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The LIA Celebrates 100th Anniversary

With Community Party On Lordship Bluffs

June 23, 2024: A Day Of Neighborly Fun And So Many Connections!


A proclamation and welcoming comments (l-r): Lordship Historian Tom Halverson; State Rep. Joe Gresko; Town Council Rep. Bryan O'Connor; Stratford Mayor Laura Hoydick; LIA President Jim Warren.


Havin' fun on the Bluffs.


LIA grill masters: Come and get it ...


... and they did! About 200 meals served.


Taking the tour!


Learning Lordship history at Tom Halverson's display.


A day of neighborly fun and connections.

By John Florian


The Lordship Improvement Association’s 100th Anniversary Celebration on a warm but pleasantly breezy June 23, 2024 became a bit of history itself, as the LIA welcomed hundreds of Lordship residents to a party on the Lordship Bluffs, thanking all for their continuing financial and volunteer support.

Along with food, games and a kickin’ Lordship Fathers Club ‘Bands on the Bluffs’ concert, the celebration was overall a day of neighborly fun.

“I loved hearing so many conversations of neighbors meeting each other – ‘Oh, you live in that house,’ …

‘Are you related to -” … “I know your dog!” recalls LIA Treasurer Sue Birge. “So many connections were made!”

Shortly after the party’s 4pm start, LIA President Jim Warren welcomed residents to the celebration and introduced Stratford Mayor Laura Hoydick, who read a Town of Stratford proclamation citing the LIA’s 100th Anniversary and honoring the LIA’s “continued, unwavering commitment to the enhancement of life and community in Lordship.”

Also introduced and briefly speaking were 121st District State Representative Joe Gresko, First District Town Council member Bryan O’Connor, and Lordship Historian Tom Halverson.

Warren thanked all and hustled back to the smoky grill to join LIA volunteers cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers.


Nearby, an array of desserts - each treat with the name of the cook and ingredients – had been destined for a potluck dessert contest. But an eager crowd reached in for early samples, and that was that.


Officially, about 200 dogs and burgers were served. But the size of the gathering seemed much larger.



Centered on the Bluffs at the foot of Margherita Lawn, the LIA party spread with colorful lawn chairs and neighborly chats, the sound of bean bags slapping the boards in corn hole competitions, kids running and lobbing balls into a soccer net, and hula hoops spinning around arms and gyrating bodies.

A steady flow of browsers enjoyed Tom Halverson’s display of historical Lordship brochures and other items that Tom had acquired over the years – many through his personal purchases on eBay. Also eye-popping were large printouts of decades-old aerial view photos of Lordship. And of course, the historian himself had many stories to tell.


Nearby, the LIA gratefully accepted donations and purchases of LIA-branded mugs, t-shirts and ball caps.


Earlier in the day, another historic event was held not far away at the Lordship Seawall.

Initiated by LIA Burgess Jane Scofield and the Stratford Waterfront and Harbor Management Commission, the grassy town park with the circular LIA garden was named the Donald S. Sammis Park in a dedication ceremony attended by town and organization officials and members of the Sammis family.

A Lordship resident, Sammis was chairman of the Stratford Town Council from 1921-1927 and Town Manager from 1932-1934. He was also a long-time trustee of the waterfront property today known as the Lordship Bluffs, preserving it as a park for Lordship residents. (More about this ceremony and Don Sammis coming soon.)



Around 6pm the LIA party got kickin’, singin’ and dancin’ when Keltic Kick set up a stage on Margherita Lawn for the Lordship Fathers Club’s ‘Bands on the Bluffs’ debut concert of the 2024 summer. (Mick Maguire was reportedly somewhere in the vicinity.)

And as the crowd thinned on the Bluffs, migrating across Park Blvd. to Margherita Lawn to the concert, Tom Halverson, the Lordship Historian, surveyed it all – the Bluffs party site, the white capped waves beyond, the energetic sing-along – and said he is blessed to have been raised and still live in Lordship.

“This was a great day,” Tom added. “I will always remember it."

The LIA hopes that feeling was shared by many.

- John Florian photos

Go ahead ... pick one ... or sample 'em all!


Lots of kid's play ...

kids board.jpg
kids net.jpg

... and adults letting it fly


Neighborly smiles and connections

Capped by a Keltic Kick!
LIA proclamation June 23, 2024.jpg

A BIG thanks to ...

LIA Celebration Sponsors:
- The Milford Bank
- Austin Ganim Landscape Design
The Lordship Fathers Club
And to YOU,
for your tremendous support.

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