The iconic Boeuf Gras; the purple, green and gold tricolors; the intertwined letters of R, E, X surmounted by a crown; and the mention “School of Design and Pro Bono Publico Foundation” adorned the cover of the invitation. Inside, for starters, “Rex 2019, 2020 and 2020 invite you and a guest to dinner to honor your generous support of the Pro Bono Publico Foundation.” The location was the Audubon Tea Room and the dress code, “White linen or business suit with Rex tie.”
To preside over the gala dinner, which was preceded by cocktails outside and tasty appetizers, three former bearers of the prestigious crown: James J. Reiss III from 2022, J. Storey Charbonnet of 2020 and Robert S. Boh of 2019. Accompanying the honorary presidents were their wives, Erica Reiss, Anne Lynne Charbonnet and Anne Boh. Her Majesty in 2015, Christian T. Brown (with KIA), was present, along with many ancient kings, such as R. Hunter Pierson Jr. with Kathy; Ronald J. French with Flora (as Miss Fenner, a former Carnival queen, meaning Rex); and Richard W. Freeman Jr. with Sarah.
After rounds on the patio, guests entered the tea room where two giant screens flanking the podium were used for the five-minute video featuring the recipients of the 2021 PBF grant distribution. , ending with words of gratitude from Rex Charbonnet, as he acknowledged all present and dinner sponsors. Noted were Edwin R. “Rod” Rodriguez Jr. and Elizabeth, Karl E. Hoefer and Lisa, H. Merritt Lane III and Elly, Richard F. Cortizas, Kenneth A. St. Charles, Benjamin A. “Ben” Dupuy with Sweet, John M. Hairston, G. Anthony “Tony” Gelderman and Katherineand Gordon H. Kolb and Linda. To start. Hundreds of names appeared on the back of the printed program as a fan roll of honor.
Centerpieces by Meade Wenzel Mandevilla blossoms, wax begonias and coneflowers – all three red – were separated by burgundy striped mini carnations and white orlaya. When it was time to serve the various dishes for dinner, smiles abounded at the nomenclature: chopped lobster salad à la Reiss, fillet of beef à la Charbonnet and chocolate mousse à la Boh.
Marc Romig began the live auction, which has deservedly had fiery bidding by recent Rexes Charbonnet and Reiss. The latter is now the proud owner of a Hunt Slonem “Rabbit.”
Alexis, who honors the royal family as Tsar and Tsarina at her Imperial Reception during Carnival, hosted a summer dinner at the Metairie Country Club. The rally was marked “Alexis goes to Casino Royale“. Befitting summer formality, men wore white jackets and women wore summer cocktail looks. Upon arrival, the former received red carnations for their lapels, while the latter received boxes from Adler containing a pin in the shape of a Tsarina’s crown.
During the first meeting, guests enjoyed miniature crab cakes, meat pies, and tomato and basil bruschetta. The party’s eye turned to themed table decorations consisting of red and black gambling chips and playing cards, as well as roses. Beef tenderloin and red velvet cake were headliners on the dinner menu.
AJ Friedmandating with spouse Devicepresided over the summer dinner, which included Eric Berger (joint Carrie was out of town), the current Tsarina Sonda Stacy and Ted, spouses Shannon Walgamotte and Lynda Moreau, Charlene and Tim Peterson, Caroline and Arthur Nead, Amie Harllee Seba, Drew and Julie Jardine, Melissa and Bruce Gordon, Ken Mann, Carmen and Joe Sampognaro, Stephen Chesnut, Marijane and Charles Childress, Frederic Querens, and René and Kim Navarre.
A Harry Hardin lively jazz trio throughout the evening. Early on, the eponymous Hardin said Frank Sinatra’s songs would be among the favorites returned. “Of course,” he said, in reference to the theme, “We’ll be playing ‘Luck Be a Lady’.”
Attention Anglophiles! For “more than 128 years, the Royal Society of St. George has been England’s premier patriotic organization”, promoting and celebrating the country’s way of life, history, food and drink. The New Orleans Chapter of the Royal Society was personally chartered by Her Majesty Elizabeth II, the Godfather. Therefore, it was more appropriate for the chapter to salute its platinum jubilee with style and feeling.
In the hall, a club on St. Charles Avenue, flags of England, Scotland, Wales and Great Britain hung from mantelpieces; Meade Wenzel provided flowers and decorations throughout; and special napkins with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee insignia and cups with that of the Royal Society of St. George decorated and accessorized the evening.
Other attractions were Chez Nous’s catering of antipasti, crab cakes, seared tuna, beef tenderloin, smoked salmon, and Arabella shrimp and rice, which had a libationary complement in the sea bass dishes of The Wine Seller and the specialty drink, Regent’s Punch.
President Paul Massinter makes rounds (solo because Renée could not attend), as does the vice-president Bryant York and MelissaSecretary Treasurer John Overby and Lizette, and former president Jeff Meckstroth. Honorary Consul of Great Britain E. Quinn Peeper, who is also president of the English-speaking Union of the United States, was noted, as was the representative of the Daughters of the British Empire Jane Caruso and Leonard, David Rieveschl and Tiffany, Jonathan Rynning and Adrienne, Jack and Mara Coiron, William “Billy” Woessner and Cindy, Jason Adriance and Muffin, Birchey Butler, Dorothy “Do” Clyne, Arthur Landry and Jeanne, Jay Gulotta and Susan Talley, David and Marilyn Aiken, Brian Klebba and Kendra, Susan Couvillon, Jay and Lois Van Kirk, Matt Guy and Megan, Anna Ruth Douglas, and Tim and Jeanne Walker.
From jimmy maxwell Orchestra came five musicians and a singer. The celebration culminated with the driving singing of the four verses of “God Save the Queen”, followed by President Masinter’s toast to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee and unprecedented reign of 70 years.