Nell Nolan: Fraternizing through the ages

The Beggars Fraternity at Loyola University hailed a four-score-plus-10 birthday; the Louisiana Supreme Court housed and hosted the National Association of Women Judges for the 35th annual conference; and the Lambeth House Foundation presented newly minted merriment: “A New Star on Broadway.”

Ask and You Shall Receive Revels

“It was great seeing generations of Beggars coming to gather for camaraderie,” said fraternity historian Michael L. Shea about the recent bash at the Southern Yacht Club. It was formatted as a cocktail reception and dance featuring Deacon John and the Ivories to celebrate the fraternity’s 90th anniversary. Welcome to the nonagenarian ranks!

Turning back the pages of history (before the party present), the organization was founded at Loyola University in 1923 after a Jesuit traveled to Rome to ask permission of the pope. He consented to the formation of a social fraternity, the initial one at any Jesuit university. The Beggars claim a uniqueness: there is only one chapter and it’s at Loyola.

Within the well-over 200 people at the anniversary ado were Jude and Jaime Trahant, David and Marianna Trepagnier, Robert Sabrio, John and Mary Glas, Arthur and Lynn Mann, Philip and Ashley Reso, Renny Simno, Alex Failla, James and Cheryl Grevemberg, John and Sharon Laborde, and Bob Thomas, the moderator from Loyola.

Dozens more made social rounds at the Yacht Club, where Whimsy did the decorations and Chez Ru Rene Bakery, the specialty cake. Lots of the talk was about good times on campus and the fraternity’s contributions, namely the flag pole in front of Biever Hall, the stained glass window in the impressive Marquette Hall, the school’s newspaper and the Student Government Association.

The men also have a tradition of service to the campus and the community. Members and alums feel a commitment.

Bash attendees also felt a commitment to the dance floor and the sounds of Deacon John, which have nurtured them socially for decades. The fun then became the beat and the Beggars.

Good Judge-ment

The always-fun theme of Mardi Gras prevailed at the reception for the National Association of Women Judges during its recent conference. Approximately 300 attendees rubbed shoulders, including Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson (joined by daughter Rachael Johnson) and 40th Judicial Court Judge Mary Hotard Becnel, who co-chaired the conference. They were particularly thanked by retired immigration Judge Joan Churchill, the NAWJ president, as were the Conference Planning Committee and the Louisiana Supreme Court.

According to a conference principal, “The Louisiana Supreme Court Reception was a perfect New Orleans welcome for the members and an exciting kick-off of the conference’s social events.” Contributing to the overall look and excitement were: the Carnival motif, New Orleans Catering, with such gustatory treats as gumbo, blackened redfish, Bananas Foster; thematic purple and gold linens placed on café tables lining the courthouse hallway; the décor, by Accents on Arrangements, of two giant masks flanking the courthouse lobby and Mardi Gras bunting; and Mona’s Accents flowers done as centerpieces of yellow Peruvian lilies accented with purple rain flower stalks and a mask. Singer Nayo Jones regaled the assembly with a musical buffet of classics, jazz and R&B.

The who’s who in the limelight included Louisiana Supreme Court Justices Jeannette Theriot Knoll and Jefferson D. Hughes III; Judges Michael Bagneris with spouse Madeline, Phyllis Montgomery Keaty, Rosemary Ledet, Joy Lobrano, Laurie White, Ethel Simms Julien, Tiffany Chase, Bernadette D’Souza, and June Berry Darensburg; Dr Corey and Alanah Hebert, Larry and Evelyn Odoms, Valerie Willard, and Laverne Tropez. Among the legion of lawyers were James Williams, Kim Boyle, and the above Rachael Johnson.

Sidereal Socializing

According to Courtney Perschall Nalty, of the Lambeth House foundation, of Lambeth House, which is located on Broadway Uptown, “The gala, ‘A New Star on Broadway,’ was slated to take place in the new Wellness Center and we thought it would be fun to play on our usual ‘On Broadway’ theme by featuring this new building.”

Scores of supporters responded to the catchy, colorful invitation by Tim Trapolin, a party attendee, which announced the event’s chairmen: Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Heaviside, Mr. and Mrs. David Pointer and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Pointer. More informally, and respectively, they are known as Anne and Jeffrey, Carol and David, and Marilyn and Ed and are the children and in-laws of Lambeth resident Helen “Pudney” (Mrs. David Jr.) Pointer, who happens to love and support theatrical activity.

The bash was dedicated to the memory of her late husband, Bud.

The decorations were influenced by the 1920s with its flappers and “Great Gatsby” imprint. Red and gold fringe and stars of those colors, along with centerpieces of vases of daisies with greenery and gold stars “shooting” out of them, perfected the retro look.

To feed the flock, Lambeth House chef John Joffe and food and beverage director Stefanie Hosek served up fine fare.

The musical menu came from The Last Straws, who’ve been a favorite combo for well over half a century.

Co-starring as committee members were Lisa (Mrs. Douglas) Mills, Jeanie (Mrs. Claiborne) Perrilliat, Elizabeth (Mrs. Michael) Smither, Melissa (Mrs. Alfred) Rufty, and Caro (Mrs. William) Gardner.

They made rounds with Lambeth CEO Scott Crabtree and Tammy, Lambeth House Inc. board President Hardy Fowler (a former Rex) and Ellie, foundation board Chairwoman Ellinor Howard with Doug, Eugenie Lyman, Marion and Lee Eagan, Janice Parmelee and Bill Hammack, a mom-daughter duo in Joan and Alice Parkerson, George and Sarah Young, Pat and Lee Mason, Peggy Laborde, Wendy and Ace LeGardeur, Don Beery, Susan Tyler, Mac and Ellen Ball, Shameen and Bush Wrighton, and Carolyn and Gary Lorio.

Seating was outside in the front plaza, inside the lobby and through the new café, with all of the first floor open for people to view the new Wellness Center and Natatorium. The outside lighting by Air Effects played up the “New Star” theme.

A large ball and cubes lighted up the gardens, illuminated stars hung from the balcony, and a huge moon-like globe graced the plaza area.

Of course, there was the requisite sky-tracker to spotlight the new Broadway arrival.