HISTORY OF THE EASTERN PROVINCE SILHOUETTES
The Eastern Province consists of chapters in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Although small in a geographic area, its members have been at the forefront of the national Silhouettes serving as national officers. From Washington, DC, Mary Foley (now deceased) served as national president. Marian Tyrance served as national first vice president and Louise Young as national treasurer. From Baltimore, Maryland, Elva Edwards served as national president and national historian. Carolyn Tutman of Baltimore has served as national secretary. Joyce Fountaine from Richmond, Virginia, is the immediate past national president. The music to the national Silhouette hymn was composed by Gwendolyn Eichelberger of Washington, DC.
The Province Coordinators came into existence while Silhouette Foley was the national president. (1966-1970). the first Eastern Province Coordinator was Silhouette Elva Edwards of Baltimore. She worked tirelessly to get the province organized. The Balti-more, Washington, DC, Richmond, and Columbia, MD chapters formed the nuclei. By 1985 there were twenty chapters in the province.
The second Province Coordinator, Geraldine Fowlkes of Washington, DC continued to build on the foundation through various means of communication with chapters - letters, meetings, telephone calls, and visitations. At each Conclave, she met with the Eastern Province chapters in attendance - a practice that continues today. Among the later chapters formed were Silver Spring, Hyattsville/Landover, Lynchburg, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Cape Charles/Accomac, Virginia. During this period the bylaws were written and adopted. Geraldine Fowlkes initiated the idea of a newsletter for the province. A contest was held to name the newsletter. The final selection was the Eastern Silhouette Pipeline (ESP) given by Louise Young of the Washington chapter. Two issues were published while Jocelyn Gross of Norfolk was a journalist. Succeeding her in March 1986 was Louise Young. The Eastern Province is very proud of its newsletter. Currently, Jeanne DeBose of the Washington, DC chapter is a journalist.
Many talents have been displayed in the Eastern Province. Iris McConnell of the Hyattsville/Landover chapter has written a beautiful prayer which is often used to open each province meeting. The Portsmouth Silhouettes composed a Silhouette song which has been rendered on several occasions. Lyrics were by Silhouette Brenda Williams.
The Portsmouth choir has performed at province meetings and also at the national meeting in Washington, DC in August 1985.
The Eastern Province Silhouettes have made donations to many worthwhile projects. Initially, over $1,500 was given to the National Kappa Alpha Psi Building Foundation. Individual chapters are life members of the NAACP and other organizations. They have also contributed funds to hospitals, nursing homes, cancer research, community organizations, colleges and have sponsored programs designed to fit the needs of their particular communities.
The Province has hosted three Grand Chapter meetings: Baltimore, 1968, Washing-ton, DC, 1954, and 1985. After the 1985 Conclave in Washington, the following Silhouettes served the Province as coordinators: Iris McConnell, Hyattsville/Landover, Laverne Ford of Silver Spring, MD., Ivy McCleod of Washington. D.C. and Inez Teasley of Washington, DC. Jacquelene Massey of Baltimore is the current coordinator.
Iris McConnell was the first secretary/treasurer of the Province. Laverne Ford start-ed the mid-year executive meetings. During her administration, an address book for all Sil-houettes in the Province was produced.
During the administration of Inez Teasley (1997-2000), the Province elected its first Assistant Province Coordinator, Joan Crutchfield of Hyattsville/Landover Silhouettes. In 1998 the office of secretary/treasurer was made two separate positions. Jacquelene Mas-sey became secretary and Diane Jenkins (who served several years as secretary/treasurer), became the treasurer. The Awards and Recognition Program was initiated by Laverne Ford in 1997. Also during this period the number of chapters in the province increased from seven to ten.