The Cincinnati Society
The Founders’ Hall of the New Orleans Country Club was the location of a dinner given by the Louisiana Association of the Cincinnati Society in honor of the French scholar’s visit. Romeo of Montrichard. A native of Paris, he graduated in management from the Sorbonne, University of Paris. His sports and interests include polo, surfing, rugby and tennis.
Founded in 1783 by Continental Army officers who served together in the American Revolution, the society, the oldest hereditary in the US, has as its mission to promote appreciation and knowledge of the resulting American independence, which featured significant French support. In recognition of the aid of that country, a son of a Cincinnati member in France is invited to the States as a French scholar. The Crescent City is always a favorite to visit.
President of the society T. Scott Monsted issued the Call to Order, which was followed by an invocation by the Very Rev. David duPlantier, the oath of allegiance and the reading of the immutable principles of society by the party Kearny Robert. Toasts followed by General George Washington, the society’s first president-general, by Monroe Kelly; officers and men of the Continental Army, for Cooper Woods; officers and men of the French expeditionary forces, by Rev. duPlantier; the officers, men and women of the US Armed Forces, for Will Blanchard; and the President of the USA for Ed Bush.
Flanking the podium were American and Society flags, while miniature flags of the former, as well as that of France, adorned the tables, along with pale blue ribbons and rose arrangements of Mary (Mrs. Scott) Monsted. The summer kitchen forced the menu of gazpacho, a light green salad, ligatures with crab meat and, for dessert, mint ice cream in almond tuile.
Among the participants were Dawn Wheelahan with Monroe Kelly, Karla duPlantier, Ashley Graham with Cooper Woods, Rutledge i judge Edith “Joy” Clement, Cindy Bush, Kathleen Roberts, i Andrew and Laura Monsted Abrams. The cocktail reception later in the evening included the above as well as the Consul General of France in Louisiana Nathalie Beras, Taylor and Dottie Bragg, Carroll Soper, Daniel duPlantier, Hunter Skiffafy, Ann and Gene Preaus i Virginia and Lee Barba.
They were pleased to hear about Roméo’s tourism in the area. He spoke French with a waiter at Galatoire’s in the French Quarter, where he admired Spanish and French architecture and La casa Napoleon; enjoyed a streetcar ride on avenue st. Charles-Carrollton, as well as a tour of Magazine Street; visited the Garden District and saw the house where “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was filmed; and counted the 28 oak trees in Oak Alley and the plantation house with its 28-column exterior.
The house of Michael Harold and Quinn Peeper was bubbling bilingually when the Louisiana chapter of the French Heritage Society honored four fellows from France. Co-presidents of the society Diane Labouisse and Michael Harold extended the invitation to the reception. During the summer months, one intern worked at Laura Plantation, while the other three were at the National World War II Museum, The Historic New Orleans Collection, and the New Orleans Jazz Museum.
French Consul General in Louisiana Nathalie Rice was the guest of honor. It was mixed, among others, Alexandra Stafford, Christine LeBlanc, Simone Rathle, Anne Normand, Vivienne and Peck Hayne, Scott Tilton and Rudy Bazenet, Philip Lorio, Sand and Norman Marmillion, Andrew Rinker, Stephen Murray, Pam Georges (too Dongieux), Shelley Pecot, i Lil Mackey.
Dunn & Sonnier Antiques-Florals-Gifts did the flowers; waiters James Kelley and Deborah Luckett libations served; and Chez Nous set the dining room table with lots of deliciousness.
The Società Italiana di Mutua Beneficenza Cefalutana celebrated its recent Festa, the 134th, in honor of Gesu Salvatore, the patron saint of Cefalu, Sicily, starting with a Mass at Cabrini High School, followed by lunch at Andrea’s Restaurant. There, Cefalutana banners decorated the room, where the red, white and green society colors and the coat of arms stood out. In terms of fine dining, Caesar salad, a main course with a choice of three courses, and cassata or bread pudding made up the menu.
A hereditary society, members of Cefalutana in New Orleans trace an ancestor to Cefalu. In addition, the organization is a benevolent society. Each year, the society awards a $1,000 Sal Serio Scholarship to a deserving Cabrini High School junior to be used toward senior year expenses. This year’s recipient is Ashley Parr.
There was a particularly sad note at the meeting because the aforementioned Salvadore J. “Sal” Serio had recently passed away. The Festa honored him, the president from 1995-2014, and president emeritus, 2014-2022. As stated in the printed program that carries his image on the cover, “…a particular society, Cefalutana,… was his love.” President of the society David F. Hank added an anecdote from the show that said that in heaven, Sal would be tending the Italian genealogy library or chatting with Joe Maselli in his office.
In addition to President Matassa, there are society leaders Christopher Serio Bardes, Peter Lamanna Sr., Rose Brocato, Lisa Serio, Edwin M. “Ed” Reeves Jr., Conchetta Lavene, Maria Serio Suggs, Joseph Taranto, Chris Marascalco Cummins, the Rev. Michael Marascalco, Kenny Matassa, Anne Matassa Reeves, i Carol Serio. The new members who joined the attendance of 165 were Milan Maggio Artigue, Julia Legrand Barlow, Abigail Brocato, Angelo Brocato IV and V, Bridgette Brocato, Kristi Brocato, Nick Brocato, James Anthony Cicero, Charles Edward Stuart Vallejo Cummins, Isabella Camille Vallejo Cummins, Lyniee Marie Marascalco Cummins, Sarah Grace Vallejo Cummins , Douglas S. Fisher, Ross Gernon, Caroline Hall, Erin Hattier, Blake Anthony Lasuzzo, Michael C. Touchy, Morris John Vaccarella, i Susan S. Vaccarella. Among the dignitaries was Harahan Police Chief Team WalkerKenner ex-president Captain Phil, civic leader Kenner Claude Todoroi Carlos Masalapresident of the American-Italian Federation of the Southwest.
Joe DeNone sang the US and Italian national anthems before launching into several Italian favourites. Not only did the guests enjoy these vocal gifts, but many went home with door prizes awarded at the end of the meal.