The Woman’s Club of Beaumont celebrates 118 years
The Woman’s Club of Beaumont celebrated its 118th birthday Jan. 18. At 118, the club is still going and still looking to grow. From its humble beginnings as a book club in 1895, the organization has changed names and purposes but remains active and altruistic in the community.
The club started in the home of Mrs. Hal W. Greer on Jan. 18, 1895, according to the club’s history. The original focus was the promotion and development of area libraries, cultural collections and literary needs. In 1889, the club changed its name to the Women’s Reading Club and became affiliated with the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs. The clubhouse at 575 Magnolia St. was constructed in 1909. During World War I and World War II, the building was used by the American Red Cross and the Office of Civil Defense. In 1927, the club officially had its name changed to The Woman’s Club of Beaumont. After suffering extensive damage from Hurricanes Rita and Ike, the clubhouse was renovated, reopening in 2010. Now, the building is available to rent for business meetings, luncheons and other organized gatherings.
The group focuses on the betterment of Beaumont and gives local women a place to meet to discuss current events. The organization participates in a variety of community projects including recycling and conservation programs, food donation initiatives, clothing donations for abused women and children, and women’s health and safety initiatives. They give a free annual piano concert for the enjoyment of the community. The group also provides scholarships to qualifying students and sponsored a building at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum.
Women in the group gather at meetings throughout the week and discuss gardening, music and more, with different events and meetings focusing on the diverse interests represented by the organization. For example, at a luncheon Friday, March 1, the group gathered to enjoy lunch and listen to speaker Uliana Trylowsky entertain them with anecdotes from her fascinating journey through life, which has taken her from Canada to Beaumont via so many other destinations along the way. Born in Canada to Ukrainian immigrants, Trylowsky is now the executive director of Beaumont’s Habitat for Humanity and the wife of Lamar University English professor Jesse Doiron. The two met while working for charitable organization the International Renaissance Foundation, part of the Soros Foundation, in Kiev, the largest city in the Ukraine. They live in Beaumont and have two children, Natalia and Dennis.
The group also had a luncheon and style show featuring clothes from JC Penney stores on Thursday, March 7, to raise funds for the club’s endeavors. Club President Dorothy Bourque said she and her group are always looking to expand, and they welcome local women to come out and take a look at the club.
“We are always looking for new members,” Bourque said. “We would love to get more young women involved, as well.”
Call (409) 832-3298 for more information about the club and how to become a member. You can also view the group’s website at wcobtx.wordpress.com for more information regarding the club and clubhouse rental.
Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com.