April 2016 News!







March/April Woven Thoughts:

It has been a hectic several weeks/months.  The Golf Classic was a smashing success.  Thank you so much for all of you who organized, helped, played, and donated.

The 50th Anniversary Celebration was also a smashing success.  77 members and guests attended.  We ate, we drank, we talked, we danced.  It was fun.  Elaine Ko-Talmadge, the GFWC International Affiliates Chair from New York, her partner, Tony Jarosz, and Mary Kaye, the Assistant to Int’l. Affiliates Chair and Don Ernst from Wisconsin attended .

The Philanthropic Committee gave their report, and what a super report.  This year we are able to donate in excess of $30,000 to scholarships, summer camps, reef ball, prostate awareness, and HOBY.

Next seasons officers have been elected.  Yes, we are moving right along.

I know that many of you will be leaving, but May is such an exciting and invigorating dinner with all of our scholarship recipients, families, and friends attending. Note on your calendars that the meeting is May 2 (the 1st Monday in May).

See all of you on the 11th.  Warm weather is here: sun screen and hats. — Jo Morasco




14th March, 2016


President, Jo, asked Jaina Johnson to open the meeting with the reading of the collect. The Pledge was then recited. Guests were introduced, including speaker, Janet Albury Simpson, and Abbey Smith and Natalie Willis from NAGB, Nassau.
Minutes of the General Meeting held 8th February, were read by Paula Fingland as they had not been circulated. Joyce corrected the date that the Freeport branch of the American Women’s Club started 1966. Anne Bain proposed that the corrected Minutes be approved. This was seconded by Bev. Carried.

Philanthropic: Joyce reported the results of the committee’s review of 43 applicants and presented recommendations that the Golf Tournament profits of $26,202.05 be combined with reserve funds of $4,679.95 to award scholarships, community donations, and to send two students to the GFWC/HOBY Leadership seminar in 2017. These recommendations, proposed for adoption by Joyce, were seconded by Barbara and the motion was carried unanimously.

16 Scholarships @ $1300 each (11 renewals & 5 new)                                    $20,832

8 Community Awards @ $1000 each                                                                  $  8,000

Rand Nature Centre Camp, Salvation Army Camp, YMCW Summer Program, Sir Charles Hayward Children’s Library Summer Program, Humane Society of Grand Bahama summer Camp, GB District of Girl Guides, GB Sailing Club Summer Camp, Regency Theatre Summer Camp

The Paradise cove Reef Ball Project                                                                       $    250

US Too Prostate Cancer Awareness                                                                       $     300

GFWC/HOBY Leadership Seminar (2-10th grade students)                           $  1,500

Total                                                                           $30,882
Joyce thanked the members of the committee for their efforts this yea,r and Jo congratulated Joyce on an excellent job.

Golf Tournament – Norma thanked her committee for selling more raffle tickets than last year, and making this fundraiser the best yet, with a net of almost $27,000.

Slate of Officers – Barbara Harrington, Chair of the Nomination committee, presented the following slate of officers for 2016/2017, which was proposed for adoption by Bonnie Kruse and seconded by Madge Vining:
President – Christine Gardner
1st Vice-Pres. – Poppy Chitwood
2nd Vice-Pres. – Norma Liedel
Treasurer – Jackie Gray
Recording Secretary – Paula Fingland
Correspondence Secretary -Joy Larsen

Treasurer – Christine gave the month’s financial report and submitted a copy for filing.
Ron Majer proposed the Treasurer’s report be accepted and this was seconded by Joan.

PR – Katybel mentioned that the 50th Anniversary Party was a success, and 77 persons enjoyed both the meal and dancing to the fabulous music of The Apple Elliott Band.

April Program – Joy Larsen absent; for next month’s program Cheri Woods will speak on the Children’s Programs of the Bahamas Nat’l Trust.

Wands – Bev: 1444 children were screened this year with 150 identified for vision correction and 90 referred for further hearing assessment.

