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Founded in 1966 by American women, The Grand Bahama American Women's Club is an international group who come together for social and philanthropic fundraising in support of education and service projects that benefit the Grand Bahama Island community. All welcome!

January 9, 2017 Meeting: Featuring Guest Speaker Veterinary Dr. Mary Gardner

Make your reservations today to be at the January 9, 2017 Luncheon Meeting at Ruby Swiss Restaurant for a fascinating program of special note for pet lovers, by Dr. Mary Gardner:


Invite your friends and make your reservations by calling Christine Gardner at 602-2023 or email:

11 am Social Hour. 12 Noon Meeting.  Ruby Swiss Restaurant.

Happy New Year All!!!

Christmas Together, After the Storm

May 2016 NEWS and Annual Reports

MAY 2016  · MAY 2016 ·  MAY 2016 · MAY 2016 · MAY 2016


Grand Bahama American Women’s Club


18th April, 2016

Joan Darville opened the meeting with the reading of the Collect and the Pledge to the Flag was recited.  President, Jo Morasco, then introduced the Program Speaker, Sherry Woods, of the BNT Rand Nature Centre’s Children’s Programs.

Minutes of the General Meeting held 14th March, recently circulated by Newsletter, were proposed for approval by Gloria and seconded by Joan Darville. Carried. Barbara Harrington pointed out that that there was a correction to the minutes and that she was not the Chairman of the Nominating Committee; Joy Larsen was.

Philanthropic: Joyce – The Philanthropic dinner will be held at the May meeting on the 2nd and invites have been delivered to schools. Two former scholarship recipients – Dava Major, a graduate of College of the Bahamas Nursing School and Kyle Weech who attended University in Florida and is an engineer there – have both written to thank the Club for their support and encouragement and the paying of their school fees.

Treasurer – Christine’s report for the month was printed in the Newsletter. An additional cheque for $926 to Ruby Swiss for March lunch and $137.38 to Paula Fingland for additional wine at the Anniversary Party were issued.

Anne proposed the Treasurer’s report be adopted; Barbara Harrington seconded this. Carried.

Parliamentarian – Ann Bain – Tranika Rolle, a young Engineer, has agreed to speak at the May meeting.

Membership – Syl Clift – New member, Anita Koch from Ohio has been approved.

Luncheon – Joy Dart: 40 members present today. Next month’s luncheon reservations will be coordinated by Doreen Plummer in Joy’s absence. Jo thanked Karen for greeting members with new lanyards at each meeting.

Great Books – Norma Liedel: Next meeting will be second to last, to be held at Christine’s house.

In memory of Rachel Jacquart, $25 will be donated to the Children’s Home.

Committee Chairpersons were reminded to have their Annual Reports completed for the May meeting.

Program: After lunch, Sherry Woods powerpoint display explained the various children’s programs offered by the Rand Nature Centre and the interest and support of the Bahamas Defense Force and schools which hold Environmental Clubs. President Jo thanked Sherry, pledged $1000 towards the Children’s Programs, and presented her with the Club tote bag.

Other Business:

Angela Hackman announced the Thursday Club Salsa Night on the 21st as a fundraiser for the Sailing Club.

Rengin Johnson thanked the members for their transparency, productive activity over the years and said she was proud to be a member.

After the Raffle, which brought in $150, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted by Paula Fingland, Recording Secretary




Please rsvp now for GBAWC’s annual Philanthropic Awards Dinner and Installation of Officers on Monday evening, May 2nd, 2016. Please email your reservations to Doreen or 374-4422 before Friday, April 28th.

Members & Guests/May Meeting:  $22

Dinner will be at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant at 6:30 pm, and our Scholarship Award recipients will be joining us along with representatives from local organizations receiving community donations.  Ms. Trenicka Rolle will also be speaking to us about her work in education, engineering, and science summer camps in Nassau.

Officers for the 2016/2017 club year will also be installed in a brief ceremony.

This is a great meeting to invite guests and introduce them to the wonderful work the Grand Bahama American Women’s Club has been doing in the community for the past 50 years.

