Erin Geismar spoke with Barbara Caldwell, president of the Moriches Rotary Club, for our Town Focus in the Moriches this week. Caldwell gives her impressions of the community.
How long have you lived in the area?
We’ve only been here 10 years. We came from Nassau County, and I used to belong to the Rotary there. My husband is not a Rotarian.
What brought you here?
My son lived in East Moriches; otherwise, I had no idea it was here. Now, we call it our “best kept secret.”
What was it like when you first started coming out here?
We used to have a house in Sag Harbor, so we love it out here. I got involved in the Rotary almost right away, and this year I became president. We liked it very much. It was very quiet; that took a lot of getting used to coming from Nassau County. The other thing is I found it very hard to find a store to shop in. But the people were friendly and there’s the Rotary, which became not just my friends but my other family.
Ten years in, what do you love about the community now?
I like the idea that there is so much water around; the quietness, the people are very calm. It’s very different from Nassau County; everyone is not in such a hurry. It’s just a nice place to live. I have four grandchildren that go to the schools, and they love it.
And have you found a place to shop?
Not really. But I’ve saved a lot of money.
Tell me a little about what the Rotary does.
We have 26 members. It’s not a very big club, but we do a lot of work. Annually we do the Duck Race and the Octoberfest, and we probably raise about $25,000 from the Octoberfest and the same from the Duck Race. That all goes to the camp [Pa-Qua-Tuck]. We are trying to start a pancake breakfast, and we do a Stuff-A-Bus every month, except during the summer. Around the holidays, we adopt a family. We also have a very active Rotoract, which is for college students, and Interact, which is for high school students. They are very good, and often they are our right arm.
Are there other big events in town?
The chamber does a street fair in the spring, there is a great St. Patrick’s Day parade with parties afterward. In winter, there is a light parade, with fire trucks and ambulances. It’s like a great small town you’d find upstate.
Define the character of the community.
It just reminds me of old movies you’ve seen, towns where everybody is nice to each other and just comes together. Everybody tries to help each other out.