Program: Janet Albury Simpson of the Grand Bahama Museum gave a very interesting and informative slide show on the construction of the new  Museum at the Shannon Golf Course, which has been designed by Peter Barrett.

Other Business:

Next Executive Board Meeting is Monday, March 21 at Anne Bain’s house at 11 am.

Geneva Rutherford sent an invitation to an exhibition of Max Taylor and Amos Ferguson art at the library for one month from 15th March.

A certificate has been received from Elaine Ko-Talmadge and Mary Kay Ernst of the GFWC who attended last week’s 50th Anniversary celebration, and enjoyed themselves while in Freeport. Elaine also left a book for club members to read if they choose. The book was written by her late husband concerning children who came to the states as exchange students.
Gloria announced a performance of Canadian Rock Artist, Alan Doyle, at the Regency Theatre on March 24 in aid of youth scholarships.

Jo bid farewell to members leaving this month for the summer and adjourned the meeting at 1.45 pm.

Respectfully submitted by

Paula Fingland, Recording Secretary


Philanthropic Committee Report – March 14, 2016


The Philanthropic Committee met on February 23 and March 2, 2016 to review forty-three (43) scholarship applications and make scholarship and community award recommendations. The recommendations are as follows:


16 scholarships @ $1302 each (11 renewals & 5 new)     $20,832.00

8 community awards @ $1,000 each   8,000.00

Rand Nature Centre Camp

Salvation Army Camp

YMCA Summer Program

Sir Charles Hayward Children’s Library Summer Program

Humane Society of Grand Bahama Summer Camp

Grand Bahama District of Girl Guides

Grand Bahama Sailing Club Summer Camp

Regency Theatre Summer Camp


The Paradise Cove Reef Ball Project        250.00


US Too Prostate Cancer Awareness         300.00


GFWC/HOBY Leadership Seminar (2-10th grade students)      1,500.00

Total Disbursements   $30,882.00


These committee recommendations will be funded as follows:

13th Annual Golf Tournament Net Profit   $26,202.05

Transfer from Reserves       4,679.95

Total Revenue   $30,882.00

All recommendations were presented and approved at the March 14, 2016 general meeting. Presentations to scholarship and community organizations will be given at the May 2, 2016 dinner meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

2015-2016 Philanthropic Committee

Joyce Harrison, Chairman

Jaye Andrews

Ann Bain

Martha Cartwright

Christine Gardner

Bonnie Kruse

Jo Morasco





Christine Gardner, is an American, and a permanent resident of the Bahamas. She and her husband built their home in Freeport 13 years ago. They also have a residence in Florida but they spend most of their time here in Freeport. Her husband runs the local Men’s Golf Association. He is also an avid boater and scuba diver.

She was a past vice president of the Grand Bahama American Women’s Club and also Membership Chair. She is the 2015/16 Treasurer. She is a member of the Freeport Garden Club and serves as their hospitality chair and she is a member of the Canadian Women’s Club. She was on the Board of Directors of the Princess Isle Homeowners Association and served as their treasurer for 8 years. She has done extensive fund raising to benefit the children at the Columbus House for boys and girls. She recently was successful after 3 years of trying to establish a non-profit Bahamian Corporation in order to help these children. It is called “Friends of Columbus House” and she is one of the corporation’s 4 directors. She is on the YMCA Board of Directors. After failing to get community support to build the Women’s circuit room at the “Y”, she took it upon herself to direct the completion of this project that opened in November of 2014 for the women of Grand Bahama.

She is a retired executive from a international computer software company that specialized in automating companies in the direct marketing industry. She and her husband are private pilots and have their own airplane that makes it very convenient to help bring needed supplies to many charities here on Grand Bahama including Columbus House, the Humane Society, the Hampton Academy, and the YMCA. She enjoys time with her friends, trying to play golf, going to the book club meetings, being challenged by her garden, and learning new things on the computer. She especially enjoys visits from her family, including the seven grandchildren.



