PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The following letter to the editor was submitted verbatim by Portsmouth Historical Society Vice President Doug Smith.
To the editor,
The Portsmouth Historical Society held its first Portsmouth History Trivia night for High School and Middle School students at Gulf Stream Bar and Grille at Melville last Thursday evening. About 25 students took part in the contest, with 4 teams from the High School and two from the Middle School. The winning team came from Portsmouth Middle School and were cheered on by some of their parents and their Middle School Principal, Joao Arruda. The contest was fairly close for the rest of the field, with two High School teams tied for 2nd place at the end of the evening, requiring a final playoff question.
The winning Middle School Team, who called themselves the “Tumbleweeds” included Aquinnah Thayer, Jarrett Reeves, Brandon Joaquin, Daisy Fernandez, and Anastasia Wheeler. This team of students had obviously done their Portsmouth History homework and seemed very well prepared for the contest.
The winning team members each received a framed copy of the 1638 Portsmouth Compact from the Society, and several gift certificates from local vendors. 2nd and 3rd place teams also received local gift certificates. All participants received a copy of Society President Jim Garman’s book, “Historic Tales of Newport County”, courtesy of the author himself.
The Historical Society would like to thank the students who participated in this contest and everyone who contributed to the success of this evening, including Reada Evans, Co-owner and Manager of Gulf Stream, and our excellent MC, Dave Rogers, who volunteered his time and talents to running the trivia contest. The questions relating to Portsmouth’s History were developed by Town Historian and Society president, Jim Garman, who was also the judge and scorer for the evening. Several members of the Society assisted with the administration of the contest, and Portsmouth High School teacher Tim Ryan, one of the planners for this event, was on hand to cheer on his teams.
Our special thanks to our local supporters who provided cash donations and gift certificates for our prizes. These included North End Pizzeria, Martino’s Restaurant, Steve’s Famous Pizza, Rocco’s Pizza, Roggero Construction, Jane Roggero, and Society Board members Anne Burns and Jill Munch.
The Historical Society hopes to make this student History Trivia night an annual event and will be creating a plaque listing the year and the names of the winning team members to be displayed in the school whose team wins the contest each year. A major part of the Historical Society mission is education and we feel that this history trivia event provides some incentive for our young people to learn something about the fascinating history of our town.
Portsmouth Historical Society Vice President