Greek Gallivanting

“A” for accolades, as well as the first initials of two elegant and joyful masked balls, Achaeans and Athenians, set an alphabetic tone for pleasures that ran the gamut. Each Greek-based bal masqué featured a debutante queen, Miss Megan Lane Feringa and Miss Bailey Elizabeth Batt, who followed in the royal footsteps of Misses Emily Dickson Ellis and Erin Curry Reily, both answering to names that start with “E.” For the 2018 monarchs, whose respective parents are Dr. and Mrs. Peter Anthony Feringa III and Mr. and Mrs. John August Batt Jr., applause resounded.

“Orion” Awe

Turning to the firmament, “a hunter with his spear held high” forms a beloved constellation. Orion, born “from a buried bull and a lump of sand,” became a skillful and renowned hunter in the myths of the Greeks. To honor him, Zeus sent him to “sit among the stars.”

Within Carnival constellations, Miss Megan Lane Feringa will enjoy a place for eons as the radiant Achaeans queen at the ball titled “Orion and his Golden Bow” and held in the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. Maids to her majesty were Misses Bailey Elizabeth Batt (who reigned the next night at Athenians), Madeleine Anne Bienvenu, Ellen Ashley Feringa (twin sister of queen Megan), Ann Gordon Finney, Elle Alexandra Lovick and Elle Colton McLeod, the 2018 Nereus queen. During the past 10 years, and reigning under the following names, were Elaine Saussy Stewart (2008), Kathryn Lane Scanlon, Kristen Cromwell Brennan, Caroline Friedrichs Ham, Nancy Jane Worley, Leighton Freret Bell, Jennifer Leigh St. Paul, Courtney Cooke Geary, Genevieve Marie Bienvenu and Emily Dickson Ellis.

Mr. William Lomax Treadway III was the recent ball’s general chairman with assistance from Messrs. Cyril Paul Geary III and Thomas Dugan Westfeldt II, Rex in 2009 (whose queen was Miss Amelie Brown).

In prominent box seats were royal mother Mrs. Peter A. Feringa III, wearing an Yvonne LaFleur sapphire velvet gown, grandmother Mrs. Feringa Jr. (a former queen as Miss Barbara Linda Kostmayer in 1960), Ms. Connie Garbo, and Mmes. Jim Garbo, Pope McLean, Barbara McLean, James H. Kostmayer Jr., Lawrence Peterson, Hunter N. Charbonnet, Lawrence Noel Johnson., Lawrence Noel Johnson Jr., Christopher Bruce Barkerding, Robert Bruce Barkerding, Mark Douglas Talbot, Matthew Stedman and Miss Emily Baldwin Johnson.

Also, Mmes. Bryan Westfeldt Fitzpatrick, Gustave Fitzpatrick, Joseph Mann Jr., J. Baldwin Montgomery, Thomas E. Beron, David G. Bailey and Robert H. Saer. They applauded the music of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra as they stepped out to dance on the floor canvassed with the new Achaeans signet in the center. Many wore the ball favor of a gilded drawn bow in alignment with the theme, “Orion and his Golden Bow.” Coincidentally, queen Megan is also an avid bow hunter.

All admired the 20l8 monarch and her stunning dress. She approached Royal Design House with a special request: to use the gown of her great-grandmother, Barbara Bouden, consort to Rex Garner H. Tullis in 1935, as the inspiration. After examining photos and the actual gown in the Louisiana State Museum’s collection, Royal Design House designed and created a white satin gown, beautifully embellished, to mimic the fitted, trumpet shape of the original one. It was accessorized by the organization’s crown, scepter, mantle and Medici collar.

Queen Megan’s court-maid sister, Ellen, wore a gown reimagined by Royal Design House that used the skirt from one of their grandmother’s debutante gowns with a new bodice of tulle net.

A lively Queen’s Supper followed with, as decorations, thematic antlers, earth-tone roses, pheasant fathers, lotus pods and wild foliage. Margaret Ludwig of Giverny Designs did the floral arrangements and Liquid Blue from San Diego, the musical ones. Dancing was joyous, as were the sentiments of the Achaeans king and the radiant Megan.

