ESU Colonial NC Branch

Message from the President

Dear Members,

In addition to supporting the national ESU initiatives, our Branch offers monthly luncheons and lecture programs by prominent speakers on a wide variety of topics, sponsors a Teachers Training Workshop, a High School Regional Shakespeare contest and the Annual Shakespeare Dinner. Members also enjoy fellowship at special members only events, including a Christmas luncheon and the celebration of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II's birthday every June at our annual meeting.

In support of local community outreach projects that benefit teacher and student scholarships, teacher training workshops and educational programs, our Branch made a major contribution, in September 2019, to the Department of Education's English as a Second Language Program, and we are exploring additional opportunities to participate in other local  educational programs and local community outreach projects.

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News And Events

March 7, 5th Annual Shakespeare Dinner

A Midwinter Night's Dream, the theme of the 5th Annual Dining with Shakespeare fundraiser, is on Saturday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. at the New Bern Golf & Country Club (4301 Country Club Road). The $50 per person ticket (cash bar) includes, hors d'oeuvres, entertainment during the 3-course meal accompanied by short Shakespearean interludes and a silent auction. To add color and fun to the festivities, attendees are encouraged to dress in Elizabethan garb, or as their favorite character in Midsummer's Night Dream. Judged by audience appeal, winners will be awarded prizes. 

Click here to purchase tickets online. 

Public Invited to March 7
ESU Regional Finals, High School Shakespeare Competition

The public is invited to watch this March 7, 10 a.m. free Colonial NC Branch English-Speaking Union event in support of the talented students competing in the ESU Regional Finals for the Annual High School Shakespeare Competition, in the Orringer Auditorium at Craven Community College.

Student contest winners coming from high schools in three Eastern North Carolina counties, compete regionally by presenting a Shakespeare monologue and sonnet to a panel of three judges. The winning student selected at this competition on March 7, receives an all-expense paid trip to New York City, and will compete against regional finalist from across the country for the national title.


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April 4 Luncheon Program

Pocahontas, From Jamestown to the British Royal Court

On April 4, 11:30, a luncheon program, "Pocahontas, From Jamestown to the British Royal Court" will be held at the New Bern Golf & Country Club for members and guests. 

Lou Johanson's presentation, Pocahontas, From Jamestown to the British Royal Court, focuses on, the Native American princess of the Powhatan Confederacy during the time of the colonization of Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in 1607, located in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Captured by the Colonists during hostilities in 1613, her relationship with the English colonists helped bring healing between Native Americans and the Europeans. Pocahontas' acceptance of Christianity led to her marriage in 1614 to John Rolfe, a member of the colony, who was a native of Heachem England. In 1616, they traveled to England where this Native American princess was presented to English society and became a celebrity.

Purchase tickets online at this link. 


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On May 1, 11:30 a.m., "The ultimate Sir Archie Experience" – Chelsea Restaurant

On Friday, May 1st, 11:30 a.m., James Payne Beckwith's presentation, All in the Family:
Diomed, Sir Archie, and Henry, from the 1780 Epsom Derby to the Grand Match Race of 1823, will be held at the Chelsea Restaurant and open to ESU members, their guests and to the public.
Beckwith's presentation tells the story of Diomed, the great English racer who came to Virginia late in life, was the father of Sir Archie and became the great foundation sire of the American thoroughbred. His son Henry, foaled near Halifax, NC, ran against Diomed's grandson, American Eclipse in the Great Match Race of 1823 in Long Island. This was the first sporting event to capture the imagination of the young republic, causing Congress to adjourn and the stock market to close. Program includes an exhibit of "all things Archie".

The cost of the luncheon, is $18. Menu choices are: salmon with champagne sauce, shrimp and grits with mixed medley of vegetables, or Apollonian chicken salad, tuxedo cake for dessert.  cost is $18 and change. Reservations and payment must be received by April 27. Please send menu choices and checks to Colonial NC Branch, P.O. Box 645, New Bern, NC 28563 or pay on-line by going to this link. 


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The English-Speaking Union

Colonial NC Branch

Colonial NC Branch Landmark Photo