Woman’s Club turns 60

Published 7:21 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2009

“Does anybody remember who was president 60 years ago?” Jeanne Banks asked.

The women gathered in the King’s Fork Community House grew silent and began to go through their memories to come up with the right answer.

After a few more moments of silence, Banks answered her own question.

“Truman,” she said. “Harry Truman.”

“Oh, that president!” exclaimed one voice from the crowd.

On Tuesday night, the women of the King’s Fork Woman’s Club were gathered together to celebrate the club’s 60th anniversary.

While Banks may have been trying to reflect on national history, the club was trying to name the club’s president 60 years ago.

Incidentally, Elizabeth Gardner served as the club’s first president six decades ago when the club was founded.

In February 1949, a group of women met at what was then Providence Methodist Church to begin their own chapter of the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs. The club is a non-profit organization aimed at serving the community through volunteer service.

Specifically, the organization seeks to help in six main capacities: arts, home life, international work, public affairs, conservation and education.

Since that time, club members have been instrumental in serving the community in various capacities, including working with the Genieve Shelter and the Salvation Army and partnering with Mack Benn Elementary School for tutoring projects and school fairs.

“You have such a rich history of giving to the community,” Annette Rodgers, Southside district president for the Woman’s Club, said during her address to the club. “I look forward to another 60 years of service from you.”

Mayor Linda T. Johnson could not attend the night’s festivities, but she praised the club members for their devoted service in a letter to the club.

Johnson congratulated the club for this important moment in its “illustrious history” as well as for having a “distinguished record” of community service.

“Your contributions to the city are an invaluable part of what it means to be a community,” Johnson wrote.

Additionally, Delegate S. Chris Jones could not make the festivities, but in his place sent a commendation from the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia offering sincerest congratulations for the club having reached its 60th anniversary.

“It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that has been such a steady provider of service and help to the community,” Banks said. “I’m impressed by these women and am delighted to be a part of this group.”