I again walked through the time portal to a kinder and gentler era last Tuesday.
I attended a meeting of the Waxhaw Woman's Club. The principal reason for my invitation was to help recognize Sarah Belk Gambrell, who had made a significant matching donation to the Waxhaw Woman's Club Scholarship fund. Each year the club awards $500 scholarships to young women in the area who have been active in music and the performing arts. Sarah Belk Gambrell was present and smiled as this year's winners were announced.
Bettie Linker Scholarships were awarded to Ashley Bollinger of Parkwood High and to Ashley Hall of Cuthbertson High. This was the first award to a graduate from Cuthbertson, concurrent with their first senior class.
The Sarah Hadman Walker Scholarship was awarded to Meagan Balsam of Wingate High School.
None of the award winners was present due to conflicts with their school activities. A well written letter of thanks to the Woman's Club from Ashley Bollinger was read to the meeting.
It's hard to say precisely what it is about the group that leads me to my "kinder and gentler" appellation, but let me try.
The ambiance of the historic Belk Building, complete with turn-of-the-century-style lighting and original wood floors, imparts a quality of light to the proceedings there that is the antithesis of fluorescent glare. It's not candle light, but it could be.
One candle was in fact lit, accompanied by a single white rose, to mark the passing of Dr. Judith Moore, a Woman's Club member for many years.
When Janet Dunean and Dorothy Malone were installed as secretary and parliamentarian for the coming year, the words of the installation ceremony had to have been the same ones that were used for the past 100 years. It's not that the language was archaic, but rather that it was gracious.
I was surprised, in a pleasant way, when Gladys Kerr rose to present a beautifully crafted shadow box that contained the original front door key to the Belk Building. Gladys recounted the following story:
The grandson of the original Belk who had built the building, which now is home for the Woman's club, lives in Rock Hill. He read my account of the 100th anniversary celebration in the March 26 Sunday Observer. His father had given him the original key, which had been passed on from his grandfather, and according to Gladys, he was moved to donate it to the Waxhaw Woman's Club.
In all, it was a lovely and interesting event. I admire this group of women for the service they perform for Waxhaw and for the way they interact with each other.
My impression is that they have selected traditions and ways of doing things that embrace the best of what was while having a positive impact on what is now.