Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs Alamo District president Carol Habgood of San Antonio Women ‘s Federation was special guest speaker at the Mason Bluebonnet Study Club meeting on November 15. The group met in the historic home of Mary Hemphill where each room tells a story of its own serving as appropriate setting for the telling of the history to be explored by the speaker.
Program chair Tanya Lamoreaux introduced Ms. Habgood and Robin Hogue, past district president and current Historical Foundation Trustee, who accompanied Ms. Habgood on the trip from San Antonio.
The story related by Ms. Habgood had to do with the history of General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the impact that members have had over the years.
The story began in 1868 with a professional journalist named Jane Cunningham Croly who ran into the difficulties faced by women at the time. Ms. Croly attempted to attend a lecture by Charles Dickens at an all male press club and was turned away because of her gender. Deciding that women needed an organization of their own, she organized what would eventually become the General Federation of Women’s Clubs beginning with one group called Sorosis Club. In 1889, other clubs were invited to join with the original club and delegates from 17 states took part. Texas joined the group in 1894. Mason Bluebonnet Study Club became a part of this movement in 1942.
Before "Federation", women could not vote; there were no libraries; there was no school lunch program; child labor was unregulated; there was no food and drug act; street lighting was virtually non existant; highways were not striped. Federated women worked to solve these and many more problems faced by communities. Ms. Habgood gave details of changes for the better made possible by women combining efforts toward improving conditions in society. She told the group that in 2006, members of General Federation of Women’s Clubs raised 32 million dollars on behalf of 230,000 projects and volunteered more than 8.4 million hours.
Ms. Habgood summed up by telling her audience that a single person cannot accomplish as much as the team of over 100,000 members of General Federation of Women’s Clubs working together can accomplish.
During a business session, a report was given on the recent rummage/baked goods sale and it was declared a success. Appreciation to members of the community who support fund raising of the group was expressed. Funds raised will be used to help Mason’s young people gain a higher education.
Plans for a Christmas party to be held on December 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the home of Carol Jordan were discussed. A ham will be furnished by the club and members will bring side dishes. A Christmas tree decoration exchange and games will lighten the mood. Members may bring a guest.
Hostess Mary Hemphill served refreshments to club members Edna Earle Benton, Tanya Lamoreaux, Carol Jordan, Betty Meyer, Tommie Luckenbach, Mary Carlman, Maudi Bergmann, Sabin Nelson, Julie Harrison, and to guests Carol Habgood and Robin Hogue.