, cookies and beverages.

Thanks to our Fire and Maintenance Departments staff, our Fire and Rescue volunteers, and Fire Chief Anthony Stith, for all they do to produce this event.

Remember: that includes many hours erecting the decorations…and many more taking them down. Is it art, or a house, or a cookie, or all of the above? Another growing Island tradition is the Gingerbread House Decoration Party, to be held at the Island Club on Sunday, Dec. 3, starting at 2 p.m. Bring the kids (it’s their deal, of course) and your own fully assembled gingerbread house to decorate at the event. OK, what’s with the “200th Birthday of Moultrieville” business? The first municipality to be incorporated on the Island was the Town of Moultrieville, established by Act 2155 of the South Carolina General Assembly on Dec.17, 1817.

Yep, Island residents have been aggravated by a town government for nearly 200 years! The Battery Gadsden Cultural Center is hoping to commemorate that anniversary with one or more events. We have had some uncertainty regarding whether the Legislature’s passage of the Act represented its actual enactment without ratification by the then-Governor (turns out, the answer is Yes), and therefore uncertainty about the actual date of Incorporation, but now that this question is settled the great folks with the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center are working hard to produce an appropriate program for this occasion. Please check out the Town’s website for up to date info at I hope you will join us in noting this 200th birthday of the first town on the Island. And in any event, here’s hoping you have a great and warm Thanksgiving that allows you to appreciate our great good fortune to live where we live with the neighbors we enjoy. See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil, Mayor

843 670 9266 |


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