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Semper Fi Club Marks 101 Years

New officers take oath at Saturday meeting

By Vickie Babyak
The Tube City Almanac
February 28, 2022
Posted in: Announcements

Outgoing Semper Fidelis president Norine Jenkins pins a corsage on incoming president Jacqueline Blake. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

McKeesport’s Semper Fidelis Club installed its new officers during a luncheon ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The club, which is marking its 101st anniversary this year, promotes educational programs, provides scholarships for students of African-American descent, and promotes civic and social activities within the community and, whenever feasible, regionally and nationally.

Club members said the group also has been a source of input and support on issues that affect women and supports other local charities.

Newly installed officers for 2022 are Jacqueline Blake, president; Joanne Rodgers, vice president; Tia Wanzo, treasurer; Laura Green, financial secretary; T. Renee Easley, recording secretary; Fawn Walker Montgomery, assistant recording secretary; Amber Webb, corresponding secretary; Anica Jones Paige, parliamentarian; Paula Robinson, chaplain; and Joy Simmons, historian.

The meeting was held at Di’s Kornerstone Diner on Long Run Road. Club members said Diane Elias, proprietor of the restaurant, has been a long-time supporter, and that her support has been very much appreciated.

Following a call to order and an invocation, Simmons sang “Amazing Grace.” Her remarks honored Black women of distinction from throughout history, including civil-rights activist Sojourner Truth, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan, ballet dancer Misty Copeland and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Baldwin also addressed the club members, quoting Margaret Thatcher in her remarks (“if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman”), as well as Maya Angelou: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

Norine Jenkins, outgoing Semper Fidelis president, presided over the installation of new officers and passed the gavel to Blake.

McKeesport native Cynthia Baldwin, a former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice and Allegheny County judge, addresses the Semper Fidelis Club including quotes from Margaret Thatcher and Maya Angelou as part of her speech. (Vickie Babyak photo for Tube City Almanac)

The newly inducted McKeesport Semper Fidelis Club officers include Amber Webb, corresponding secretary; Tia Wanzo, treasurer; Paula Robinson, chaplain; T. Renee Easley, recording secretary; Jacqueline Blake, president; Anica Jones Paige, parlimentarian; and Joy Simmons, historian.

Originally published February 28, 2022.

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