History to the Festive Fore
The Grand Military Victory Ball of The Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Louisiana took place at the Metairie Country Club on a recent Friday evening to commemorate the Battle of New Orleans.
Three members of the society portrayed important historical figures. They were President Edward Overton Cailleteau, who with Mrs. Cailleteau, were General and Mrs. Andrew Jackson; Ronald J. Drez and Mrs. Drez, Governor and Mrs. William C.C. Claiborne; and Victory Ball General Chairman Shannon R. Walgamotte, Mayor Nicholas Girod.
Col. John Bettes Dunlap III, LAANG, served as the grand marshal and the master of ceremonies; Raphael J. Rabalais Jr., the vice marshal; Lynda Moreau Walgamotte, the ball matron and singer of “The Star-Spangled Banner”; and Rushton Garic Barrosse, Marvin R. J. Russell, Dr. Gresham Talmadge Farrar Jr. and retired LTC Lawrence Bres Eustis, USAAFR, the lieutenants. Answering to committeemen were Warren J. Milan Sr., Dr. Paul Mire Melancon, Roger F. Villere II, William Henson Moore III, Maunsel White, George A. Coiron III, William Allerton III, James D. Carriere, Mark Andrew Bickham, retired LCDR Michael Nolden Henderson, USNR, and retired Judge John Clifford Grout.
The ball was dedicated to the late Dalton J. Woolverton, past president, chancellor and genealogist, who, according to the Mr. Walgamotte, “gave so much of his time to the society.” Mrs. Woolverton, Marilyn, was in attendance and when she rose to be recognized, received a round of applause. As a tribute, the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra played a few bars of “Woolverton Mountain.”
And now for the demoiselles! Six young ladies were presented, starting with Miss Caroline Loftin Martin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Loftin Martin, and representing New Orleans. Past society President Dr. Melancon, her grandfather, escorted her. Years ago, Miss Martin’s mother was also presented as a demoiselle.
Representing Louisiana was Miss Shelby Lynn Villere, daughter of Mr. Roger Francis Villere III and Mrs. Deborah Alford Villere. She, too, was escorted by her grandfather, Mr. Villere II. Miss Katherine Elizabeth Page Curtis, Delaware, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Edward Curtis, was escorted by Mr. Bickham. Both her mother and aunt were demoiselles.
The next threesome were Misses Susan Caroline Toso, Pennsylvania, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brien J. Toso; Halle Grace Briede, Georgia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Francis Briede; and Stephanie Elaine Rehkopf, New Jersey, daughter of Mr. Ward Stephen Rehkopf and Ms. Cheryl Lynn Kirby. Their respective escorts, addressed as compatriots (as were the above), were Messrs. Michael J. Toso Jr., Russell, and John McNamara.
Among those applauding them were the aforementioned and their spouses, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Rene Navarre, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Poindexter, Mr. and Mrs. Russ Copping, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Jacks. He is the immediate past National President of the Society of the War of 1812.
Pacific pleasures were numerous, thanks to the seasonal decorations of the Metairie Country Club, the floral arrangements by Villere’s Florist, grits and grillades, and the Maxwell music making for both the presentation and into-the-night dancing.
“A Story of the Founding of New Orleans”
The tableau for the 93rd ball of the Children’s Carnival Club in the Sheraton Hotel turned the pages of history for the pageantry. Costumed to portray special characters, such as Iberville, Bienville, Napoleon, and nuns, were Cecelia Frances Zimmermann, Maria Hafsahl Karlsen, Annie Elise O’Carroll Giroir, Camille Rosalie Curran, Grant Martin Guidry, Thomas Edward Hulefeld and Charles Wilhelm Adriance.
Outfitted as royalty were King and Queen Once Upon a Time Evan Harriss Michell and Catherine Marie Zimmermann, whose parents are Mr. Patrick Bernard Michell and Ms. Ashley Louise Salmen, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Michael Zimmermann. The youthful queen wore a full-skirted, embellished ballgown by Ilaine Hartmann Couturiers of silk lace over silver silk chiffon. The same designer created the gown for the queen’s mother, while Ms. Salmen chose a lace sheath dress by Peony.
Reappearing in their finery of 2017 were their majesties Miles Salmen Michell and Kristina Schwing Bickham. Court members joined them.
The 2018 court included pages Mason Bradley Hayes, Jhett Michael Mitchell and Ethan Luke Oufnac; captains John Colby Shannon, Colleen Marion Lee Fowler, Anna Grace Heebe, Isabel Angelina Magnotta, Meghan Lynn Keen and Sarah Louise Heebe; and attendants Remy Elizabeth Wheeler, Gretchen Leona Schoenfeld, Sydney Lee Hall, Madeline Grace Jeansonne, Charlotte Spencer LaCour, Caroline Best LaCour, Emerson Burke Keen, Chloe Elise Shannon, Amelie Marie Sharp, Landry Claire Hayes and Kathryn Teresa Hulefeld.
Eight dukes and eight maids figured in the glorious spectacle. The former were Liam Alexander Oufnac, Jordan Connor Crouch, John Sawyer Adriance, Joseph Warren Zimmermann, Liam John Borne Curran, David Reymond Hulefeld, Ian Phillips Guidry and Reilly Charles Tafaro. The maids were Lillian Whitney Oufnac, Miranda Lisette May, Marguerite Ellen Thibeaux, Pila Antonia Magnotta, Cecile Valentine Borne Curran, Colette Elizabeth Shannon, Grace Francesca Lucia Guidry and Sarah May Bergeron.
A brace of debutantes of the season, Katherine Michelle Bickham, a former queen (and sister of the 2017 one), and Elizabeth Lucy Carter, were presented. Then came the above tableau and the Royal Entertainment by the New Orleans Youth Ballet of the Maria and Joseph Giacobbe School of Dance with Richard Rholden as the dance master
Successive presentations were the mayoral proclamation, the royal gift to St. Michael Special School (Mateo Palazzo Gibson) and the 50-year monarchs Frederick W.L. Gurtler and Mrs. William F. Borne (who reigned as Rosanne Mitchell). The grand march, court dance, krewe drill, royal greetings, dancing , and grand finale concluded the gallivanting that had as chairmen Alan Brackett (court), Dr. W. Kenneth Mann Jr. (ball) and Marvin Russell (floor). Assisting them were David Tastet, Eugene Gambel, William Beatty, Charles Childress Jr., Mark Bickham and Dr. David deGenova. The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra played.
Both 2018 majesties have extensive CCC connections. The king’s mother, Ashley, and grandmother, Antoinette Salmen, were queens in 1983 and 1957; his brother, Miles, held the scepter last year; and his great-grandfather, Raymond Harriss Salmen, was the organization’s first king in 1926. The queen’s older sister, Cecelia Zimmermann, wore the crown in 2015. She was noted in the queen’s box seats along with grandmothers Mmes. Joseph Warren Browning and Donald Jeff Zimmermann, and Mrs. Tracy Pouey (whose son, Trent, was king in 2010) and daughter Kristen Pouey.
Prior to the ball, Ashley and Antoinette Salmen and the Zimmermanns honored their 2018 royal children with a special toast. After the ball, their majesties, the court, families and guests moved to the Waterbury Ballroom for the gala reception. French patriotic colors on the tables, About to Snap photo booth by Andrea Ditcharro, Your Day Productions videography by Lavina Boxtock, Ann Cresson’s photography, and DJ Robbie Cox’s music were some of the attractions, as were tasty nibbles and a candy bar, and the opportunity to congratulate king Evan and queen Catherine.