Celebrating a Legacy: A Commemorative 100th Birthday Party for the Late Philip Simmons

June 14, 2012

The late Philip Simmons, a Daniel Island native and Master Blacksmith revered for his distinctive ironworks, would have turned 100 years old on Saturday, June 9, 2012. To commemorate this centennial milestone and celebrate Simmons’ legacy, the Daniel Island Historical Society hosted a birthday party in his honor on Thursday, June 7, at the Daniel Island Real Estate Sales Center. More than 130 guests took part in the sold-out event, which was sponsored by Daniel Island Real Estate and renowned Gullah artist Jonathan Green to benefit the Historical Society.

A limited edition poster created especially for the occasion, featuring Green’s painting “Memory Dreams,” was available for purchase during the event, and Mr. Green was on hand to sign posters. Guests dined on hors d’oeuvres and birthday cupcakes while listening to jazz by MKM/Music Unlimited. Daniel Island Real Estate sales associate Sally Castengera lit sparkling candles on a birthday cake and led the group in singing “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Simmons.

The event also featured a gift drawing showcasing items from area businesses and organizations, including Victoria Ubina/Nine Yards International, Laura Albert’s Tasteful Options, Daniel Island Animal Hospital, Bohemia Salon, Gullah Cuisine, Queen Anne’s Revenge, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, and the Philip Simmons Foundation. SunTrust Bank, Island Expressions and Qwik Pack and Ship also supported the event.

“We could not have asked for a more wonderful evening to celebrate the artistry of two very special, gifted gentlemen – Mr. Philip Simmons and Mr. Jonathan Green,” said Beth Bush, co-founder of the Daniel Island Historical Society. “We are simply in awe of the community’s outpouring of support for the Daniel Island Historical Society and its mission to share the stories of the island’s past with residents and visitors.”

The event raised more than $4,000 for DIHS projects. One effort Bush hopes to begin with a portion of the proceeds is the commissioning of a gate by the Philip Simmons Foundation for one of the island’s African-American cemeteries.

For additional information on DIHS, or to be added to the group’s email list, please send an email to dihistoricalsociety@gmail.com. Posters from the 100th birthday celebration are available for purchase at Island Expressions on Daniel Island.