The New Virginians is a woman's social club of over 400 members in the greater Richmond area. Married or single, we've recently arrived in Richmond from as near as suburban DC and as far as Singapore. We've had careers in business, education, interior design, sales, medicine and government, to name just a few, and we've created homes and raised families all over the world. As New Virginians, we enrich each others' lives with our varied interests, talents and experience.
The New Virginians started in the early 1970s as a Welcome Wagon Club. In April 1974 the club voted to change their name and drop their affiliation with Welcome Wagon. Several names for the club were considered and in May 1974 they voted to become the New Virginians.
Also in that year, a local journal described the club as an organization whose purpose is to help each member make new friends and to learn more about their new home city.
In early years, membership was limited to three years, but members wanted to stay longer and the time limitation was eventually dropped. Over the years, the membership has increased and members come from many parts of the city and surrounding areas.
Interest groups ebb and flow depending on current interest. Our interest groups reflect the many diverse tasks and talents of our membership.
Our 2015-15 speaker program began in July. Our speaker was Roxanne Gilmore former Virginia First Lady. She gave a wonderful presentation about the transformation of The Governor's Mansion.
At our September luncheon, our speaker was Donna Callery. While living in Singapore for 7 ½ years, Donna studied to be a docent. Afterwards she was asked by the Board of the Friends of the Museum to become part of the training team for the next year. Donna loved it so much that she stayed for five more years while working in three museums. Donna gave us a fascinating presentation on the Chinese practice of foot binding.
Our speaker at the October Luncheon was Jack Berry, the President and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. We all appreciate our city, but did you know that Richmond was on the American Express Insiders List of the 10 most popular American cities to visit? Mr. Berry gave a wonderful presentation on why our city made this list.
In November, Robin Gouckenour enlightened us on the history of olive oil and vinegar. She discussed the Mediterranean diet, grapeseed oils, vinegars and pairings.
Our December luncheon program was a performance by THE VIRGINIANS BARBERSHOP CHOIR. This men's group entertained us with uplifting and harmonious holiday music.
In January, our speaker was Brian Burns, nationally known author of LEWIS GINTER-RICHMOND'S GILDED AGE ICON. Mr. Burns gave a fascinating presentation on the hidden history of "Ginter the Man and Ginter the Legend".
Our February speaker was Nancy Hall owner of Winterbird Interiors. Her interior design business serves a wide circle of The Central Virginia Region, Tidewater, the Carolinas and The Eastern Shore.
Nancy spoke to us about the "how to's" of arranging wall art, designing with what you already own, decorating with color, and composing vignettes of personal items.
Our speaker in March was the one and only "GEORGE WASHINGTON". He was portrayed by renowned author William Clotsworthy. Bill spent 42 years in the advertising end of the television industry, where he worked with such icons as Groucho Marx, Johnny Carson, and Milton Berle. He also worked twelve years as a censor for "Saturday Night Live". Bill retired and began to travel to lecture and write. He is the author of several books describing and identifying sites commemorating American presidents. He spoke about George Washington in the West: Early Adventures beyond the Blue Ridge.
In April, we held our ANNUAL SPRING FASHION SHOW sponsored by Steinmart. This year's theme was PASTELS IN BLOOM. The beautiful fashions were modeled by our own members, with entertainment by pianist Fred Ostrow.
Our program in May featured JOHNNY PEYTON- STAGE HYPNOTIST.
Our speaker in June was David Coogan, Ph.D, associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. He spoke about his book "WRITING OUR WAY: MEMOIRS FROM JAIL". It is a compilation of stories and essays written by those individuals who are or have been incarcerated. Some of these authors were at the luncheon to personally tell their unique stories. A very compelling program.