The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) herald its annual luncheon Feb. 24. APHN President Dr. Vicki Parrish made a special presentation honoring Gay and LJ Melder for their dedication to the organization for well over 50 years.
Dr. Mark Guidry gave a presentation on the legacy of faith and cultural spirit of Isle Brevelle.
Six new board members were elected to serve until 2020, which included: Wallace Berry, Dee Fowler, Sharon Huey, Connie Melder, Gretchen Murchison and Gina Puls.
Dr. Parrish then mentioned the below people for all the time they spend promoting and helping to keep APHN and its facilities up and running.
Past Presidents Council: Julia Hildebrand, Martha Maynard, Arleen Mayeux, Vicki Parrish and Sue Weaver
Board of Directors: Alma Alost, Lisa Bostick, Gary Cathey, Dr. Virginia Crossno, Elizabeth Dalton, Dr. Susan Dollar, Diane Doughty, Frank Douglas, Chris Evans, Harold Faust, Dr. Jerry Ferguson, Gayle Howell, Barbara Jackson, Eileen Kendrick, Jenny Massia, Sandra McCullen, Dr. Vicki Parrish, Anita Pierce, Lisa Prudhomme, Cheryl Rambin, Anne Stevens, Harry Thompson, Dawn Wells, Les Amies Representative Robin Flynn, and Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission APHN Representative Marilyn McMurtry
Staff: APHN Facilities Manager Molly Dickerson, Melrose Bindery Manager Betty Metoyer-Roque, and Gardener William Stanton
Interpretive Staff: Pam Attridge, Mikayla Blue, Nicholas Ferguson, Susan Keller, Bayleigh Smith and Jo Ann St. Clair
Long Term Interpretation Committee: Dr. Vicki Parrish, Shiela Richmond, Elvin Shields, Cynthia Sutton, Mary Linn Wernet, Thomas Whitehead, Dr. Kass Byrd, Dr. Susan Dollar, Dusty Fuqua and Dr. Pete Gregory
Dickerson then presented the Melrose Facilities Report with the following statistics:
Accomplishments in 2017:
12,840 visitors to Melrose in 2017, which is a 6-year high and included 63 large groups
2017 Melrose Arts&Crafts Festival had 2,000 visitors and 74 artisans and was named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events
Fall Tour of Homes had a unique theme featuring underground cellars in historic homes, which led to a banner year for this event
800 third graders attended the annual Children’s Tour with 100 older students and APHN members serving as interpretive guides
Melrose Bindery Manager Betty Metoyer-Roque presented a “Faces of Tourism” award by the Natchitoches Tourist Office
Dr. Parrish wrapped up the luncheon by speaking on the younger generation’s increased use of technology. While this can be a good thing, it can lead to a yearning for a more meaningful connection to the community, their peers, and the role models around them.
“APHN is 75 years old,” she said. “We are a strong role model for the younger generations.” She said students at NSU often refer to APHN as the “Natchitoches Mafia” because they perceive the members of the organization as the people in town who get things done.
“You’ve been a role model and you didn’t even know it,” said Dr. Parrish. “They see us as devoted to our task. Each of us has a spark of life inside us. I challenge everyone here to set a spark off in everyone we meet.”
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not. -Dr. Suess
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