King’s Fork Ruritans celebrate 65th

Published 7:38 pm Saturday, October 18, 2014

The King’s Fork Ruritan Club will celebrate its 65th anniversary Tuesday at the King’s Fork Community House.

Just a few short miles from where Ruritan was founded in Holland in 1928, the King’s Fork club was officially chartered in October 1949 after having been organized in August.

Some of the charter members had been members of the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club and split off their outlying area into a new club, as was common in the early days of Ruritan, according to a bulletin honoring the club’s anniversary.

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The club’s charter was presented to the 47 charter members on Oct. 25, 1949, by Zone 1 Governor Mills Godwin Jr., who would later go on to become governor of Virginia.

The club’s first fundraiser, in April 1950, was a “womanless wedding,” complete with a preacher, special music and a jilted lover. About 30 leading farmers, businessmen and politicians all played parts.

The club’s meetings moved around from 1949 to 1963, according to the bulletin, before dedicating the King’s Fork Community House in 1963. The house was a combined effort with the King’s Fork Woman’s Club and others in the community, according to the bulletin.

Surviving charter member and first treasurer Ritchie Jordan (who played a groomsman in that womanless wedding) will be honored on Tuesday, as will Abe Norfleet Jr. Several past national presidents, the national president elect, Holland District governors and others will be in attendance, as will elected officials.

Just in the last year, the club has donated to organizations including the Horton Wreath Society, Habitat for Humanity, the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad, American Cancer Society, Parkinson’s Foundation, Suffolk Youth Athletic Association, Western Tidewater Free Clinic, the Cheer Fund, Eagle Scout projects and more.