The Bachelors’ Silver Salute

For the Thanksgiving Eve presentation in the Hilton Riverside, the Bachelors’ Club of New Orleans had another festive fillip: a 75th anniversary celebration. Since the club’s first debutante presentation in 1939 in the Hunt Room of the erstwhile St. Charles Hotel, there has been a presentation every year except during World War II.

An earlier 75th salute occurred at a cocktail reception in The Columns Hotel, where members, past and present, gathered. The club’s first president was Mr. James E. Gavin, for 1939-40, and his 2013-14 successor is Mr. Harlan Michael Schwartz. Additional current officers are Messrs. Conor Thomas Lutkewitte, William Cooper Usry Johnston, Michael Anderson Birtel, Patrick Lightfoot Caliva, Kyle Joseph Lutkewitte, Paul Terrell Herring, and Henry Honore St. Paul IV. Former club President W. Howard Thompson (1975-77) served as the master of ceremonies at the recent presentation.

Before the young ladies made their appearance, there was a cocktail party in the hotel’s Versailles Room with music by The New Orleans Banjos + 2 and a toast to the debutantes and their parents.

In the Grand Ballroom, the floral artistry of Steve Baker of Ambrose Garden was apparent in the table decorations of gilded branches in iridescent containers with ambient lighting, and the debs’ scepter nosegays of red roses. Paul Norman of Thibodaux Flowers did the staging using draperies of the club colors of red and gold with a crossed American flag and the flag of the city of New Orleans. Above the entrance to the ballroom, the Bachelors’ Club crest was displayed. As mementos, the escorts presented India Stewart-designed pins of the crest to the debutantes during the cocktail reception to wear throughout the evening.

Once the formalities started, the Marine Corps Band New Orleans regaled the assembly. Then the processing started, led off by Miss Claire Marie Clay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George William Clay and escorted by Conway Charles Marshall. The additional debutantes, as well as their parents and club escorts, were Misses Catherine Clare ConwillMr. and Mrs. Daniel Oza Conwill IV, and the above Mr. St. Paul IV; Ellen Claverie CurryMr. and Mrs. Guy Christopher Curry, and Kenneth James Taylor; Lane-Larkin DavisMr. and Mrs. Glenn Paul Davis, and Patrick Albert Talley III; Caroline Elizabeth DrennanMs. Claudia Carrere (her mother) and Mr. and Mrs. Wallace C. Drennan III, and John Caire Wegmann; Morgan Hollins HeuerMr. and Mrs. Charles Edwin Foster Heuer, and Wayne Jacob Gardner; Hailey Burke HouseyMr. and Mrs. Daniel Hoffman Housey, and Mr. Johnston; Isabel Starke IrvineMr. and Mrs. George Richardson Irvine III, and Mr. Caliva; and Abigail Augusta JonesMr. and Mrs. Harry Lee Jones III, and Robert Taylor Casey II.

And, Misses Emory Lafaye LopiccoloMr. and Mrs. Frank Joseph Lopiccolo III, and Dr. Michael Hughes Tufton; Sydney Alexandra LoweMr. and Mrs. Cyril Gros Lowe Jr., and Reginald Henry Smith III; Madison Mitchell Byers PrinceMr. and Mrs. Raymond Albert Prince, and Charles James Beuerman; Marylynn Beatrice SmithermanMr. and Mrs. John Rogerson Smitherman, and the above Conor Lutkewitte; Emily Elizabeth TastetMr. and Mrs. David Anthony Tastet (Mrs. Tastet uses Abbey A. Mack professionally), and Charles Felix Childress III; Olivia DiBelle ThomasMr. and Mrs. David S. Thomas Jr., and Paul Terrell Herring; and Katherine Larson Thompson. She’s the daughter of emcee Howard Thompson and Mrs. Sheryl Larson Thompson, and was escorted by her brother, Trevor William Thompson.

The final pair of presentees were Misses Nancy Marion Weinstock and Claire Michelle Zeringue, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew David Weinstock and of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne George Zeringue Jr. Their escorts were their respective brothers, Jake Joseph Weinstock and Wayne George Zeringue III.

The first dance, after all the young ladies on stage made a group curtsy, was “Domino” and reserved for the presentees and their escorts. The next one, “My Girl,” was for debs and dads.

Az Izz then revved up the decibels, which provided dancing delights for the debutantes, their escorts, club members and the gathered generations. With all the youthful vitality, 75 seemed ageless.

Le Moyne de Bienville Club

Double presentation pleasures were experienced by both the audience and the family at the President’s Ball & Presentation of Le Moyne de Bienville Club at the New Orleans Country Club when twins Misses Allison Riegel Woolverton and Madeleine Marie Woolverton were escorted, each in her turn, by their father, Mr. Gregory Dalton Woolverton. Smiles abounded.

All of the others were also on the escorting arms of their fathers.

The first to appear was Miss Bailey Elizbeth Batt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John August Batt Jr. Then came Misses Colette Elysse Crouere, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joffre John Crouere Jr. — her mother is Vanessa Prentice; Lauren Rebecca Hebert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Luc Kermit Hebert Jr.; Elizabeth Allen Texada Hotard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Arnold Hotard (and granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Sidney Hotard Sr.); Sophia Jane Hotard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Sidney Hotard Jr. (and granddaughter of the above senior James Sidney Hotards); Helen Claire Marsh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Patrick Marsh; and Anna Elizabeth Michiels, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nolan Michiels.

Also, Misses Camille Afton Runge, daughter of Mr. James Richard Runge and Dr. Janet Baulos Runge; Marjorie Ann Ryan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Patrick Ryan; the above Woolverton twins, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Dalton Woolverton (and granddaughters of Mr. and Mrs. Dalton L. Woolverton); and Michelle Marie Yacoubian, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alan John Yacoubian. A special song played by the band, Deacon John and the Ivories, accompanied each young lady.

All were honored to be presented at the 50th anniversary of the club, but not the 50th ball.

Additional features of the elegant evening were the private champagne toast in the country club’s Founder’s Room given by Bienville Club President Justin B. Schmidt; the presentation itself, followed by a father-daughter dance to “Thank Heaven for Little Girls”; the later “dinner” of breakfast fare; and the Glenda Ivy-curated flowers.

Among the many assembled were President Schmidt and spouse Mary, presentation Chairman Benjamin Janke with Elizabeth, Gavin and Jenny Guillot (baby Cullen remained at home), Henry Ogden, Robert and Jeanne Cradic, Charles “Chuck” Walsten and Yvette Monju, Semmes and Julie Hughs with daughter Catherine (a presentee at the 2013 ball), Henry and Pat Schonberg, the junior George Whites, and the Geary Masons.

General dancing was the order of not only the evening, but into the wee hours of the morning. And, looking around, the dance floor was packed.

Around and About

The Bachelors enjoyed their 75 years and the Bienville Club its 50th. But one birthday arrived at the centennial mark. That was the New Orleans Country Club, which several weeks ago celebrated 100 years with glorious gallivanting and a party to remember for the next centuries.