The Next Fifty Years
1960 - 2010
Presidents of the 1960s: Mrs. Robert (Margaret) Thompson,
Jr. (1959-61), Mrs. Paul (Claire) Phipps (1961-63), Mrs. Fred K. (Lucy) Hays (1963-66), Mrs. George Warren (Muriel)
Hodel (1966-68), Mrs. Robert H. (Anabel) Frilen (1968-70)
The 1960s saw a total remodeling of the clubhouse including a bright, new kitchen.
The clubwomen gave hours of work to the Epic Drama (Honey in the Rock), published a Centennial Cookbook (1963),
did everything to raise money - holding hobby shows, taking donations and awarding a car, pie socials, bridge parties, and
more. It was in this decade that the club sponsored the "Friends of the Raleigh County Library" organization
with a clubwoman becoming charter president. The local library has always been a major concern to the club, and used-book
sales have been conducted annually by clubwomen to assist in it's growth.
|Beckley Appalachian Arts & Crafts Festival (click to enlarge)
They held dinners for honor students from Woodrow Wilson High School, saw
the birth of the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Festival, which became so large it was turned over to the Chamber of Commerce
with the club assisting, as they do to this day, and put forth strong efforts in the building of the YMCA. In
1965 the club spearheaded the organization of the Woman's Auxiliary of Appalachian Regional Hospital, to be
called the "Pink Ladies." Another major project was the assistance with the organization of the Raleigh
County Historical Society.
Presidents of the 1970s: Mrs. Harry F. (Connie)
Cooper (1970-72), Mrs. Charles S. (NancyPat) Lewis (1972-1974), Mrs. James L. (Frankie)Wheeler (1974-76), Mrs.
Maxine Dozier (1976-78), Mrs. John F. (Anne)Miller (1978-80)
the new Raleigh County Library was built, the club furnished the Heritage Room and has continued to purchase other
needed equipment. The clubhouse got a "facelift" including the replacement of the stage curtains, the addition
of louvered doors to the club room, new window treatments, new paint, new glass display cabinets, and a large breakfront
(a gift from the Civic Department).
Constant assistance to the Pearl Buck Foundation has been made by the Woman's
Club of Beckley. Each of our presidents has made known the need for keeping this Foundation going. During the
1970s there was the addition of a Community Affairs Department, a Books for Beginners project, a Guided
Reading Course, and a rating as the best large club in the state in 1975. Many first-place honors on the
state level went to our artists, writers, and craftswomen.
In the late 70s wildlife pictures, the state bird, animal, and tree pictures were
presented to thirteen area schools. Annual style shows were held, and the giving of time and money to other major projects
continued. When the Education Department sponsored the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, they gave a special
gift to everyone in southern West Virginia.
Presidents of the 1980s: Mrs. J. L. (Nelle)
Keefer (1980-84), Mrs. James (Gerry) Sibray (1984-86), Mrs. Richard (Connie) Meadows (1986-88), Mrs. Anna Rose Parker
addition to furthering previous projects, the 80s decade is marked by the Annual Library Used Book Sale, the March
of Dimes, the sponsoring of the Miss Teen West Virginia Contest, the L.P.N. Reception (a reception
for 350 Licensed Practical Nurse graduates), a Community Beautification project, fashion shows, card party desserts, and
the carpeting of the clubhouse as well as some major repairs.
One of the
highlights of this decade was the observance of the club's 75th Diamond Anniversary. The program, "You've Come
A Long Way, Baby," was written and presented by the members to recall many past accomplishments and look forward to many more
years of community service. Membership at this time was 285 paid members.
Presidents of the
1990s: Mrs. Anna Rose Parker (1990-92), Mrs. J. L. (Nelle) Keefer (1992-94), Mrs.
Lorraine Cantley (1994-96), Mrs. Kathryne Williams (1996-98), Mrs. Danny McMillion (1998-1999). Mrs. Gladys Gwynn (1999-2000)
Club continued to participate in the Arts and Crafts Festival, work on Random Acts of Kindness, had a "Kids in the
Garden" project with the Youth Museum, held a rummage sale, sponsored a booth for "Chili Night" in uptown Beckley, worked
on Libraries 2000, which provides books for West Virginians, and helped with the newly organized Veteran's All Wars
|Beckley's Mayor Emmitt Pugh Cutting the Ribbon (click to enlarge)
|Remodeling of the Outside Clubhouse and Grounds
|New Parking Lot with Handicapped-Accessable Entra0nce (c;lick to enlarge)
In 1997 the clubhouse was struck by lightning, and estimates to restore electricity
to the building brought attention to the old wiring, the new city codes, the antiquated furnace, and other needs for safety.
The total cost of the renovation was exhorbitant, and this meant having to forfit some of their other projects in order
to preserve the building. So the highlight of the 90s was the extensive renovation of the clubhouse inside and out with
the addition of a handicaped-accessable parking lot and entrance. Finally, in 1999 a Gala Ribbon Cutting and Open House
Celebration was held.
Presidents of the
2000s: Mrs. Nancy Pat Lewis-Smith (2000-2002), Mrs. Kathryne Williams
(2002-2004), Mrs. Nancy Pat Lewis-Smith (2004-2006), Mrs. James (Linda) Ramsey (2006-2008), Mrs. Mary Abbott (2008-2010)
| Susan Landis, Director of Beckley Area Foundation
Besides the continuation of existing projects and activities, the highlight
of the new millennium was a program called "Extraordinary Women," which honored outstanding women in the
community. The GFWC President's Project, "Count 10 for Kids," and the GFWC WV President's project, "Restoration of the Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum," were major concerns. In 2003 the Beckley Woman's
Club reactivated their Junior Department (see Scrapbook). And in March of 2003 the club launched a website (www.beckleywomansclub.org), thanks to new member, Marcia Fairlie.
The following year the club celebrated GFWC Federation Day. Beckley
mayor, Emmett Pugh, read a Proclamation from the front steps recognizing our achievements and proclaiming April 24th as our Federation Day (see Photo Alubm 2004). Supporting the Beckley Art Group and their building project was important to the club in the second half of
this decade. In 2009 the Beckley Woman's Club will have a grand celebration in honor of their 100th year since
In 2010 Shari Jones became president of the Beckley
Woman's Club. Shari runs a catering business and started providing a light lunch or supper to members before the meetings. Also, membership increased due to the efforts of Kathryne Williams, membership chairman. The Woman's Club
embarked on many new activities that year, many of which were related to our 100th anniversary including the Ladies
of Vision plaque, a parade downtown, and a trip to the WV Capitol for a recognition award presented by the Legislature.
One of our biggest projects in 2011 was with conservation - recycling bottle
caps into a beautiful flower garden art-form. We also made ornaments for a Victorian Christmas Tree, which was displayed at
Beckley's Festival of Trees at the mall and later auctioned off with profits going to the United Way.