By Andrew DeCredico
On the morning of February 16th the city of Sea Isle unveiled a plaque in dedication to the late Dr. Irene Jameson, who served as the city’s director of public relations for nearly two decades. Dr. Jameson was an energetic woman who was involved in many things throughout the town, including many different committees, book clubs, and even aerobics!
Dr. Jameson was not born a local, but that does not mean that she didn’t make Sea Isle her home. After many years of work in the Philadelphia school district, in 1986 Dr. Jameson retired and moved to Sea Isle City. In 1989 after a few years of living in the town, Dr. Jameson came out of retirement to work as Sea Isle’s Director of Public Relations. Over the next 17 years Dr. Jameson went on to be involved in many different aspects of the community. She was involved with AARP, The Beautification Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce, just to name a few.
In 1988 Dr. Jameson helped found the Beachcomber Guided Tours. While some may not see the tours as a big deal, the Beachcomber Guided Tours have been teaching thousands of children about the beach and ocean in a kid friendly way, for almost 30 years. The tours are all about helping young children learn about the beach they are walking on and the ocean they swim in, so what better way to learn than going out on the beaches and even throwing out nets on occasion to bring the ocean life up close and personal for the young learners.
Beachcombing isn’t all Dr. Irene Jameson is known for. In 1994 Dr. Jameson proposed an idea to the town. Her big idea is one of the biggest winter events in town, and is known as the Polar Bear Plunge. The Plunge was originally an idea to raise money for the town’s Tourism Commission. For thirteen years, Dr. Jameson led countless people into the icy cold waters of Sea Isle City as the event’s very own “Polar Bear Queen”
Today, the memory or Dr. Irene Jameson lives on in the spirit of the many organizations and events she has been a part of. This weekend marks the 23rd annual Polar Bear Plunge weekend, and the members of the City of Sea Isle have decided to honor the memory of Dr. Irene Jameson with a plaque dedicated to her. Katherine Custer, who said she “knew she was walking in the shadow of a giant”, holds Dr. Jameson’s former position as Public Relations Director and has said that she “can only hope to do a portion of what [Dr. Jameson] has done.” Dr. Jameson will continue to inspire the town with a subtle reminder of her importance right in the center of town, just off the promenade.