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Mark Simonson

July 29, 2013

Onesiphorai Reading Club celebrating a centennial in Franklin

(Continued)

The first books the women read from were intended to study South America and the loss of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott. This was the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition where Capt. Scott led a party of five that reached the South Pole in January 1912, only to find that they had been preceded by Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian expedition.

Hebbard has long been associated with the club, as her mother was also a member. Louise often recalled coming home from school as a meeting was wrapping up, as the club met in the early afternoon before the school day ended. If it ran overtime, she and other friends at school were told they had to be quiet as their moms were still entertaining. There were many times when some of the desserts were left over from a meeting, a perk many Franklin youngsters enjoyed after their mother hosted a meeting at their home.

“My mother was known for her cream puffs,” Hebbard said. As for today’s treats, “I wouldn’t call it a competition, but it is a friendly challenge to see who comes up with the best desserts.”

The Onesiphorai Reading Club has lived up to its name of being profitable or helpful to the Franklin community in several ways over the years. During both World Wars, the women sewed and knitted for the Red Cross, and became responsible for a little orphan girl in France. The club also donated funds to help the Daughters of the American Revolution erect historic monuments in Franklin. Funds have been collected to help the Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as victims of the recent floods, and to fund an annual scholarship prize to a Franklin student in social studies. Donations for special books are given to the Franklin Free Library as well as donating books in memory of club members. Shopping is also done at holidays for local families and children in need.

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Mark Simonson

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