Note: though these programs were planned before the current health crisis, all of these events at the Lighthouse learning center have been cancelled due to restrictions and guidelines issued by the state of Maine to protect residents and visitors against the coronavirus pandemic. Please check the schedule regularly on our Facebook page or this website for any changes
Letter To Our Friends and Members – Pandemic Update – June 13, 2020
I think we were all hoping that by now the pandemic would be more under control and show unmistakable signs of having less impact on our lives and activities. For that reason, a decision to either proceed with our Lecture Series had not yet been made, thinking somehow (and perhaps somewhat wistfully) that we could go ahead as planned.
Alas, the decision to cancel has recently been decided by the Bristol Parks and Recreation Commission that had allowed us to hold the programs in their Learning Center located in Lighthouse Park. The commissioners correctly determined that because of the Learning Center's size and seating capacity, the required social distancing currently in effect, and the difficulty of providing proper sanitation in between lectures and other scheduled events, that it would be safer to close the Center for the season.
In specific terms, since our lectures normally draw approximately 75 people, it would be impossible for them to sit six feet apart, not to mention, that as of June 1, the mandated number of people in an indoor space is limited to 50. All that being said, the Commission’s decision to close the Center for the summer is the most effective way to keep the public safe.
There being no other venue options that wouldn't be subject to the same risks and restrictions, the Friends are obliged to cancel their lecture series until next year if by then the pandemic is no longer a threat to the health of our residents as well as seasonal visitors (as an aside, if you are accustomed to re-newing your membership at the lectures, we suggest you consider doing so on line). In the meanwhile, we extend our appreciation to the members who helped organize the series and to the lecturers who agreed to participate in it.
Further, and for similar reasons, the annual Reading of the Declaration of Independence scheduled for July Fourth has also been cancelled. Even in an open setting, there are too many variables that could easily put the health of the public at risk, including but not limited to the six-foot social distancing requirement as well as restrictions on group size. Even as we all tentatively emerge from the imposed hibernation that has recently shaped our lives, the last thing we all want to do is undermine whatever progress we have made in containing COVID 19 by extending its current life because of imprudent decisions.
That said, our final program of the season – the annual Castlebay Concert slated for Saturday, August 29 – may still occur as planned, but we don’t know for certain now (nor is it possible to predict) whether it can be offered. The same is true of our annual meeting, usually held in summer, now tentatively planned for early fall. We’ll keep you posted about both. In the meanwhile, please check the FOCP website at friendsofcolonialpemaquid.org for details.
The Friends wish that the outcome for our programs could have been different, and perhaps it will be in 2021. Until then thank you for your support, your patience and your understanding during these very difficult times.
Stay well and stay safe.
Friends of Colonial Pemaquid