For women of any age that would like to make new friends the answer may be to join a chapter of Beta Sigma Phi International.
Initially organized in 1931, Helen Pepper, first member pledged with a ceremony held at the Sunflower Hotel in Abilene, Kansas still boasts membership.
Walter W. Ross decided that there should be an association of women that could offer each other friendships in a social, cultural and educational atmosphere not available during the great depression. The organization grew quickly and members volunteered by selling $22 million in war bonds during the war. In the beginning grand balls and elegant teas were held, by the sixties it had become less formal but ideals have remained steady. Today, membership is over 170,000 world wide with chapters determining their own service projects for their communites that include donations of millions toward health research, hunger projects, scholarships and disaster funds. Locally, Beta Sigma Phi has offered scholarships, donates boxes of toiletries for senior’s homes, decorates the Senior’s Drop In Centre, campaigns for cancer, and individual members volunteer for a myriad of causes. In Fernie the first group was organized in the early seventies. By the eighties five different chapters included members of all ages and education. Sparwood and Elkford had chapters as well. Twice a year chapters join together with members from the Crowsnest Pass to celebrate Founder’s Day in April and Rituals in November to install new members or bring existing members to a higher level within the organization.
This past week members gathered at the Blue Touque to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and to hold rituals for the Silver Circle for Alice Ferrarrelli. This is for a member in good standing in sorority for twenty-five years. Last year Alice received the Citizen of the Year Award for Fernie. The Order of the Rose for Rosa Rocca and Ritual of Jewels for Bev Lucas were also conducted.
If anyone in the Elk Valley is interested in forming new friendships call Diana at 250 423-3111 to join this group.