Be in touch with Doreen and reserve by Friday, April 28th!:-)


Dues for the upcoming 2016/2017 Club year are due now.  Please bring a check or cash to the upcoming meeting and make sure your membership is up to date before the summer break … or, if you’re already off island, or live abroad now and just want to contribute to the club’s work in providing scholarships and funding for education organizations on the island, please post a check to: Grand Bahama American Women’s Club at P.O. Box F-40757, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas. Thank you!

amercian womens club



The GBAWC met each month for the general meetings, October through May, as did the Executive Board.  At each general meeting, business was conducted, a luncheon was served, and programs were enjoyed.  Business was shortened for the December and May meetings.  All of the general meetings were held at Ruby Swiss Restaurant, except the December luncheon, which was held at Garden of the Groves.

This year, being the Club’s 50th Anniversary, a dinner dance was held on March 9, at Taino By the Sea Restaurant.  77 members and guests attended. A social was held in late January at the Yacht Club off Midshipman with 22 attendees.  The 13th annual Golf Classic was held February 20, with 80 players participating, and the club cleared in excess of $26,000.  Once again, the programs were outstanding.

I also served on the Philanthropic Committee, and was in charge of the golf, players, and volunteers of the yearly Golf Classic.

I would like to thank the elected officers for their support and advise.  Also, thank you to all of the Appointed Officers, Standing Committee Chairpersons, and Section Chairpersons for their active involvement in the club.  Thank you to the members who have faithfully attended and participated in the monthly meetings and events.

It has been an interesting and learning adventure being the president for the past two years.  I have made new friends, and realize what a presence this club has on the island.  WANDS makes a huge impact, and is so necessary.  The scholarships and the additional awards are so important to the welfare of the children of this island.  Thank you again.

See you in October.


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


I want to thank everyone for a very successful Golf Tournament on Feb. 20th, 2016.  You did it again. We raised the most ever for the children of The Bahamas: $27,000. WOW!

I couldn’t have done this all by myself.  Thank you to my wonderful committee and anyone who bought a Raffle Ticket, Sponsored the event, Sponsored a Cart, or Volunteered in any capacity.

You made it happen. This is what makes our club great.


Jo Morasco – Ran Tournament – Reef Course

Joy Larsen – Major Sponsors & Publicity

Bev Hall – Small Business Liaison & Much More

Poppy Chitwood – Golf Carts

Paula Fingland –  Dinner at Ocean Blue Restaurant, Ocean Reef

Jaina Johnson, Martha Cartwright – Raffle

Karen Matlack – Photos

Christine Gardner – Handling Money

Paula Farrington – Posters, Sponsor Letters, Sign/Printing Design

Follow up Phone calls

Rose Marie Powell

Roz Majer


I am pleased that we were able to continue the tradition of benefiting the youth of The Bahamas.  — Norma Liedel, 2nd VP


As Recording Secretary, I confirm that I was present and took Minutes for monthly General and Executive Minutes for the year 2015/2016 except for the following Meetings:

General Meetings:     January 18, 2016:

Minutes taken by:   Bonnie Kruse

October 19, 2015:  Minutes taken by:   Jaina Johnson

Board Meeting:    October 15, 2015  Minutes taken by:   Jo Morasco

March 21, 2016:  Minutes taken by:   Katybel Taylor

A copy of all Minutes for all Meetings for the year 2015/2016 are available and compiled for storage at RAM.  — Paula Fingland, Recording Secretary, 2015/2016



Mail was picked up from the Post Office Box and written correspondence was handled or forwarded as needed, with thank you letters or notices received passed along to be read to the club at meetings. — (for Lori Slenker)


Interesting and varied speakers held the attention of our membership as we celebrated 50 years of Service to the Youth of Grand Bahama Island.

OCT.  Traditionally the President reports on her attendance at the GFWC Convention, but this year Jo did not attend. However, GBAWC was well represented by — Norma Liedel, Christine Gardner and Joy Larsen. Christine prepared an excellent visual of our experience and Joyce Harrison & Ishbel MacDonald displayed a banner with our 50 year logo.

