Ye Olde Philadelphia Club marks new year

From left, Robert Hopson, Adrienne Hopson, Everett Gillison, Marie Golson, Coralie Barksdale and Dr. Gregory Barksdale.—PHOTO/ROB GORGAS

Ye Olde Philadelphia Club hosted another fabulous event. The black tie cocktail reception and dinner dance topped off 2012 at the Springfield County Club in Springfield.

Preston Taylor, president of the club, which has an active roster of 60 members, extended a warm welcome to everyone. He reminded attendees how the affair had more than doubled in size since its early days and has grown to include 300 ladies and gentlemen.

Other current officers of Ye Olde Philadelphia Club are Michael LeVere, Robert Chapman, Byron Golson and William Burke Jr. Eugene Golson is the immediate past president.

Taylor gave kudos to the entertainment committee co-chaired by Jim Potts Jr. and Thomas Garrett. Other members of the entertainment committee who help to make the annual holiday party and other events throughout the year so successful are: Louis DeVaughn, Rob Gorgas, Artis Ray, Charles Manns and Charles Bush.

“As current president, I am proud of those members who work so hard to put these events together. Ye Olde Philadelphia Club affairs are becoming increasingly popular as time goes by,” Preston Taylor said. The club was founded in 1926 and continues to build upon its rich history.

A picture is worth a thousand words. I am especially grateful to Rob Gorgas for the wonderful photographs that he takes and shares as his beautiful wife Barbara waits patiently.

I also thank the club’s vice president, Michael LeVere and his gracious wife Hortense LeVere for having me as their guest.

Following an invocation by club member Jim Potts Jr. it was bon appétit. Great conversation and greeting old friends makes this affair so special.

Two outstanding individuals were honored during the evening. Ye Olde Philadelphia member, Frank Gilbert, was recognized for his outstanding years of service to the club. Gilbert is a lifetime, 40-year member and past president. He is married to Diane Gilbert.

Orien Reid Nix, who attended with her husband Charles Nix, was honored for her outstanding career as a consumer reporter in Philadelphia for 25 years. She is also a dedicated advocate for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Reid graciously accepted the honor and shared how she was moved to become actively involved with the Alzheimer’s Association when her mother was stricken with the disease. She has served as senior vice president for the organization.

Guests were also delighted to be introduced to Herbert Paul Douglas Jr. Douglas is America’s oldest living African-American Olympic Medalist. He represented the U.S. in the 1948 Olympics, winning the bronze medal for the long jump. Douglas, who will celebrate his 91st birthday in March 2013, and his wife Minerva Douglas are long time friends of Robert and Rose Chapman and were their guests.

Sandstorm provided a fantastic selection of live music with favorites by Maxwell, Luther Vandross, The Temptations and, of course, music for a spirited “Soul Train” line and “wobble.”

Club members are always distinguished by their regal medallions when they host black tie affairs. I noticed a special trend among the ladies. Many wore classic black, deep chocolate, burgundy and navy with lots and lots of glitter. Just a few of these stunning gowns were worn by Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes (escorted by Kenneth Topper), Hortense LeVere, Elaine Evans DeVaughn, Ann Hairston, (wife of former Philadelphia fire commissioner Harold Hairston) Linda Braxton (wife of past club president Judge John Braxton).

Among other beautiful people “Out & About” having great fun were: Bernard and Mila Chavis, Carlena Saunders and Barry Beckett, Roger Graham and Shawn Alexandra Graham, Meridel and Norm Petersen, Dr. Walter and Patricia Bantom, Bill and April Rawlings, Joyce Matthews and Joseph Watkins, Dr. Walter and Nicole Harris, Bobby and Marie Tillman, Jewell Mann Lassiter and Bob Kersey.

Best wishes to my sister, Marjorie Chew, who is celebrating her birthday. Happy birthday also to Margaret “Peggy” Enty and Ruth Garcia!

Have a fantastic week “Out & About!”

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