Letter to the editor, March 17, 2016
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our beloved patron and supporter, Georgia Ashforth. She was a highly involved volunteer whose love of the Library touched all who knew her. The Ashforth Children’s Concert series began in 2002 with a generous gift to the Library in memory of Georgie’s late husband, Henry Ashforth. From the outset, Georgie was passionate about this series, which she designed to expose children to classical and jazz music performance.
She attended almost every concert and we know that she truly enjoyed seeing the Cole Auditorium fill with excited children as they experienced classical music for the first time.
The Ashforth Family has a long and storied history of support for Greenwich Library. In 1895, Henry’s great grandmother Elizabeth Milbank Anderson gave the town funds for the first building for the library in memory of her parents, Jeremiah and Elizabeth Lake Milbank if the Library provided “free service to all town residents”. Saks Fifth Avenue now stands in the Library’s original location on Greenwich Avenue. In 1901, Library supporters matched an additional donation by Mrs. Anderson which supported the Library until 1917 when the Town appropriated monies for operating expenses, thus beginning the enduring partnership of public and private funding. Henry Ashforth served as President of the Library Board of Trustees when the Peterson bequest was received in 1992, and was a major supporter of the Library’s 1999 expansion, also serving as honorary chair of the Capital Campaign for the construction of the Peterson Wing.
We will sorely miss Georgie. She was a familiar figure in the Library, visiting often to borrow materials. She often stopped by the Welcome Desk, which bears her name and Henry’s, to let staff know if anything was amiss on the grounds or in the building that required attention. She was an indomitable spirit with a zest for life and music.
Gratefully, through her generosity, the Ashforth Children’s Concert Series will continue to delight families in Greenwich for many years to come.
Haley Rockwell Elmlinger, President, Greenwich Library Board of Trustees
Barbara Ormerod-Glynn, Greenwich Library Director