Hailing History and Hawaii
Le Moyne de Bienville Club cordially invited a host of guests to attend The President’s Ball and Presentation at the New Orleans Country Club. “Costume de rigueur,” which meant “white tie and tails” for the men and long, floor-length evening gowns for the women, was the required attire.
As the city approaches the start of the Tricentennial celebrations, a page turned back in history books reveals that it was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, whose name was used in 1964 to form The Bienville Club. Fellowship and camaraderie as well as the opportunity “to lunch with friends in a formal atmosphere in elegant clubrooms” was a goal of the new organization, which also has strong ties to a Carnival krewe.
At the recent presentation, the 51st Bienville Club President, Mr. Alan J. Yacoubian, welcomed all members and guests to the annual President’s Ball. Mr. Stephen H. Schonberg preceded him as club president.
The first young lady to curtsy before the comely assembly was Miss Renee Elizabeth Breaux, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Gerard Breaux. Then came Misses Lilyon Cooper Conroy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Kenneth Conroy; Kaitlin Monica Daly, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael McNellis Daly; and Elizabeth Patricia Gainey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Douglas Gainey III, and granddaughter of Dr. Gary Jude Danos, who escorted her, and Mrs. Danos. Miss Gainey’s mother, Suzanne Danos Gainey, was presented in 1988.
And, Misses Lucy Claire Galloway, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Rudolph Galloway; Isabella Leigh Hotard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Sidney Hotard Jr., and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hotard; Patricia Claire Moreau, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Anthony Moreau and daughter of Ms. Patricia Hotard Moreau, and granddaughter of the above Mr. and Mrs. Hotard; Scarlett Molly O’Brien, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Patrick O’Brien Jr.; and Helena Grace Stanley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Stanley. With one exception, Miss Gainey, they were escorted by their fathers.
Yet another connection within the club was that of Miss Breaux. She is the granddaughter of a past club president, Mr. Henry C. Schonberg, who presided from 1984-85, and niece of the aforementioned Stephen H. Schonberg, the immediate past president.
After all the formalities, everyone was invited by the “President and his Committee ... to have a grand evening and enjoy the hospitality of the Bienville Club.” And they did.
The gorgeously Noel-decorated Metairie Country Club was the site for the night when The Society of the Founders of the City of New Orleans held its annual presentation. Mr. John Grout, who often answers to “the honorable,” assumed the role of master of ceremonies. He welcomed guests and then introduced board member Lynda Moreau, who sang the national anthem. His next introduction as that of Founders’ President Bryan Reuter, who was accompanied by his wife, Donna. Ms. Joyce M. Delery is the immediate past president. The late Dr. Lucien C. Delery was the society’s first president from 1963-65.
After a round of socializing, it was time for the presentation, which had musical accompaniment by the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra.
The four young ladies who caught the limelight were led off by Miss Katherine Elizabeth Page Curtis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Edward Curtis, and descended from Sieur Jean Baptiste Durel II. Her grandfather, Mr. Joseph Young, escorted her as they processed to the song, “Fly Me to the Moon.”
The following threesome had their fathers as escorts. To the tune of “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” Miss Caroline Loftin Martin advanced. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Loftin Martin, granddaughter of Dr. Paul Mire Melancon Sr., and descended from Pierre Francois Olivier de Vezin.
Then came Miss Courtlyn Marie Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Denis Moore, granddaughter of Mrs. Leda Moore Sobon, and descended from Joseph Roy Sieur de Villere. Her song was “Beyond the Sea (La Mer).” Miss Stephanie Elaine Rehkopf was the last presentee. She is the daughter of Mr. Ward Stephen Rehkopf and Ms. Cheryl Lynn Kirby and descended from Sieur Jacques Facende. The jaunty, “I’ve Got Rhythm” was her musical accompaniment. “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” another song with a delightful bounce, assembled the young ladies and their escorts for a turn on the dance floor.
Among those applauding the radiant foursome were Founders’ Treasurer Mimi Lebeuf, genealogist Angelle Baudier, Alex Ducros, Kimberly Hollard, Leon Perret with Mrs. Sobon, Katherine Young and Raul Acuna, Celeste Rosamond, Shannon Walgamotte (with spouse Lynda Moreau), John Olivier and Terry Olivier, Cheryl Lynn Kirby, and Jacques and Sybil de la Vergne.
Hawaii beckoned thematically for the recent Aloha ASH bash of the Academy of the Sacred Heart. Tulane Health System and Whitney were the major sponsors of the two-fold activity that started with a patron party at the stunning home and pool area of alumna Ellen Heidingsfelder Manning and husband Cooper, which had exotic floral arrangements by The Plant Gallery, and then moved to the auction in the front courtyard of the school’s Rosary Campus. Food was provided by Dickie Brennan & Co.; music (at the school) by Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef; and “luau chic” was the dress code. Leis were uniformly sported.
Elizabeth Bush and Adele Ralston — joined by husbands Peyton and Graham — were the event co-chairwomen, while Sister Melanie Guste, RSCJ, enjoyed “honorary” status. The Aloha committee ran an alphabetical gamut from A (Erin Alford) to Z (Victoria Zangara).
Notables were board Chairman Neal Kling and Suzanne, who were the top bidders for an autographed Manning (Archie, Cooper, Peyton and Eli) football, one of the two live auction items at the Manning-hosted patron party, where Mitch Rencher and Tropic Flyer set the musical beat. Also, Dr. William and Mary Lynn Lunn, Liz and Dr. Henry Hefler, Dr. Robert Camenzuli and Dana, Michele and Sean Ezell, Hilary and Paul Varisco, Tesa and Kenny Bossetta, Whitney and Michael Guarisco, Celeste and Joe Lopez, and Caroline and Stephen Parrish. The party pack numbered about 350.
Among the features of “Aloha ASH Auction” were Hawaiian-themed cuisine, Bacardi libations, a silent auction, raffles of 20 items, and, in the live auction of eight items, a luau party for 20 people with Sacred Heart parent chef Justin Devillier (La Petite Grocery and Balise). The above Variscos, the top bidders, will have a merry meal.
The beauty of the premises was enhanced with the decorations. Several tiki bars under bamboo-strung lights, and tables accented with colorful floral cloths, as well as tropical leaves and candles, made Hawaii a fantasy happening.