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PELHAM — Forty-seven members of The Royal Red Hats of Pelham attended the first gathering of the New Year on Jan.10. Fourteen new Red Hat Society members, who will be joining us at the March gathering, were added to existing teams for each month of the year, and captains were then chosen for each team.

Nominations and elections for the 2006-2007 year then took center stage. The following Red Hatters ran unopposed and were elected: Therese Parent (queen); Virginia Fichera (vice queen); Dot Hill (secretary/treasurer). The new officers will assume their duties at the March 14 gathering, which is the beginning of our new fiscal year.

After the gathering, a “Mad Hatters” tea party was held. This event was planned by Capt. Shirley Janocha and her team consisting of Terry Desell, Terri Johnson, Norma Robinson and Paula Hancock.

A contest for the best teapot was held. All teapots were given a number and the members voted for their favorite. Some of the members gave a brief description of the teapot they submitted for judging. Some women explained their teapots as being of historical value, some of sentimental value and still others were on the comical side. If you were fortunate enough to be one of the lucky winners, there were games and numerous prizes from which to choose.

Garnering the most votes for best teapot and thus taking first place was Doris Tirrell, with an antique pewter teapot dating back to the early 19th century. To the best of her knowledge, it was used at the Stone Cottage in Pelham when it was a stagecoach stop on the Boston-to-Concord run. Doris states that it was around 1840 when Stone Cottage was acquired by her family.

Second prize went to Rayna Walsh for her white ceramic teapot, sugar and creamer that was glaze-trimmed in gold. It was handmade by Estelle Beconvsky, Rayna’s beloved late mother, about 45 years ago and has never been used.

Third prize went to Connie Lanseigne-Case with a Chinese teapot from the early 1900s owned by the Case family. In 1988, in a store in Kian, China, — found by Terra Cotta Army — an identical teapot was for sale. However, the characters were too old to translate by her guide.

While the voting was taking place, a game called Name the Profession was held. A volunteer from the group had a hat placed on her head and based only on yes-or-no answers to the questions she asked of them, she had to guess what profession would wear that particular hat. Among the many hats worn were gladiator, Santa, firefighter, wizard and nurse.

The tea party concluded with a luncheon consisting of a wide variety of food and desserts served buffet style that was supplied by the Red Hat Sisters. The January team is to be commended for all the hard work and time that went into planning this fun and enjoyable event.

On Feb. 2, many Red Hat Society members, wearing their red attire, attended the annual senior luncheon hosted by the Pelham High School National Honor Society. The meal was great and these bright young ladies and gentlemen did a marvelous job serving all those in attendance.

On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at our next scheduled monthly gathering, two psychics will be present to do readings, followed by a chocolate fantasy party. This activity will be hosted by Capt. and Vice Queen Sue Hovling, Madeline Annis, Kathy Moreschi, Mary Glance and Tricia Gill.

At the March 14 gathering, we will be welcoming the 14 new members: Georgette Aubrey, JoAnn Bell, Joan Berard, Lorraine Bragan, Donna O’Dette, Marilyn Hogan, Cecile Jussaume, Helen Kennedy, Simone Lausier, Joyce McDevitt, Helen Michaud, Florence Parece, Blanche Petroski and Rita St. Onge.

We will be attending Lord of the Dance at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on March 30. Those wishing to attend should contact the Senior Center to reserve a seat as soon as possible. The cost is $41, which will include the price of admission, transportation and tips. In charge of this March activity is Team Capt. Terri Parent and team members Jackee Sonia, Heather Oriole and Doris Tirrell.

The 2006/2007 dues of $12 are now due and should be paid by April 15.