Rigby Study Club celebrates 100 years of friendship

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COURTESY PHOTO Rigby Study Club members celebrate the organization’s 100th birthday at a Nov. 2 event. Pictured are, from left to right, Back row: Sally George, Lindsay Byram, Gloria Brown, Jorja Shippen, Terry Sullenger, Sharon Moser, Natalie Martin, Kay Field, Sonja Schaat; Middle Row: Laurie Anderson, Donna Wilding, Paula Hegsted, Sharon Storer, Barbara Groom, Linda Miller, Susan Scott, Darla Curtis, Debbie Finn; Front row: JoAn Wood, Vonnie Lue Broulim, Nona Hunter, Ruth Groom, Luana Eckersell. Not pictured: Nola Jensen COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

The Rigby Study Club is celebrating 100 years of friendship and enrichment.

The women’s social and educational club meets to enjoy music, see presentations of uplifting topics, and to laugh and have fun. Membership to the club is by invitation, and the 36 women develop close ties.

The eldest member of the Rigby Study Club, Nona Hunter, who is 96, said in an interview with the Jefferson Star, that when she joined in 1951, it was even more exclusive with just 10 members.

“It was considered the club to belong to when I joined,” she said.

She said that she knew some of the original members, including Persis Schweitzer. The club had a much more serious tone in its first half-century.

“They were very proper and there was no nonsense. They were quite serious,” Hunter said. “It was very nice, but it was a real honor to be asked to join.”

She said that members had to speak properly and sit properly with folded hands. They discussed serious subjects, and heard serious speakers.

“There was no laughing or cutting up and that,” Hunter said. “I didn’t dare speak up and say anything unless I had something really important or impressive to say.”

She said she really enjoyed the early years and the club’s discussions. Today, she said, is a lot more fun.

“I have enjoyed every year and every program that we’ve had,” she said.

Sharon Moser, who is a 20-year member, said that the members of the club today still feel very much honored to take part in the meetings.

“It’s uplifting. We’re learning and we have a close-knit friendship, and we’re trying to look up for the good,” she said.

She explained that the group maintains a congenial atmosphere, warm and supportive.

“You just feel like you’re part of something good,” she said.

Of all the meetings she has attended, Moser fondly remembers the Senior Teas, which the club doesn’t do anymore. She said it was great to have a formal event to honor mothers and graduates with refreshments.

However, she enjoys each and every meeting she attends.

“I just like the feeling of unity and friendship and growing,” she said.

In 1912, Maude Nye formed the Rigby Study Circle. She invited eight women initially: Bertha Reeves, Helen Lowder, Mary Middleton, Sylvia Jones, Persis Schweitzer, May Fillmore, Aroetta Hammond and Anna E. Jones.

The group has contributed to Rigby through works of service, including forming the first Rigby Library. Members also folded bandages for World Wars I and II, did Red Cross sewing, and have supported the Junior Miss—now Distinguished Young Woman—through scholarships.

Their motto is: “Malice toward none; Charity for all” and members recite a Rogation every meeting which is a prayer for exemplary behavior and asks God to help them make a difference in the world.

The current 36 members of the club are: Nona Hunter, Luana Eckersell, Nola Jensen, Ruth Groom, Vonnie Lue Broulim, JoAn Wood, Debbie Finn, Darla Curtis, Susan Scott, Linda Miller, Barbara Groom, Sharon Storer, Paula Hegsted, Donna Wilding, Laurie Anderson, Sonja Schaat, Kaye Field, Natalie Martin, Sharon Moser, Terry Sullenger, Jorja Shippen, Gloria Brown, Lindsay Byram, Sally George, Prudy Gneiting, Tonja Hillman, Marilyn Jensen, Barbara Mugleston, JoAnn Randall, Jody Walker, Kris Warner, Nadine Warner, Diana DaBell, Annette Clark, Debbie Byram, and Sharol Foster.

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