NOV.  Local lady entrepreneurs presented a tasty program. Rebecca Tibbits, Sommelier at Flying Fish Restaurant shared her knowledge of American-made wines and food pairings, while Amanda Ormerod, co-owner of Bootleg Chocolates, talked to us about fine handmade premium confections with flavors and ingredients inspired by the islands.

DEC. Our Holiday Lunch was held at the Café of the Garden of the Groves. This year we were accompanied on the keyboard for the singing of our seasonal songs.  Our annual jewelry exchange was enthusiastically received.

JAN.  Pat Keay, Director of Community Engagement for Heifer International traveled from Boston to share stories of their work in 30 countries during the past 70 years.

FEB.  For our traditional “Founder’s Day” we were joined by 6 members of the Nassau American Women’s Club and a celebrity from the past — Jane Cunningham Crawly founded GFWC 125 years ago and Kay Hardy enacted her story in full Victorian costume!

MAR.  The plans & progress of the Museum of Grand Bahama were explained and illustrated by Janet Albury-Simpson, administrator and working committee member of this very exciting  project.

APR.  Cheri Woods, Educational Outreach Officer for the Bahamas National Trust told us about their youth programs and educational school visits, both in the classroom and to the National Parks of Grand Bahama.


Approaching the 2016/2017 club year we have 79 Members.

Of those, 27 are Associates and 10 are Honorary members.

This year we welcomed 4 new members:

Jaye Andrews

Beth Kirby

Susan Strack

Jeannette Koch

I would again like to thank Christine Gardner for all her help this year!

Respectfully submitted,  Sylvia Clift


In 2016, hearing and sight testing was performed in nineteen schools on Grand Bahama. 1,444 students were tested. There were 150 problems reported for eyesight and 90 problems reported for hearing.

21 People volunteered to perform the tests – some worked at as many as 15 schools, some attended only one school.

Training should be offered again either next fall or early in January as there are many who would like to volunteer.

Respectfully Submitted,  Bev Hall and Karen Matlack


It has been a pleasure to serve in this capacity this year. I met many new faces as I handed out the name tags at the meetings I was able to attend. For the 50th anniversary meeting, I made new name tags and secured lanyards for them. Before I depart for the summer, I will make new name tags with just the GBAWC logo as we will no longer be in the 50th anniversary year. Wishing all a safe summer. — Karen Strauss


We had another great year with Great Book Classics. We added two new members. Some of the members will meet to watch movies of books read during the summer.

Anyone wanting to join can email me at We meet 2nd Tues of the month.  — Norma Liedel

It was a windy night on the evening of March 9th, 2016,  but that did not slow any of the festivities beachside at the Taino by the Sea Restaurant at Taino Resort.  79 members and guests of GBAWC enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner provided by Natalie Koll and her staff.  Attending as special guests representing the GFWC (Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs) were International Affiliate Chairman, Elaine Koe Talman, and her Assistant Chair, Mary Kay Ernst.

Speeches were kept to a minimum and after dinner we all danced the night away to the music of The Apple Elliot Band.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this event a success! — Katybel Taylor


Meeting Notices were sent out by email starting with a plan-ahead list of Save the Date upcoming meetings, as well as monthly meeting announcements and rsvp reminders.

Monthly Newsletters recapping meeting notices, minutes, financial reports, special section or committee news, photos, and Golf Tournament and fundraising updates were sent out by email to all members monthly (except March), and were also posted to the website.  New graphic headers were designed to brighten and streamline online news mailings and website postings.

Banners were produced by Freeport Advertising & Printing to help the club celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary and showcase 50th logo commemorative items researched and lovingly produced by Joy Larsen, and assisted by Norma Liedel and Christine Gardner.

A printed 44 page digest-sized Membership Directory booklet was designed and produced for all members in November.

Special notices were sent to members for the Canadian Women’s Club January luncheon honoring our 50th Anniversary, for member notices regarding memorial services, for Socials, and for e-invitations to the 50th Anniversary dinner.

The website was updated with current event information as needed (Golf tournament registration forms, etc).

E-mails and online messages. which make up the bulk of the club’s correspondence today, were answered or directed to appropriate committee or board members.

