Welcome to the Greenwich Branch of the English-Speaking Union, which was established in 1983 and now has a membership of over 300 area residents. The Greenwich Branch supports the worldwide ESU goal of advancing the effective use of the English Language in an expanding global society. The members of the Branch support the international programme of "Books Across the Sea" by underwriting a selected series of books to be shipped to our affiliate in Belgrade, Serbia.
In March, The ESU, the Smith College Club and the Greenwich Library co-sponsor the annual Shakespeare contest for public and private students in grades 9th-12th. In April, the local winner participates in the national finals held at Lincoln Center in New York City. The national winner is awarded a summer course at The Globe in London.
In May, the Lillian Butler Davey Student Communications Awards, supported by Greenwich ESU, are held at Greenwich High School.
The John Douglas Public Speaking Award, in honour of Greenwich first president is presented to a senior at graduation. Over 200 students participate and the 25 winners receive awards in seven categories covering academic essay, journalism, public speaking, poetry, drama and video.
We offer scholarships to local High School teachers in English, Social Studies and Creative Writing to pursue summer courses for three to six weeks at Oxford University, the Globe Theatre and Edinburgh University.
The Walter Hines Page Scholarship supports a programme for ESU members here to host a British teacher who wishes to travel to the United States.
The Greenwich Branch has monthly events, except during July and August, with a variety of speakers at cocktail receptions and luncheons, with occasional out-of-town visits.
The annual Garden Party celebrating The Queen's Birthday is held in June with the British Consul-General the Guest of Honour. At this event winners of the local Shakespeare Competition perform and the recipients of the Teacher Scholarships are introduced.
All members have access to Dartmouth House in London, the Headquarters of the ESU Commonwealth. Accommodation is available at area hotels which offer reduced rates to members.
Natalie T. Pray
President of the Greenwich Branch