ST. PARIS – Not many clubs can boast that they have been active for 50 years. The Antique Study Club, however, has achieved that accomplishment.
In celebration of 50 years of activity, the Champaign County club held a bridal-themed antique show June 14 in the St. Paris United Methodist Church.
The bridal-themed meeting showcased wedding gowns and other wedding apparel of past and current members. Some of the clothing dated back to the 1930s. Models wore some of the antique gowns during the event.
Along with many past members of the club, active charter members Fonda Lou Eaton, Sally Prince and Rita Zerkle attended the bridal show. There are five living charter members, but Janet Stickley and Jo Anne Weller were unable to attend.
The club’s current president, Roxanne Shively, is proud of how strong the club has been over the years. Opening the club meeting, Shively said, “This club has been going on for 50 years – with 40 members. It’s a great club and we’ve all enjoyed each other throughout the years. I hope we make it another 50 years.”
While the club meets in St. Paris, members come from all over the county. Charter member Eaton said she loves the diversity of the club. “The club brings people together from all ages,” she said. “The best thing is the people I’ve met. We’ve become friends, more than acquaintances.”
In 1967, Prince and her mother became inspired to turn their interest in antiques into a group study. They began by inviting a few friends, but in October of that same year, the study group became 36 women strong. In 1977, the club increased the membership limit to 40 women.
The club chose the name, Antique Study Club, to represent its purpose of contributing to the restoration, preservation and study of antiques. The group meets once a month during 10 months of the year to share antiques that members have collected.
While not a service club, the group has contributed to the community in many ways. One of the unique ways the group has contributed is by donating a book to a library whenever a member dies. The book’s topic pertains to the late member’s interests.
Although club membership is limited to 40 women at any given time, guests may attend. Those interested in attending should notify Shively ahead of time at 937-418-1549.
Shane Black is a regular contributor to this newspaper.