Sunday, February 24, 2008

What You Missed: The January 2008 General Meeting and Luncheon

The January luncheon was at Mukogawa Commons January 5, 2008. It was a nice day but I should have brought my ice skates, the parking lot was the smoothest ice I have seen anywhere this year. Once inside the Mukogawa Commons the meeting began. They have a great facility there and the lunch was excellent.

First President Bill Hire welcomed all of us, then the buffet luncheon of chicken dijon or beef burgundy. After the luncheon was the recognition of the Distinguished Service Members and Past Presidents that were at the meeting.

Doris Woodward then announced the Bulletin Writing Contest Winners and a little about each article: First Prize: Jeanne Schmitz, Second Prize: Florene Moore and Third Prize (tie): Nancy Edwards and Dani Lee McGowan. These will be printed in the March Bulletin. The other 12 Honorable Mentions will be printed throughout the year.

Next the new officers for 2008 were introduced and John Ellingson had them line up for a picture: President Bill Hire, 1st Vice President Pat Bayonne-Johnson, 2nd Vice President Pat Ewers, 3rd Vice President Carol Nettles, Treasurer Gary Taylor, Recording Secretary Jeanne Coe, Corresponding Secretary Joan Martin, Past President Susan Beamer, Member at Large Lola McCreary, Senior Trustee Pat Mielbrecht and Junior Trustee Bev Vorpahl. Librarian Juanita McBride and Bulletin Editor Doris Woodward continue at their appointed board positions. The 2008 budget was approved and then a short break before Peri Ann Muhich started her talk.

Peri Muhich's talk was “They called them the Mercer Girls” a group of eleven young ladies from Lowell, Massachusetts, who were recruited by the new University of Washington president Asa Mercer to work as teachers in Seattle in 1864. The TV show “Here Comes the Brides” was based on the Mercer Girls. Seattle in 1864 was very short of women, and Massachusetts due to the Civil War was short of men, so Asa Mercer went to Massachusetts to recruit young ladies to come to Seattle to get married. He did not actually tell them he was looking for brides but looking for school teachers so they could support themselves before they got married. Peri has researched these eleven ladies and written articles on them for The Online Encyclopedia of Washington State.

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