Special thanks to everyone who helped with photography or sending in pictures to be included with the news … Karen Matlack (wonderful golf tournament photos!) … Bev Hall (more great golf photos!) … Martha Cartwright (October lunch pictures & Golf Raffle/Hole in One sponsor photos!) … Katybel Taylor (2015 scholarship recipients & 50th dinner pictures) … Joy Larsen (programs and convention/50th photos) … Syl Clift (Christmas luncheon pictures) … and here are a couple of the holiday luncheon photos that didn’t make it into the very full January newsletter issue:



… and here are a few photos from last year’s Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs conference attended by our members during the summer of 2015  in Memphis, Tennessee. (Thank you, Christine Gardner, for sending these lovely photos of you and Joy Larsen and Norma Liedel representing us in such beautiful style at this international convention!)

2 Arrive 3 Uniforms 4 50states 12 4 countries

Newsletters were also sent to General Federation of Women’s Clubs organization and our Club’s 50 years of good works in the community was featured in an article in their News & Notes publication in March 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 1.09.47 AM

Issues of the news each month, plus additional photos of the annual philanthropic Golf Classic Tournament and its sponsors, are archived as part of the website.

The annual website fee of $99 has been paid and renewed for the year ahead.


I was happy to be on hand at most meetings and board meetings this year to answer questions that needed clarification regarding protocol as established by Robert’s Rules of Order, and/or policies and procedure as listed in the club’s bylaws.  — Ann Bain


Joy Dart kindly stepped in to handle luncheon reservations for the majority of this club year and acted as liaison with the restaurant and meeting venues to give them a head count for meal preparation based on the number of rsvp’s. Doreen Plummer kindly agreed to handle reservations for the May philanthropic dinner.  Thank you, Ladies!


A Social was arranged for Thursday evening, January 28th, 2016 at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club on Midshipman Road. A few hearty souls nibbled homemade hors d’oeuvres under umbrellas in the heavy rains that appeared that afternoon, and  the event was rescheduled for a clear and dry evening the following night, January 29th, at the poolside Yacht Club bar with 22 in attendance.


Thanks to Paula Fingland for taking on the Raffle work for our meetings which helps raise funds for the club.  If anyone has any prizes that can be donated to the raffles next year, or wants to purchase and donate prizes you may find during the summer, please contact Paula or President-elect, Christine Gardner, or bring them to the next meeting.  Many thanks to Kelly’s Freeport Ltd True Value Hardware for their ongoing support of the raffle with lovely home decor, housewares, and gift prizes they provide monthly.


Student Visa Presentation - Grand Bahama


And here’s the information again to rsvp for our May 2nd Annual Philanthropic Awards dinner at 6:30 pm at Ruby Swiss Restaurant  (if you haven’t had a chance to reserve your place yet!) …

Please email your reservations to Doreen or call 374-4422 before Friday, April 28th.








Reserve Now—May 2, 2016: Annual Philanthropic Awards & Installation Dinner for GBAWC


Please rsvp now for GBAWC’s annual Philanthropic Awards Dinner and Installation of Officers on Monday evening, May 2nd, 2016. Please email your reservations to Doreen or 374-4422 before Friday, April 28th.

Dinner will be at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant at 6:30 pm, and our Scholarship Award recipients will be joining us along with representatives from local organizations receiving community donations.  Ms. Trenicka Rolle will also be speaking to us briefly about her work sponsoring science summer camps in Nassau.

Officers for the 2016/2017 club year will also be installed.

This is a great meeting to invite guests and introduce them to the wonderful work the Grand Bahama American Women’s Club has been doing in the community for the past 50 years.

Be in touch with Doreen and reserve today! 🙂


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.





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 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) 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!!

