Newcomers Club prepares for 35th anniversary party

August 24, 2013

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They haven’t lost their marbles, but they are missing a few scrapbooks.

As the Newcomers Club prepares to celebrate its 35th anniversary on Sept. 5, members are compiling a display with scrapbooks and other memorabilia for the celebration.

“They are probably sitting in a box in someone’s closet,” Helen Shorter said of the scrapbooks.

“But whose closet? We don’t know,” she said with a laugh. Shorter, now living in East Texas, helped establish the wildly popular Newcomers Club in 1978.

Shorter recalls moving to Granbury in the 1970s. “It was a small town. Nothing like it is today,” she said.

“They were working on the (Comanche Peak) power plant, and a lot of new people were moving in,” Shorter explained.

The newcomers were arriving from all over, including large cities on the East Coast, Shorter said.

“I was lucky. We moved here from Dallas, and a friend of mine had already moved here,” Shorter said. “So she showed me around.”

GETTING CONNECTED

The Newcomers Club was organized to help ladies connect with other ladies.

“The people who lived here wanted to show us the wonderful life they had here,” Shorter stated.

As the group organized, Shorter said she was the “sponsor.”

She remembers getting to know John Luton at First National Bank. “The bank made the folders for our welcome packet,” she said. The welcome folders contained various literature about Granbury merchants, discounts, pens, pencils and even a flyswatter. Others contributed to the start-up, and the Newcomers Club filed for nonprofit status in 1978.

In the beginning, the club met “four doors down from the Opera House on the square with around 15 members,” said Shorter.

As the group grew in numbers, so did the activities.

A supper club was organized.

“Sometimes the hostess prepared the entire meal, and sometimes the guests would each bring a dish,” Shorter recalled.

“We had costume parties, Halloween parties. We had interest groups start garden clubs and organize games like bridge.

“We had some wonderful leadership. It was a big, loving family.”

Looking back at the years she lived in Granbury, an emotional Shorter smiled and said, “I miss this place.”

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

The Newcomers Club anniversary party takes place at the Pecan Plantation Clubhouse, starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

The cost is $13 for the luncheon and $20 for an annual membership. Seating is limited and reservations are required by Sept. 2. Call 817-243-9831 or email [email protected]

Shorter will be the guest of honor, along with many past presidents and early members of the club.

The program includes a 1970s style show, music, games and prizes – along with a special gift for all who attend.

The luncheon flashback includes the quiche recipe that was served early on at a club luncheon — back when quiche was not a common dish in these parts.

While the name may imply “newcomers,” anyone is welcome to join this club, now boasting around 450 members.

“It’s a great way for women to get involved in their community, to make friends and meet others with the same interests,” said past president Bernie Wills, who is chairing the anniversary event committee.

“The club has a wide variety of interest groups including book clubs, needle crafts, home and garden, couple and single woman’s supper club,” Wills stated. Game groups include bridge, Hand and Foot, Mah Jongg and Bunco.

Club president Doris Moore is also on the event planning committee, along with Nan Charpiot, Margaret Ellis, Melinda Fortner and Linda Silver.

Those with memorabilia, scrapbooks or photos may contact Wills at 817-579-8487.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 255

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Category: Life Archived