New Members’ Merriment
A two-tiered black stage with a royal blue backdrop contrasted with the pristine white of the ballgowns of the new members of the Debutante Club of New Orleans when they were presented at the New Orleans Country Club. Each debutante was escorted by her father, as was the Debutante Club President Eleanor Reid Bergin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hart Bergin. A debutante last year, Reid also reigned as queen of the Atlanteans. When she arrived as the last one presented, she curtsied, cuing the new members for a group curtsy.
Limelight befell Misses Catherine Crawford Adams, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Roland Adams III and stepdaughter and daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joshua Edward Lowentritt; Sarah Kent Agnew, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank de la Houssaye Agnew; Patricia McCarthy Beron (who answers to Scout), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edouard Beron; Grace Catherine Mallette Cary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Rives Cary III; Jordan Elizabeth Devlin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Sutton Devlin; Margaret Coco Ellis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Conner Ellis III; Courtney Cooke Geary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Cooke Geary; Ellen Durel George, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Nicholas George III; Elizabeth Ashland Hines, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Hugh Hines; Katherine Renee Hodges, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Hodges Jr.; Isabel Nott Jackson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Harris Jackson; and Sage Lyons Laborde, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Peter Laborde Jr. and daughter of Ms. Pia Lyons Laborde. Each one processed to the music of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra and to a special chosen tune.
The next to appear were Misses Charlotte Lane Langenstein, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Langenstein III; Rebecca Buckley Lapeyre, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Charles Lapeyre; Karoline Havens Mallette Patrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Joseph Patrick; Marylynn Beatrice Smitherman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rogerson Smitherman; Nicole Elizabeth Weinmann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert St. George Tucker Weinmann; Maia Margaret Weston, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert DeWitt Weston; Leah Katherine Whann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Whann IV; and Catherine Turner Worley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bruce Worley Jr.
New members, who were unable to be present because of their studies in distant locations, were debutantes Evelyn Burkenroad Bories, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Alan Bories; Glenny Ann Brown, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Lafayette Brown III; Eleanor Brennan Davis, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. William Edward Davis III; and Caroline Grace Geary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Covert James Geary.
Among the many features of the delightful evening were the above-mentioned staging, which was embellished with several large planters containing colorful flowers and topiaries, and centered with the ornate Debutante Club crest; the debutantes’ bouquets of pink flowers (which found a chromatic echo in President Reid’s silk taffeta gown); table centerpieces of beribboned ivy topiaries; and the hearty breakfast fare.
After the presentation, general milling ensued, as did conversation about deb forbears. Several of the presentees — Glenny, Isabel and Laney (Charlotte Lane) — had mothers who are members of the Debutante Club, and as such were presented years ago. In addition, Sarah, Glenny, Jordan, Katherine Hodges, Laney, and Katie Whann all had grandmothers who were presented. Two of the grandmothers, Mrs. William Henry Hodges and Mrs. Robert James Whann III, attended, observing their granddaughters with great pride.
Unique to the evening was a great-grandmother, Edna (Mrs. Edwin T. II) Colton, who particularly applauded Courtney Geary.
With subtle efficiency, the ballroom for the presentation became a dance floor, thanks to the country club’s staff, who removed the chairs. The call to the floor was readily heeded and joyful dancing became the order of the elegant evening.
At the Metairie Country Club, the Society of the Founders of the City of New Orleans presented its lovely lasses, whose ancestors, as implied by the society’s name, were early Orleanians.
Those ready for a curtsy were Misses Madison Paige Delery, daughter of Mr. James Stewart Delery and the late Mrs. Samantha Ohmdahl Delery, granddaughter of Mr. Lucien Carlisle Delery Jr., and descended from Joseph Chauvin Delery; Jeanne Marie Farnet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andre John Farnet Sr., granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marcel Joseph Farnet Jr., and descended from Jean Baptiste Destrahan de Tour; and Kaitlyn Rochelle Renegar, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Richard Renegar, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Gros Jr., and descended from Gaspard Toups.
The latter two young ladies were escorted by their grandfathers, while Mr. James Stewart Delery escorted his daughter.
Among the dignitaries were ball Chairwoman and former society President Marie Soniat McKay, who welcomed guests along with her husband, Judge James McKay III, and Leda (Mrs. Henry) Sobon, the mistress of ceremonies. She read the genealogy of each presentee at the time of her appearance and then introduced the society’s president, Mr. John T. Olivier, who, earlier in the evening, led a champagne toast to the limelighted trio. He was accompanied by his wife, Terry.
Les Deux Soeurs did the flowers, including the centerpieces of white hydrangeas and white roses, as well as the presentees’ nosegays. A further accessory was the yellow-ribboned pendant with the organization’s crest that was given to each young lady and worn throughout the evening.
Noted were Jeanne Marie’s grandmother, Mrs. Claytus J. Plaisance Jr., along with a host of Farnet family members, who filled up three tables. Delerys included Joyce, Mr. and Mrs. Barry Delery, and Mr. and Mrs. Carroll J. Delery. Others among the dozens present were Angelle Baudier, Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Reuter, Paula and Ray Rabalais, and Suzie and Marvin Russell.
When it was time to enjoy a meal, they sat for turtle soup, grillades and grits, and eggs Sardou.
Post-prandial movement was orchestrated, once again, by the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, whose merry music transcended generations.