Celebrating Past Presidents

Submitted by Julie Eller, Historian

When I became historian of the Garden Club of Long Beach Island, it was evident that our club had a rich and varied history. Looking through old documents, newspaper clippings and meeting minutes, it was apparent that our garden club would not have reached such lofty goals without the leadership of our past presidents, who each in their own way, moved the club forward.

In 1958, the establishment of the club marked the appointment of our inaugural president, Nelly Grippen. Many years later, the role of the President of the Garden Club of LBI continues.

In this stead, an in-depth look was taken into as many past presidents who were still viable members of our club community. I went back as far as I could (1992) to contact past presidents and interview them over the phone or in person.

Besides touching on their personal lives, the interviews focused on their tenure as president, highlighting their accomplishments, things they were proud of, and projects they instituted and created.

Armed with all that information, a biography page was created for each President along with their photo and compiled them all in the Past Presidents Book.  At each meeting, I relayed the accomplishments of that person so all members had a better appreciation of that role.

And so…it continues as each president leaves office today. To see where the Garden Club of Long Beach Island is today, it is imperative to look back and learn from the past efforts of our presidents; so that now in the present, going into the future, we can understand our club’s rich and complex history.