A roaring good time was had by all!
By Martina Matkovic
Entering the door of the Bates House in Setauket on Oct. 20th was like stepping back in time to the year 1929 and the era affectionately referred to as “The Roaring Twenties.” Before you could pass through the door, however, you had to say the secret password, a nod to the prohibition laws and “speakeasys” that marked the time. “Iris sent me” was chosen for its reference to the club’s official flower.
The occasion celebrated the 90th birthday of The Three Village Garden Club whose first meeting was documented by member Arlene Oliver as she assiduously combed through a treasure trove of archival material of the past 90 years. An “ahah” moment came with the discovery of the minutes of the very first meeting!
An octet of string musicians from Ward Melville High School offered a selection of lovely classical repertoire as guests “whet their whistles” with a signature cocktail called “Buck’s Fizz” and enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres as they made their way to a display of historic memorabilia and a printed timeline of the club’s 90 year history, complimented by events taking place simultaneously in the world.
Large, potted palms, reminiscent of the times, decorated the area and guests were able to pose for a photo in front of a large, wall-sized, authentic 1920’s mural of couples socializing outside of a speakeasy.
A veritable fashion parade of various styles of dress of the period was on display as women guests appeared in low-waisted dresses, Cloche style hats, feathered headpieces, strappy shoes, elbow-length gloves and pearls, pearls and more pearls.
As guests took their seats at beautifully set tables, each with a color-coordinated centerpiece of flowers designed by Pat Bany, and Elegant Eating catering a variety of light fare. Remarks were delivered by Kathy Walczak, chairperson of the event; current president, Karin Ryon, highlighting important events in the club’s history; and newly elected president of Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, our own Vikki Bellias.
While dessert of “Al Capone” cake was being served, guests enjoyed musical entertainment by The Algorhythms, a barbershop quartet who sang popular tunes of the day, followed by a demonstration of signature dances by Arthur Murray Dance Centers.
The celebration was a fine tribute to the members of a venerable organization who have served the community well in a variety of ways for ninety years. Carry on 3VGC!!
Martina Matkovic is a member of The Three Village Garden Club which welcomes new members. For more information, call 631-689-8484
All photos by Lynette Zappulla