Three recent events made green and chivalry the celebration. Parkway Partners & Entergy Corporation presented Feast with the Stars; the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem Priory of St. Bernard de Clairvaux held its Convent & Investiture Ceremony and Investiture Banquet; and neighbors assembled for Lake Vista’s 75th anniversary with party proceeds slated for beautification of its parks. Guests hied, respectively, to Gallier Hall, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and the Southern Yacht Club, and the Blue Crab.
n Feast with the Stars
A jazz brunch sponsored by Entergy, “Feast” had as its focus the launching of the tree-planting season and the support of green space work in the city. It also provided midday merriment (and loads of delicious food) for the attendees, whose numbers tallied 247.
In Gallier Hall, plants provided by the Department of Parks and Parkways lined the hallways, while autumnal accents embellished the stairway. To add buoyancy, bouquets of balloons, platinum, pale blue and yellow in color, were placed atop canary yellow table cloths. The fall-motif centerpieces of succulents served as both decorations and for-purchase items. Thanks for the balloons tapped volunteers Allan and Laura Querens, and for the centerpieces, Nell Howard. Cameron Eaton was credited with the design for the program and invitation.
Notables were numerous and included Parkway Partners board President Jim Lestelle with partner John Stephens, executive director Jean Fahr, founder Flo Schornstein and husband Richard, Patty Riddlebarger of Entergy, Suzanne Thomas (Whitney Bank) and Bob, and “Feast” Co-Chairwoman Kristi Trail and Norma Grace with spouses Blake Heymann and Bob Sternhell.
Also, Joann Albrecht, who chaired the exciting auction (that included staycations, sports accessories, jewelry, and a Krewe of Orpheus float package for two), along with JoAnn Clevenger, Michael and Christina Carter, Beverly Katz, Department of Parks and Parkways director Ann Macdonald, Mary Judice Finney and Tom, Marcelle Bienvenu, Tom Fitzmorris, and Mark and Diane Schleifstein. A number of the above, mostly from the media, were the brunch’s “Stars.”
Culinary brightness came from the 14 participating restaurants, while a variety of libations added the liquid component. Musical scintillation was purveyed by The Messy Cookers Jazz Band, the Last Straws, and the Mardi Gras Chorus, who entertained in the dessert room.
A highlight of the brunch was the acknowledgement of an award to the former councilwoman and new honorary consul of Lithuania, Jackie Clarkson. (The actual award was presented at the patron party a few days before in the Whitney Bank Lobby on St. Charles Avenue.) For a woman who revels in her signature red, Jackie Clarkson was honored with the 2014 Green Spirit Award, which was designed by glass artist Eric Hess and given by the Parkway Partners Board of Directors. She was hailed as a formidable advocate for New Orleans green spaces, as seen in her efforts for Brechtel Park, Federal City in Algiers, Crescent Park and the parks of the New Orleans Recreation Department.
After Clarkson’s remarks and a round of applause from dozens, including husband Buzz, the music started up again and several couples took advantage of the moment and started dancing.
n The Sovereign Military Order
At St. Martin’s Church, Marcel de Picciotto, Thomas Marshall and Bernard L. Baisier, all with titles of the Order, presided over the investiture of Michael A. Carriere; Lt. Col. Robert P. Gargoni Jr., USMC; James R. Pratt; and Capt. Scott C. Rye, USN, into the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, Priory of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. They, along with the other members, are the Modern Knights of the Templar, an ecumenical Christian and chivalric charitable order, which has a mission of protecting Christians at risk (particularly in the Holy Land) and keeping the road to Jerusalem open to all people. In so doing, they seek to emulate the chivalric and charity traditions of the original Templars.
After the investiture, the Order’s principals headed to the Southern Yacht Club for the Celebration Banquet. Red and white roses bedecked the tables, where guests sat to enjoy a dinner of turtle soup, a fresh garden salad, filet mignon or trout Oscar, and cup custard. The above Marcel de Picciotto and Thomas Marshall addressed the assembly, as did Bernard Baisier, who talked about the past and the upcoming annual pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Turning an attentive ear (and answering to titles within the Order) were Stacy Auzenne, Georgia D. Baisier, Samuel Carriere, Joseph and Gloria Darlak, Marilyn Geery, Louis R. Koerner, Patricia and Warren Marse, the Rev. Herbert May, the Rev. John-Benedict McDonald, the Rev. Jean Meade, Hugh Robertson, Edward Runci, Michael and Laura Schenk, Ann Toohey, Roger and Donna Villere, Beth and Reggie Zeringue, and banquet organizer Alan Sheen with Joan. All, Knights of today.
n Lake Vista’s Diamond Salute
The Lake Vista Property Owners Association celebrated the 75th anniversary of Lake Vista with a dinner at the Blue Crab, where everyone enjoyed salad, seafood pasta, jambalaya and po-boys. They also recalled the history of the area, which was created in 1939 on land developed north of the lakefront’s historic edge. To commemorate the occasion, there were the for-sale, custom-designed plates featuring a map of the area, as well as neighborhood and 75th anniversary T-shirts, both designed by Lake Vista resident and graphic designer Paul Caboche.
Additional features of the festivity included music by D.J. Brett Bonin; table centerpieces of handcrafted vases with flowers by Xiomara Brewster and Kimberly Zibilich; and views of Lake Pontchartrain and the levee.
Headlining the fun were Lake Vista Property Owners Association President Lynn Long and Tom; officers Steve Villavaso with Gina, Matthew Sherman, Jennifer Warden Herbert with A.J., and Stephanie Hilferty with husband Mike Lillis; and at-large board members Bill Edelman, Bob Romero, and Mike Moffitt with Madelene, Nicole, and Brenda.
Noted, too, within the “diamond” dozens were Dominique and Cyril Laan, the above Paul Caboche and Steve Wolf, Kimberly and Keith Zibilich, Gloria and Mark Moore, Charlotte Rivet and Bernard Slutsky, state Rep. Nick and Michelle Lorusso, Charlene and Jay Baudier, Laura and Allan Carman, Jackie and Bruce Shreves, and Lake Vista Garden Club President Yvonne and Jimmy McCulla.
Duly proud of their area, Association President Lynn Long said with a smile, “Besides Uptown, it’s the most beautiful neighborhood in the city.”