History of Hampton-Newport News Chapter
The National Epicureans, Inc., formerly known as the "Epicureans" was organized in 1944 by a group of women who had been high school and college friends in Richmond, VA. A group of young women from Hampton and Newport News, VA was contacted by Mary Riley and Maxine Riley concerning their interest in organizing a chapter of National Epicureans, Inc.
As a result of this meeting, the Portsmouth Chapter sponsored the Hampton-Newport News Chapter. We were installed in a very impressive ceremony at the home of Mary Riley who was elected president of the chapter. The following charter members were inducted on November 21, 1953 by the National President, Ruby Mitchell, a member of the Richmond Chapter, which is our Mother Chapter: Julia Rice Bassette, Joyce Brown-Fannin, Maxine Tann Riley. Thelma Gary Boone, Alma Chandler Frazier, Roberta Riley Simms, Arminta Cooke, Ione Raney, Mable King Sykes, Jeannette Sims Cooper, Cora Mae Reid, Bernice Davis Winston, Flora Duncan Harrell, and Mary M. Riley.
The Hampton-Newport News Chapter was the fifth chapter in the organization.
-May 25, 1956 Bay Shore Beach, Hampton, VA
-June, 1965 Chamberlin Hotel, Fort Monroe, VA (*First black group to host a conclave/convention in this hotel)
-June 2, 1978 Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, VA
-June 16, 2000 Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center, Hampton, VA
OUR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Christmas Parties * Founders' Day Dinner Dances * Round Robin Parties * Members' Retirement Celebration
Induction Ceremonies and Parties * Worship Services
CONTRIBUTIONS TO ORGANIZATIONS AND CHARITIES
NAACP - Golden Heritage Awards (2); Little England Chapel; HELP - Hampton Roads Ecumenical and Lodging
Provisions; Road Ahead; Doug Wilder's Gubernatorial Campaign; Lupus Foundation; Boys' and Girls' Club of
Greater Hampton Roads; battered Women Homeless Shelter; Thanksgiving Gamily Adoptees (Food, clothing,
toys); Sickle Cell Anemia Children's Christmas Parties; Sickle Cell Anemia Summer Camp Child Sponsorship;
Newport News General Hospital; Y.H. Thomas Community Center, Hampton, VA.
MEMBERS WHO HAVE HELD NATIONAL OFFICES
President: Thelma Boone; Vice President: Thelma Boone; Secretary: Thelma Boone; Treasurer: Mary Riley;
Treasurer: Shirley Williams; Journalists: Shirley Williams, Rebecca Smith and Alice Haynes.
PRESIDENTS OF OUR CHAPTER
Mary Riley, Thelma Boone, Olivia Murphy, Jeannette Cooper, Bernice Winston, Mildred Whaley, Mable Sykes,
Rebecca Smith, Jean Carnegie, Julie Williams, O'Marie White, Jeannette Lovett, Ada Sloan, Alma Frazier, Elaine
Wilson, Shirley Williams, Sandra Brown and Harriet Ferguson.