“Oatsie” Steals the Show at the 2010 Doris Duke Awards

Oatsie Charles with Admiral Tom Weschler

The Doris Duke Awards ceremony of the Newport Restoration Foundation is an affair attended by preservationists, elected officials, agency heads, historians and its purposeful honorees. This year’s ceremony, the 4th annual, was held at Rough Point, Doris Duke’s former home on Bellevue Avenue, featuring fragrant flavors of the Pacific Rim at its food stations, a “thirsty camel” cocktail bar provided by Grey Goose vodka, and access to the exhibit in the house of Ms. Duke’s magnificent contributions to saving and restoring Newport.


Edward Stone & Jay Serzan enjoying hors d'oeuvres

But it diverged somewhat from the usual laudatory format: the Distinguished Steward award given to Marion “Oatsie” Charles, long- time president of NRF’s Board of Trustees, preservationist, and personal friend of Miss Duke, led to a bit of theatrical farce, as Mrs. Charles accepted it for her 34 years of service, pretending at one point to be choked by Dorienne Farzan. Her commendation was given by Edward P. Henry, President of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, who cited her friendship with Miss Duke, and the Foundation's work with Carter Brown and Jacqueline Kennedy. Mrs. Charles engaged in funny comments and banter, and had everyone smiling. And she made a scene-stealing entrance onto, and exit from, the dais, as well.


Tom Goddard & Dodo Hamilton

This year’s other winners were James and Alice Ross, for their restoration of Berkeley House, and Channing Memorial Church, for its restoration of the historic bell tower. Christine Laudon and David Pedrick, co-chairs of Channing Property Committee, accepted their award from the Honorable David S. Gordon, Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the NRF. Newport Councilman Justin McLaughlin was a presenter of the award to the important Berkeley House. Mrs. Ross spoke charmingly about finding the proper elements for the house from salvage companies.


Edward Sanderson, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission made the introductory remarks and spoke about the ongoing  importance of conservation and preservation of the city’s unique architectural heritage. and Ms. Dana Titcomb, Newport Historic District Planner, assisted in the presentations.




Serving Pacific Rim specialties


Founded by Doris Duke in 1968, NRF was created to rescue Newport’s dilapidated homes, many of which were at risk of being demolished. Today, NRF owns 82 historic structures with 70 lived in by individual tenant-stewards. NRF also operates three museum sites: Rough Point, the former home of Doris Duke;  A non-profit institution, the foundation continues to be actively engaged in historic preservation, educational programming, and scholarly research. Learn more about NRF at www.NewportRestoration.org 

Charles Burns with Diana Silvaria

Jana & Dona Jagoe

"Camels for Preservation" a line of products benefiting

the Doris Duke Fund for Historic Preservation

David Pedrick with architect Holly Grosvenor


Doris Duke Award Winners James & Alice Ross


A Salve Regina trio:  Dean de la Motte,

President Sister Jane Gerety, & Michael Semenza


Senator Teresa Paiva Weed, NRF Board member

Eric Hertfelder, and Kathleen Silvia, Newport City Clerk


Tom Kelley & Mrs. Kelley


The two Pauls: Miller, of the Preservation Society & 



Jerry Kirby, Laurie Moore & Bob Moore


Edward Sanderson with Mr. & Mrs Eric Hertfelder,

of the NRF Board


Another Pacific Rim food station


James & Anne Hogg were delighted with the evening


Robin Nicholson, Melanie Delman & Geer



Noreen Drexel chatted with Sister Jane Gerety


Pieter  Roos, Executive Director of NRF,

welcoming guests


The attentive audience


Edward Sanderson spoke about statewide

preservation efforts


Edward P. Henry, President of the Doris Duke
 Charitable Foundation


Mrs. Charles making her acceptance speech


Naming Mrs. Charles' extraordinary

contributions to preservation


Alice Ross told amusing stories of the restoration

efforts on Berkeley House


Accepting on behalf of Channing Memorial Chapel


Patti Mascali & Tony Cavanagh


Harle Tinney with Jean DiBona


Glamorous young ladies with a topiary camel

at Rough Point


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