“A Midnight Raid”

Recalling recent activity in New Orleans, the Krewe of Athenians called on their namesake, goddess Athena, to recover valuable objects of history. The gala bal masque unfolded at the Orpheum Theater.

In the annals of the krewe, the name of Miss Bailey Elizabeth Batt will go down as their monarchal cynosure for 2018. She was gowned in a trumpet-style creation by Suzanne St. Paul that paid homage to the Athenians flower, the iris. Diamond white silk satin was layered with silver metallic tulle and 3-D iris appliques of pearls, bugle beads and Swarovski crystals added radiance. So did the Medici collar, mantle and scepter of the organization. A glittering crown attested to majesty.

Ladies of the court were Misses Karin Bellingrath Chappelle, Emily Elizabeth Frischhertz, Elizabeth Allen Texada Hotard, Sophia Jane Hotard, Elle Alexandra Lovick, Helen Claire Marsh, Anna Elizabeth Michiels, Allison Riegel Woolverton, Madeleine Marie Woolverton and Michelle Marie Yacoubian. As pages, the names to know were Masters William Taylor Hall, Thomas Jennings Hotard, William Mitchell Long and Jacob Martin Trask. Eight young ladies were princesses: Misses Lydia Leontine Anderson, Lucille Marie Dansereau, Catherine Elise Griffith, Elizabeth Claire Guy, Courtney Anne Habetz, Olivia Andree Hainkel, Emerson Burke Keen and Samantha Hanlon Midkiff.

Mr. Donald O. Collins was the general chairman of the ball; Messrs Hilton S. Bell, Henry C. Schonberg and James T. Inscoe, committee chairmen; and Messrs. Dwight L. Acomb, William Ryan Acomb, Richard K. Blum, Alan G. Brackett, Oliver S. Delery Jr., Karl E. Hoefer, John O. Humphreys III, B.R.H. Jacobs, Arthur S. Mann III and Richard M. Smallpage, the vice chairmen. All applauded both king and queen.

Mrs. John August Batt Jr., Andree, chose a column dress by KVH Designs of palest blue silk satin. Seated with her were daughter Miss Kelly Manning Batt, Ms. Dorothy Margaret Clyne and Mmes. Joshua Grayson Geraghty Mellon, Martin Duralde Claiborne III, George Ellsworth Brower II, John Fenner French, Douglas Lewis Kohnke, Evans Martin McLeod, Walter Francis Becker Jr., and William Conner Ellis III.

Chetta B was the designer chosen by Mrs. Edwin A. Ellinghausen III, a gold gown with lace embroidery and a jeweled band. Seated with her were Misses Elizabeth Brooks Ellinghausen and Caroline Jacobs, along with Mmes. F. Clegg Strong, William Ryan Acomb, Karl Hoefer, Michael Ecuyer, Joseph Thornhill and Glenn Adams.

Spotted nearby were Ms. Yvette Monju, Ms. Beth Schmidt Taylor, and Mmes. Donald O. Collins, Henry C. Schonberg, Robert C. Hassinger, Justin B. Schmidt, Stephen H. Schonberg, Ralph G. Breaux, Gavin H. Guillot, Donald P. Bennett and Robert Miner, the 2004 queen as Lydia Jameson Toso. And the returning queen, Miss Erin Curry Reily of 2017, with her mother Mrs. James H. Reily. Other former monarchs in attendance, who gathered on the eve of the ball at the past Queens’ Luncheon at Commander’s Palace, remarked how much fun they had. Her majesty of 1982, Joyce Delery, organized the midday merriment that included the 50-year monarch, Ms. Sandra Evelyn Salmen.

Music during the glorious Athenians gallivanting – preceded by a queen’s reception for the court and close friends in the handsome Batt home – came from the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra at the ball and the Boogiemen at the supper at the New Orleans Country Club, where his majesty was roundly congratulated. When asked, prior to the ball, what would be her anticipated happiest moment, queen Bailey said, “My uncle (Bryan Batt) following me.” She added, with a twinkle, “and seeing all my friends and family as I arrive on the floor.”