February 2016 News


The next meeting of The Grand Bahama American Women’s Club will be on Monday, February 8, 2016 at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant.
A Founder’s Day program is planned with a special surprise guest to bring you smiles!  We are also looking forward to having members of the Nassau American Women’s Club with us at the meeting—sister members of sorts (our club’s first President, Virginia Mosvold, lived in Nassau before moving to Freeport, and the Nassau American Women’s Club suggested she start one here; that’s how it all got started!).
Make your reservations by emailing Joy Dart at or phoning 373-2660 before noon on Friday, February 5th.  Everyone needs a reservation and thanks to Joy for coordinating this and communicating our plans and reservation numbers to Ruby Swiss each month!
$22 for Members
$24 for Guests
(and it would be very helpful to our devoted and hardworking Treasurer, Christine Gardner, if you would please bring exact change (no big bills) or a B$ check to pay for lunch; thanks! 🙂

11 am Social Hour; 12 Noon Meeting Starts

Invite a guest!


The club’s major annual fundraiser is coming right up!

If you haven’t already volunteered to help, please contact 2nd VP, Norma Liedel (602-1464), or Jo Morasco (352-5879), or Bev Hall (602-3556) to be part of this event that raises our philanthropic donations to local scholarships and community education programs each year.


In addition to our larger corporate sponsorships, there are opportunities for small businesses and individuals to sponsor a Golf Cart at the tournament for only $100.  Contact Norma or Bev at the numbers above if you know of someone who’d like to sponsor a cart—sponsor names (and logos, if they have one) are prominently displayed on the cart and seen all through the day and in event photos.  An affordable way to get your name out there!


from Martha Cartwright:

The golf raffle tickets will be on sale from now until the tournament on February 20th.  We will do a cash split again this year; 50% to the Club and 50% to two winners.  60% of the winner’s half to first place, 40% of the winner’s half to second place.  Tickets are $20.00 each.  Please start canvasing your friends, family and business associates for their support so that you can pick up the number of tickets you need from me (Martha Cartwright) at the luncheon.  If you want tickets before the luncheon, call me at 373-3560.  Our goal is to sell 300 tickets, giving the Club a $3,000 profit.  With about 60 of us on the island, if we each sell five ticket’s, we’ll reach our goal.  Good luck!


If you are a player in the tournament, your ticket for the awards ceremony and post-tournament dinner is included in your registration.  Additional tickets are $15 and non-golfers are encouraged to attend this wonderful meal and recap of the day’s fun at Ocean Blue Restaurant at Ocean Reef. Prizes, reverie, good food, cash bar, and general merriment make this dinner an extra great value.  You can sign up for dinner tickets at the upcoming February meeting!


If the tournament didn’t already have enough great reasons to participate, how about a chance to win a car??!!

Freeport Jetwash Ltd has generously donated a new car to anyone who makes a hole-in-one!

Ready. Steady. Swing!!!  You never know.  This could be a really lucky day for you or one of your golfing friends, so be sure to let everyone know about the tournament and get them signed up.  Golfers can register in-person on a volunteer-staffed clubhouse table on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, February 15-16-17-18, at the Reef Golf Course from 11 am to 3pm. Registration forms will be on hand, or, you can print out one (shown below) here, or find it on the club’s website (



I believe that the January General Meeting/Luncheon was much about sharing and caring.  Pat Keay gave a very inspirational and informative program about Heifer International.  It is a true case of “paying it forward”.  It would be hard to imagine giving away the second calf, goat, or chicken that came into being, from your own hard work and discipline.

At the luncheon, I saw members giving their raffle prizes to their friends who needed an item, or to Wesley, who was really wanting the wind chimes.  I saw new members volunteering to be on the nominating committee, and older (as in length of time in the club) members willing to jump in and help.  Ladies were signing up to bring appetizers to share at the social, desserts for the golf tournament, and agreeing to work at  pre, during, and post-golf tournament jobs.

Betty Jean Kolterman from Seward, Nebraska, quoted Mrs. William Hasebroock, International GFWC President as saying, “It is time to pat yourself on the back, but do not break your arm doing it.”  We have a lot of work to do in the next couple months, so let those back pats be light for just a bit longer.

And just remember, “Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.”


amercian womens club

Mark your calendar, get out your party dress and dust off your dancing shoes .

Our 50th Anniversary Dinner will be Wednesday, March 9th, 2016, at Taino By the Sea.

Cocktails at 6:30 pm (cash bar), Delicious Dinner Buffet at 7:15 pm,  and the Apple Elliot Band starts playing at 8pm!