Poppy Chitwood, a native of South West Virginia and one-time farm girl, is a long-time resident of New York. She moved to Grand Bahama in 2014 with her two cats and husband Henry Smyth, an asset manager.

Poppy is the owner of Maypop Design, which creates and produces evening and wedding accessories. She also consults on event design.

A former reporter, editor and freelance writer, Poppy has also lived in Mexico, England, France and Peru, where she worked for CARE. While a Rotary Exchange student in Rio de Janeiro, she met her husband, then a private banker. She is an avid dancer, currently studying ballet and tap with Lois Seiler in Freeport (and misses ice skating rinks and listening to New York’s all-news radio stations and National Public Radio in the car!)



I was born in New Jersey. I Iived there for 35 years until my husband was transferred to Ohio. I have 4 adult children, 9 grandchildren. I currently live in Easley SC, and winter in Grand Bahama. I sold cars for 19 years, and then retired from Avis. I was the first woman President of a local international service club, Sertoma (service to mankind), and the first woman governor of the Ohio south central district of Sertoma. I’ve been coming to the Bahamas for 29 years!

(Norma served as 2nd Vice President in 2015-2016 and oversaw our annual major fundraiser, the Golf Classic tournament.)



Born in Nassau, Paula attended primary school there, leaving in 1967 to finish in Canada and the US. After working in business administration for many years, she moved to Freeport in 1986. When she couldn’t find a “health-food restaurant”, she decided to open one—Kristi’s Sandwich Shop— naming it after her daughter. It became one of the first island restaurants to offer healthy menu items (salads, quiche, homemade soups, daily specials), making Paula a local pioneer in offerings with a healthy alternative.

Paula opened a second deli/sandwich shop when Kristi graduated from college, and together they offered an improved diet to Freeporters. After selling Sweet Peas Restaurant, Paula had more time to travel with her husband, David, and they enjoy many cycling vacations regularly, as well as being part of amateur theatre productions. Paula also works part-time in the Fingland’s jewellery store, and their tourist-related franchise, Cariloha/Del-Sol (specializing in sustainable bamboo products) at the Freeport Harbour.

In addition her daughter Kristi, she has a step-daughter, Amy,  and two sons, Scott, and Thomas. Her three children have provided 5 grandchildren for Paula to spoil.

No novice to volunteering, Paula has served on many charity Boards, including BASRA, Project Read for adults, and the Freeport Players’ Guild—where the 50-year-old foyer of the Regent Theatre was renovated under her Presidency.

(Paula returns to her post as Recording Secretary, the office she filled in 2015-2016.)



Mrs. Jacqueline L. Gray is married to Mr. William A. Gray together they are the parents of five adult children, fifteen grandchildren and one great grandson.

Mrs. Gray is an accountant by profession, now retired, was previously employed with The Royal Bank of Canada, Princess Casino and the College of the Bahamas.

An Anglican, Mrs. Gray worships at the Church of the Ascension, Freeport, Grand Bahama where she served for many years on the Vestry and was President of the Anglican Women Branch for two years.

She has been very active in the community serving many leadership positions and is presently President of the Retired Persons Association in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Her hobbies include bowling, reading and travelling.

(Jackie served as Assistant Treasurer in 2015-2016.)




Joy was born in Scotland and is an American by choice. In 1996 she and her late husband Kurt became “winter residents” of GBI. She first joined the CWC and then learned that the GBAWC was a Service Club and so in 2000 she joined that also. In 2003/2004, in her capacity as 2nd VP, she launched our annual fundraiser, The GBAWC GOLF CLASSIC and the rest is history.



The Club extends deep condolences to the friends and family of beloved GBAWC member, Rachel Jacquart, who joined the club in 2008. Gone too soon, Rachel was an excellent cook, and loved helping the community in many ways—not the least of which was her ever-ready smile and cheerful attitude.  We will miss you, Rachel … Godspeed.


