Union Chapel: Fokine on the independent Quaker spirit



Union Chapel in the Grove will remember and celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with the Shelter Island Historical Society at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 2 at an interdenominational service of worship.

Historical Society members will participate in the service and Christian Fokine, Shelter Island resident, builder and former trustee of the Shelter Island Historical Society, will speak. His talk is entitled “Quakerism and the Declaration of Independence” and will explore the Quaker movement in America and its ties to our nation’s founding document.

Born in Yonkers, New York, Christian developed his lifelong love of history listening to his grandparents’ remembrances of their lives in Europe and their decision to emigrate to America.  Growing up in the Hudson Valley, Christian was able to explore many of the landmarks described in the works of Washington Irving, sparking his interest in local history and how it can influence the everyday life of the common man.

Christian has been building things most of his life. He constructed an addition on a neighbor’s house at the age of 14 and was off and running. He was working on projects in Westchester County and New York City when a client asked if he would be willing to take on a small construction job on Shelter Island. Christian immediately agreed and then asked where Shelter Island was. That was in 1980. Today, Christian is married with three sons (one of whom is a Harelegger) and is President of Fokine Construction, designing and building new homes as well undertaking renovations. He is a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, The American Institute of Building Designers and the National Association of Home Builders.  Currently, he is assisting in the construction of the new educational center and archive on the grounds of Havens House, the headquarters of the Shelter Island Historical Society.

Baritone Thom Milton will return to Union Chapel and will be accompanied by Chapel Organist Linda Betjeman. A local resident, Thom has served as a cantor at Our Lady of the Isle Church and has been a featured soloist at both Union Chapel and the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. Mr. Milton has performed throughout the East End: he has sung with the Shelter Island Community Chorus and Perlman Music Program; the Choral Society of the Hamptons on the South Fork; and the Peconic Bay Masterworks Choir on the North Fork.

Submitted by Union Chapel