The Ansonville Book Club, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs since 1917, celebrated its 100th anniversary Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the home of treasurer Lynne Edwards near Ansonville.
President Phyllis Dunlap welcomed members and guests, remembering the 16 Ansonville women who first met on Sept. 30, 1916 in the old Masonic Hall to organize the group, whose purpose was to be a social outlet to promote the reading of good books. These founding members bought and shared books and then donated them to the local school. The club motto remains: “Truth is power and power is service.”
Dunlap presented members with handmade corsages of white daisies and gold ribbon, the club’s flower and colors. Several members wore hats and gloves as a tribute to the founding ladies.
Allison Martin, vice-president and chairman of the centennial committee, created an trifold display of club pictures and memorabilia collected through the years. Martin explained that when she became a member in 1993, her first grade teacher, the late Florence Ballard, was president.
“It was as if she and I had come full circle,” Ballard said. “She was a great mentor to me and a faithful club member.”
Each member contributed her recollection of what the club has meant to her. Agnes Shankle, the oldest member present, cited all the changes she has seen over the years. Other members present were Cecile Beasely, Betty Russell and Fran Thomas.
Special guest Peggy Crowell of Charlotte, daughter of the late Frances Edwards, reminisced about coming down to help her mother polish the silver and get ready for the club meetings at her house and how much her mother loved attending meetings. Other guests included Ellen Patterson, GFWC-NC first vice-president of Charlotte, and Jennifer Smith, District 3 membership chairman of Concord, Teresa Johnson and Mandy Dunlap. Another special guest was Macy Dunlap, 3, whose grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother were all members of the Ansonville Book Club.
The GFWC, founded in 1916 during the progressive movement, is a federation of more than 3,000 clubs and 100,000 members who promote civic improvement through volunteer service in areas including conservation, the arts, home life and international affairs.
Peggy Hildreth, secretary, stated that although members love to read, most of the club’s time is devoted to GFWC projects. The club has purchased American flags and Christmas decorations for the streets of Ansonville and planted roses and bulbs at Dunlap Park. This year, the club has contributed to the backpack program for Ansonville Middle School, provided survival bags for the Anson County Domestic Violence Coalition and sponsored impoverished children at Christmas.
Following the program, guests were invited into the dining room for an elaborate reception.