Rachel, wife to Paul,  mother to Karen and Sally, and grandmother of Samuel. Born in Israel and served in the IDF. She met Paul in Israel and moved to Canada. She was the sweetest most caring person I knew. Never came to see me without bringing something she had cooked: cake, quiche, or her famous shakshuka, an Israeli dish. She always was offering to help, loved cooking, and socialising..She passed away in her sleep March 30th  from complications of ALS. Miss her already, she was loved by all who knew her.

                     — from her dear friend, Angela Hackman



Rachel was indeed beautiful inside and out. I can’t believe she has passed away. Especially as I had no idea of her illness. Our thoughts are with all of her family and friends. — Hazel Hallatt



We have a new member who has been approved by the Board at the last meeting:

Jeannette Koch

Jeanette originates from Dublin OH.  Her husband’s name is Gerry and she is a full time resident here.

Email:   jkoch@columbus.rr.com




Article about our Club that was featured in last month’s News & Notes newsletter of the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs:

Congratulations to the Grand Bahama American Women’s Club!

Recently, GFWC International Affiliates Chairman Elaine Ko-Talmadge, along with International Affiliates Committee Member Mary Kaye Ernest, had the opportunity to visit the Bahamas, where they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Grand Bahama American Women’s Club. Elaine shares this report from her trip:

On March 8, we flew from Atlanta to Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama. We were greeted by Jo Morasco, the club’s president, and Joy Larsen, Program Chairman. Later that day, we met the club’s Executive Board for beverages at Pelican Bay. The next day brought a delicious lunch and a beautiful tour of Garden of The Groves, a botanical garden complete with waterfalls, birds, flora, and a greenhouse.

Over 60 guests gathered on the evening of March 9 to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary. We enjoyed a delicious buffet and dancing at Taino Beach. The highlight of the event was the presentation of a letter and proclamation from GFWC International President Babs J. Condon. Each member also received a gift, and the club recognized Virginia Mosvold, its founding member and first president.

The day after the celebration, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Old Bahama Bay, surrounded by colorful oceanfront houses. We were amazed at the huge container port, the oil rigs out in the sea, and cruise facilities, but were saddened at the devastation that hurricanes bring to the island.

We are so grateful that we had the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion with the Grand Bahama American Woman’s Club.

Dear Members,


            On behalf of the GFWC Middle Atlantic Region, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on the 50th anniversary of your club. 


            I have heard from Elaine Ko-Talmadge about your golf tournament and about WANDS.  I was most amazed to hear about the school for the deaf you started and about the eye and hearing testing you do at local schools. 

You have made a positive impact in your area and on the world with the work you have done.


            My congratulations and sincere appreciation goes out to each and every member on your wonderful achievements.  The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is so fortunate to have the Grand Bahama American Women’s Club as a member.


With all good wishes,


Deen Meloro, President

GFWC Middle Atlantic Region



The next meeting is coming right up.  Here are the details and please email Joy Dart at freeportjoy@gmail.com or phone her at373-2660 by this Friday to make your reservation for Monday, April 11th, 2016.
April’s guest speaker will be Cheri Wood, Director of Children’s Summer Programmes at the Bahamas National Trust Rand Nature Centre.
April Meeting: Monday, April 11, 2016
11 am Social Hour; 12 noon Meeting
Ruby Swiss Restaurant
$22 Members
$24 Guests
REMINDER TO ALL COMMITTEE CHAIRS:   Each committee must submit an annual report to be included in the May newsletter.  Please send your report to Newsletter Chair, Paula Boyd Farrington, at paulaboydfarrington(at)yahoo.com by April 15th … thank you!


2016 GOLF TOURNAMENT PHOTOS courtesy of Karen Matlack, Bev Hall, and Paula Boyd Farrington are up and ONLINE now  … click HERE to see them all!! Huge thanks to one and all for your help in making this year’s tournament an extra-wonderful success!!

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