Shakspere Society of Philadelphia
Maybe not the first, but the oldest Shakespeare club in America or possibly even the world, has kept minutes for over a hundred fifty years.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH ANNUAL DINNER OF THE SHAKSPERE SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA ON SHAKSPERE'S BIRTHDAY, APRIL 23,2001, AT BOLINGBROKE, RADNOR, PA.
Members present at the auspicious occasion of the sesquicentennial annual dinner of the Society: Ake, Baird, Bartlett, Binnion, Bornemann, Cheston, Cooke, Cramer, Di Stefano, Dobson, Dunn, Dupee, Ervin, Fallon, Fisher, Friedman, Frye, Green, Griffin, Hanna, Hopkinson, Horwitz, Ingersoll, O'Malley, Peck, Pickering, Rivinus, Schlarbaum, Scott, Wagner, Wheeler.
Dean Wagner, resplendent in his ceremonial chain of office, greeted a particularly festive and numerous gathering at this year's annual dinner to honor the Bard on his birthday: for the first time, the Society welcomed the spouses and partners of many of the members to the annual dinner. We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to the hosts of this splendid feast: Frank Baird, Peter Binnion, Gary Schlarbaum and Philip Wagner. Our brief formal proceedings before dinner began with a moment of sympathetic silence honoring the memory of Louisa Foulke, the recently deceased wife of 67 years of the much esteemed senior member of our Society, Bill Foulke. The Dean paid eloquent tribute to the retiring Vice Dean, our dear friend, Roland Frye, who has guided the members' after-dinner discussions of the Bard's plays with tact, patience, learning, and wit for many years. We welcome with enthusiasm our new Vice Dean, the erudite Robert Thomas Fallon, who so ably led our discussions during the past season. The other officers of the Society will continue to exercise their responsibilities next season: Dean Wagner, Secretary for Minutes Peck, Secretary for Meetings Di Stefano, Treasurer O' Malley, and Librarian Binnion. Business concluded with admirable efficiency, the feast began! The gentlemen's elegant but sober formal garb set off, by contrast, the beautiful and graceful attire of the ladies we welcomed enthusiastically to our midst on this gala occasion. In the midst of our sumptuous repast, the Dean led the assembled gathering in the traditional birthday dinner toast: "To William Shakspere!" Members' souvenirs of this memorable moment in our Society's history included not only the traditional menu of the feast, with appropriately witty quotations from this year's plays by Sweet William, but a special poster in living color memorializing our sesquicentennial gathering. Onwards and upwards! Per Aspera ad Astra! And still, he cried "Excelsior!"
Respectfully submitted, Robert G. Peck, Secretary for Minutes
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