NEW AMSTERDAM POST - 01.MAY.2010 - Lord of Gardiners Island leads May Day celebration
Breezy summer weather greeted English Viceroy Sir Septimus Derleth as he joined the lord and tenants of Gardiners Island in their annual observance of May Day. The festival is the most important local holiday on the privately owned island manor, a rare time when its strict travel laws are relaxed to welcome visitors from neighboring Long Island and Connecticut. May Day's importance to the Gardiner family estate dates to 1686, when the first David Gardiner received the Lordship from Connecticut's royal governor on behalf of King James III. As tribute, the lords were to present the King with "one ewe lamb on the first of May each year", an obligation that the Gardiners have faithfully carried out to this day.
With the Jacobian-era manor house forming an elegant backdrop, Sir Septimus accepted the lamb from Lord David as a brass band from Saybrook, Connecticut, a town founded by Gardiners, played a bill of English and American patriotic songs. The festivities continued throughout the day with a clam bake and rowing regatta at the island's Landing.