Smooth white marble that was once used as a surface to roll out biscuits and pastry in the home of a loving grandmother now graces a modest monument erected in memory of deceased Morning Glory Garden Club members.
Club members dedicated the tabby and masonry memorial in a brief ceremony Wednesday morning in Hinesville’s Main Street Park.
“This project is very dear to us,” said Club President Judy Shippey.
Shippey explained that club members have been planting trees and shrubs in memory of deceased club members and deceased spouses of members in Main Street Park each year for about 25 years. After each planting was made to honor the memory of a beloved individual, the club would also erect a marker.
Club members decided a more lasting gesture would be to dedicate a single, permanent memorial to all their departed members and spouses. Shippey credits club member LaNell Crapps for originating the monument idea, calling it “her brainchild.”
Crapps, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony, said she placed a bouquet of white roses at the base of the monument in memory of deceased members. She also placed red roses in front of the memorial to honor current club members, she added.
Flemington Presbyterian Church pastor the Rev. Greg Loskoski offered an invocation and unveiled the memorial during the ceremony.
The club accumulated close to $1,000 over several years to put toward the project, inheriting some of the monies from a sister garden club when it disbanded, according to Shippey. The club president personally donated the marble slab for the monument’s plaque. The marble had been in her family for a century. It was first acquired by Shippey’s grandfather, a Tifton, Georgia banker named M.E. Hendry.
“He obtained the marble when his bank building was remodeled at some point in the 1920s,” Shippey wrote in the dedication ceremony program.
Shippey’s grandmother kept the marble on her kitchen counter for many years. Shippey inherited the marble piece when her grandparents’ home was dismantled in 1980. She then displayed the family heirloom in her kitchen for a generation before donating it to the club’s monument project.
The marble plaque was engraved by Bailey Monument Company of Jesup. Mason Craig Robinson of Midway fashioned the memorial. The City of Hinesville also “cooperated beautifully” with the club in having the monument installed in the park, according to Shippey.
In addition to beautifying Main Street Park, the Morning Glory Garden Club has planted flower beds in Bryant Commons, according to club members. The club has been an active part of the Hinesville community for more than 60 years. Shippey believes the organization was founded in 1953.
“I think the memorial is significant,” said Hinesville City Council Member and Mayor Pro-Tem Kenneth Shaw. “We have wonderful garden club members. They always work hard and are dedicated.”