Crowley Garden Club celebrates 60 years

Sixty years ago on January 27, 1948 Mrs. J. M. Martin of Lake Charles spoke to a assembled group of women about the organization of the Garden Club. She specified the aims, purposes and the meaning of having it federated.

On this Friday morning, the group of ladies that were gathered at City Hall elected the first officers of the club. Mrs. Albert Gueno was the first to be elected president of the club. Other titles elected were Mrs. A. M. Ferguson as first vice-president; Mrs. Bill Schendel, second vice-president; Mrs. J. A. Boggs, treasurer; Mrs. A. H. Barnes, secretary; and Mrs. Max Thomas, corresponding secretary.

It was also agreed by all that the meetings were to be held every second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.

A representative group of about fifty women attended this meeting with eighty names of prospective members on the list. The initial membership was limited to approximately seventy-five members.

The Club held their first flower show on April 10, 1948 under the direction of Mrs. George Samson.

There were about forty-five arrangements entered with just about every kind of flower imaginable. The flower shows were held in homes of the club members until the late 1980’s. Now days they are held in local businesses.

Over the years, members of the Garden Club have played a productive roll in the conservation of our cities historical trees and medians.

They fought to have our city labeled as a Tree City, meaning there are standards established to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program. Many of the old live oaks are still here today because of this program.

Among the many services contributed by the club are planting trees for Arbor Day including the crepe myrtles planted on the neutral grounds down Parkerson Avenue, preserving and landscaping the horse troughs at the courthouse, which was an ongoing project completed in 1999, sponsored the Cleanest City contest, worked with students from area schools, educating them on civic beautification projects and involving them in trash pick-up days.

They have worked to enroll four of South Crowley’s live oaks into the Live Oak Society group.

They are responsible for several memorial dedications throughout the city including a crepe myrtle planting on February 2, 1986 in memory of Virginia Christopher, a deceased member, the Blue Star Veteran’s Memorial Maker located at the city’s entrance from the interstate, among many more.

Also, with the help of Alice Foster, the wife of former Governor Mike Foster, they worked to beautify the city’s entrance by planting plants native to our environment.

For many years they have been awarding local residents with the Garden of the Month Award and local businesses with the Civic Beautification Award.

The residents of Crowley are lucky to have such an active Garden Club. Many thanks go out to these outstanding women.

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