Tickets are $45 which includes at least one glass of wine with dinner…..maybe more. There will be a cash bar open all evening.

Tickets will be on sale at the February Meeting.  There will be tables of 6 and 8 at dinner.  When purchasing the tickets, exact change would be appreciated—and don’t forget the surcharge on any U.S.$ check presented. Tickets may be purchased from Katybel Taylor at the meeting or call Katy at 373-1769.

Glimpses of the Club’s early days with collages from the celebration 10 years ago …



… and photos of a Grand Bahama American Women’s Club prize-winning booth complete with an 18-foot “Statue of Liberty” at an International-themed Rotary Club expo which was held on the then-empty-lot site that is now Grand Lucayan hotel … February 25, 1995:


The hubbies volunteered too …


… Lee Roberts and Paula Boyd Farrington receiving the trophy for Best Booth …


… and looking back at some vintage golf tournament smiles from the club’s 2012 Classic …












JANUARY 18, 2016

President Jo Morasco called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. followed by the Club

Collect and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Joy Larsen introduced guests Pat Keay, Heifer International Director of  National Community Engagement and Catherine Madrigal of Boston, Massachusetts.

Minutes of the December meeting were approved and placed on file.

The report of First Vice-President Joyce Harrison was presented and placed on file.

The report of the 2nd Vice-President was given by Norma Liedel.  Golf Tournament documents and information including the golf raffle, posters for distribution, golf cart sponsorships, golf registration, and dessert sign-up sheets were presented.

The Treasurer’s Report was given by Christine Gardner.

Motion by Joy Larsen seconded by Constance Penning to  ”approve a check in the amount of $192  to the musician for the Christmas Luncheon and a check in the amount of $1,470 to the Garden of the Groves for the Luncheon“   was adopted.

Treasurer’s report was approved and filled for audit.

The Nominating Committee members are Susan Strack, Jaye Andrews, Roz Majer, Poppy Chitwood, and Joy Larsen.

Social Committee Chairman, Angela Hackman, reported that the January 28 social will be held 5pm-7pm at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club.

Great Books Chairman, Norma Liedel, reported that the February 9th meeting will be held at Solange.

Bev Hall presented the WANDS report and distributed sign-up sheets for the February schools.

Bev Hall reported that 50th Anniversary tote bags are for sale for $17.00 and members can order shirts for $30.00

Program Chairman, Joy Larsen, reported that Kay Hardy will be performing an impersonation of GFWC founder Jane Cunningham Croly for the GBAWC Founder’s Day luncheon.

Katybel Taylor reported that the GBAWC 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Dance will be held March 9th at Tanio Beach.  Tickets are $45.00 per person.

The program was given by Pat Keay, Director National Community Engagement Heifer International.

The raffle drawing was held.

The meeting adjourned at 1:45 pm.

Submitted by Bonnie Kruse, Secretary Pro-tem.



Be sure to bring extra $$ to February’s meeting for our monthly raffle with lovely prizes. If you have any nice items to contribute to the ongoing monthly raffles, please contact Paula Fingland, 373-8497, or bring them to the meeting!



The Great Books section will be meeting on February 9th at Joy Larsen’s home:  1 pm.


Due to the heavy rains and weather this Thursday, the Social has been rescheduled for FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH, at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Please bring an appetizer and enjoy a fun get together. Members, spouses, and guest all welcome.  Open cash bar.



If you’ve been out of town and haven’t had a chance to pay your annual membership dues, please contact Membership Chair, Syl Clift, at 352-9106 or, to bring your dues up to date. Thanks so much!

That’s all for this issue … Happy Warm-Winter Days to All!!


SOCIAL: Thursday, January 28th, 2016!

WEATHER RESCHEDULE NOTE:  Because of the heavy rains, the Social will now happen on Friday, January 29th, 2016 … same time and place … Grand Bahama Yacht Club from 5 to 7 pm.

Please bring an appetizer!

Thursday, January 28th, 2016
from 5 pm – 7 pm
 Members & Guests Welcome
(off Midshipman Road by Cooper’s Gas Station)
Open Bar
Please Bring An Appetizer!