Moorestown High School graduate Jim May increasing awareness in Palmyra.
The Palmyra Historical and Cultural Society has worked hard since 1991 to keep residents informed about the town’s history. A leading member of that society is President Jim May, who has been with the society for more than 15 years.
May, originally from Maple Shade, moved to Palmyra in 1959 after getting married. The Moorestown High School graduate has served on several boards in Palmyra and continues to help today.
“Throughout my time in Palmyra, I have served on council for nine years, the planning board for 30 years, and I am also a board of health member,” May said.
A Rutgers graduate, May also took classes at Richard Stockton University, Rowan University and Temple University. An avid learner of the environment and urban planning, May also participates in the Master Gardeners program as a part of Rutgers University.
“We give lectures on gardening, and tips to people who are interested in the hobby itself,” May said.
Now retired, May worked 43 years with an oil company while also making time to volunteer in Palmyra.
The Historical Society has helped inform the township about Palmyra’s past, while also creating books to give pictures and knowledge to interested parties. “Back In Time” gives readers the visualization of Palmyra’s continued growth from the past to the modern day.
However, in today’s busy world, May feels volunteering could be a lot better than it is now.
“Volunteering is not high on people’s priority lists nowadays. People want to relax or watch television, which is why we try to continue to be as active as we can as a society to set a good example for others,” May said.
However, some previous events in the township have helped set the bar for the future. The Historical Society has helped inform the high school’s students and faculty about Palmyra’s past by setting up workshops and information sessions with both news and pictures. Young people have taken part in local activities, such as planting and cleaning up around the community.
When asked about the best part of being involved, May praised the people you meet.
“What you learn and who you meet definitely goes a long way. Hearing stories about the past history is always refreshing, while getting great feedback from the townspeople themselves,” May said.
The Historical Society will continue with its constant work in the community. On July 6, it will be selling books at the Palmyra Farmer’s Market, which takes place in downtown Palmyra. The society meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Palmyra Community Center.
“A wonderful little town like Palmyra needs everybody’s attention,” May said. “We have tons of free services that are not taken advantage of, so we hope that more hands come on board as we all do our part to our town.”