MERCER – They were too late to be “blue stockings” and too early to be “women’s lib’” back in 1917 when a group of local women organized the Mercer Shakespeare Club.
Their goals were to pursue the study of literature and promote friendship.
On Tuesday, June 13, the current members and their guests celebrated the club’s centennial year with a tea at DJ’s Greenhouse in Delaware Township. The club celebrated the women who came before by wearing clothes that depict each decade of the club.
In the early years, meetings actually centered on the works of William Shakespeare with members responding to roll call with quotes from the Bard. Occasionally the members would perform one of Shakespeare’s plays, often using the spacious front porches of the Mercer residences as a stage.
Although the practice of donning hats and gloves for meetings has gone by the wayside, many of the club’s original traditions are still observed. Meetings are still held in the members’ homes and Roberts Rules of Order govern the monthly business meetings. The constitution still continues to be the basis for resolving any issues that arise.
As the years passed, the club’s focus has moved to a more general study of literature and poetry with a program committee setting the theme for the year and assigning a presenter to review each selection and lead the discussion. To mark the centennial, the club reviewed a book from each decade of the club’s existence.
Today, there are 21 members of the club with several having been active for 20 years or more. Dorothy Wester of Mercer was recently honored for 50 years of membership. Over the years, many mothers, daughters and daughters-in-law have been members at the same time.
Current officers include Christy Hunter Hall, president; Barbara Long, vice president and…