Laura G. Heald Women’s Fellowship
The object of this group is the deepening of the spiritual life of the members of the fellowship and the promotion of social and philanthropic activities.
The Laura G. Heald Club meets at 7:30pm on the first Monday of each month in the Parish House. Membership is open to any woman of any age, a resident of Milford or of an adjoining town, interested in the object of the club and willing to assume her part in furthering the same.
The Laura G. Heald Club hold an annual rummage sale in the fall and uses the proceeds for various programs and community outreach. The also have different programs each month for entertainment. (No meetings in July and August)
History of The Laura G. Heald Club
July 20, 1916, by invitation of Mrs. Wolfe, wife of the pastor, a church school class of young women met for the purpose of organization, and by vote, the class called itself the “Laura G. Heald Class”. Laura G. Heald was a much loved teacher of the young ladies and when she moved from the area the girls chose to honor her in this way. (Mrs. Heald might well have been the forerunner of our modern day counselors as she acted to influence the girls both spiritually and socially).
At this time Fanny Guild entered the picture and became the next teacher of this class. During the five years she had charge of this class the roll numbered 55 although not all of these were able to attend the Sunday Class. Many and varied were the interests of the young women; there were those who became teachers, bankers, telephone operators, secretaries, skilled workers and homemakers.
Gatherings were to be social meetings to be held at the home of some member once a month. The first regular meeting was held on September 20th, 1916 at the President’s home. The girls busied themselves making articles for the Union Church Fair and Christmas gifts for poor children of Milford. They also took charge of the Christmas Tree for the Sunday School children and each contributed some article for Mr. Emerson’s Christmas dinners. Later in 1917 they began to make items for Reverend and Mrs. Park Fisher, missionaries in Kentucky, and then “outfits” consisting of a sleeveless sweater, muffler and a pair or wristlets were made to be used by the men on the battleship “New Hampshire” They also enjoyed making knitted afghans and sewing layettes to be given to the Red Cross and scrap books for the soldiers.
The years of 1918 to 1920 were difficult and many died from the terrible influenza and others were touched by the sorrow of the war. In 1928 the name was altered from Laura G. Heald Class to the current Laura G. Heald Club.
Through the early years there were between 20 and 30 members in the class. Idle hands were unthinkable during this period of our history and so the girls quickly found useful things to do even while they socialized. This trend of service to others continues today although it takes the form of raising funds for worthwhile projects. Over the years many interesting programs have entertained the ladies at their monthly meetings and they have provided countless dinners for themselves and other groups, thousands of dollars have been contributed to the church for improvements and endless emotional support poured out to all those in need.
On the occasion of a Past President’s Night in 1941, Marguerite Sawyer expressed her feelings about the Laura G. Heald Club thusly: “..gracious Mrs. Heald..sweet and charming manner. Fanny Guild…a kindly, sympathetic soul was hers, and how gently, yet firmly she guided us – a broad minded woman with the courage of her deep convictions and a twinkle in her eye”, and about the club ” …spirit of friendliness and ‘love thy neighbor’-ness that was there in former days still prevails and always will prevail in the club.
Membership is open to any woman of any age, a resident of Milford or of an adjoining town, interested in the object of the club and willing to assume her part in furthering the same. The object of the club is the deepening of the spiritual life of the members of the fellowship and the promotion of social and philanthropic activities.
If the Laura G. Heald Club and the Women’s League have found the answer to longevity, that answer is in service to others. It is to be hoped that these two organizations will still be active when the Tri-centennial History is written.