MOSS POINT -- The Fortnightly Club, a federated women's club in Moss Point, will celebrate a special birthday Sunday as the club turns 100. The club's members will commemorate the centennial anniversary with a private reception at Dantzler Memorial First United Methodist Church.
"The term 'fortnightly' means twice, so we meet twice a month from October to May," club president Pam Perkins said. "We're part of the Mississippi Federated Women's Club and the General Federated Women's Club, which is the international organization. We have different speakers at our meetings who talk to us about a variety of subjects."
Perkins said the club also does various civic projects throughout the year.
"Our main project we do is we send a young lady from Moss Point to the American Legion's Governor's School every year," she said. "We've been doing this for years. Also, if we see a need in the community, we try to fill that need through donations or our time."
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Through the years
According to club historian Jackie Spires, the Fortnightly Club was started by three women -- C.W. Jackson, C.M. Fairly and Jessie Bounds -- in the fall of 1915.
"We aren't sure why the club was started, but it was just a way for a group of women to get together and meet and discuss topics," Spires said. "It may have been started out of boredom. We have no way of knowing for sure."
The club was federated in 1936.
Spires, who has been in the club for 29 years, said the group has well-kept records for 95 of its 100 years.
"We have yearbooks for 95 years of the club's existence," she said. "There aren't a lot of photos from the early years because people didn't take photos back then like we do now. We have some extra copies of some of the year books and we are going to donate them to the library in Pascagoula because they have a genealogy department. There is a lot of history in those books."
While Spires has been a club member for almost three decades, another member of the club has been there a bit longer.
"Dot Cirlot has been in the club for 50 years," Perkins said. "Linda Bullock has been in the Fortnightly Club for 38 years. We have eight members that have been in it for more than 25 years."
Fortnightly Club today
Spires said the club's current membership is 24, which is the maximum number of members allowed by the MFWC.
"The club used to be just women that knew each other but now we are getting more people interested in becoming members," she said. "We're branching out and getting women that are new to the community."
Spires said the club does not take on an as many projects as it once did, but after a century of service, the Fortnightly Club is still active in the community.
"We have had historians tell us that we are the oldest federated women's club in Jackson County," she said. "After 100 years, we're just glad the club is still around."