SABATTUS — Andrew Haughey distinctly remembers celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The English-born immigrant was still living “across the pond” then, and his neighbors organized a street party celebrating the monarch’s 25th anniversary on the throne. He fondly recalls games, good food and fun surrounding the English tradition of throwing a party to honor the queen.

But more than anything else, he remembers the strong sense of community that brought his neighbors together for the monumental event.

Now living in the United States with children of his own, Haughey decided to return to his roots in spirit if not in location. The Sabattus man organized a street party in front of his Kaelyn Drive home Sunday afternoon and invited all the neighbors to come celebrate the English tradition.

“Just going door to door and delivering invitations, I got the chance to meet neighbors I’d never really met and talked to before,” Haughey said. “It’s just really an excuse to sit down with our neighbors.”

Haughey originally slated the event for June 3 as part of Britain’s celebration June 2-5 of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary as monarch. But Mother Nature decided not to cooperate with his plans and dropped several inches of rain.

Of course, he might have been a bit more comfortable with last week’s cooler temperatures. The former English police officer was dressed in his full uniform for the day’s festivities, including a wool jacket and head gear.

Eight to 10 families within walking distance were greeted by British flags and red, white and blue banners on their way down the long drive to Haughey’s home, where he lives with his wife, Rebecca, and their three sons and daughter. He said part of his reason for the party was to get a chance to meet and to know his neighbors.

“You know the names of your neighbors. You’re not  strangers to them,” Haughey said. “It’s the old-fashioned Facebook really. You catch up with neighbors and find out what their kids are into.”

Neighbors who came out for the celebration agreed. Jean Roane has lived in the neighborhood since 2004 and said Sunday was the first day she’d ever met and got to spend quality time with many of the families who’ve moved to the growing neighborhood in recent years.

Everyone who came out for the potluck-style barbecue said they enjoyed the festivities, which included sack races and a tug-of-war.

“It’s a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors,” Roane said. “You know? You see them. You wave to them. But you don’t really get to know them until you do something like this.”


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