2005-05-13 / Community

Local Chapters Of ‘Red Hat Society’ Set

The club’s guest of honor, and now an honorary Red Hatter, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, was presented with a red rose and a purple shirt in token of her newly elevated status.  She is pictured with Queen Communicator Rita Shea accepting her red rose. The club’s guest of honor, and now an honorary Red Hatter, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, was presented with a red rose and a purple shirt in token of her newly elevated status. She is pictured with Queen Communicator Rita Shea accepting her red rose. At the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula – in the southernmost part of New York City – there are three communities, two of which have their own chapters of the 37,000-member Red Hat Society. Point Breeze is home to the Breezy Belles Chapter of the Red Hats; and Rockaway Point proudly claims the Coastal Colleens. We’re hoping soon for a new chapter, the Roxbury Rubies perhaps – or some other suitable name for a group of fifty-plus ladies whose sole purpose in life is to have fun.

The Coastal Colleens have a logo consisting of a red hat, enclosing a purple flower, surrounded by, what else, a shamrock. We are hoping, and encouraging, our neighbors in Neponsit, Belle Harbor, Rockaway Park (including Bayswater and points east), and Broad Channel will soon create Red Hat chapters so that we can have Red Hats all over the peninsula.

The national headquarters of the Red Hats, based in California, decreed that April 25 would be National Red Hat Day. To mark the occasion the Coastal Colleens sponsored a luncheon on April 21 at the Riis Landing Historical Building in Roxbury. More than 30 “hatters” from all parts of the peninsula attended and celebrated.

For those unfamiliar with this group, it is open to all women of fifty or more – who then wear red hats and purple garments when they attend luncheons. We also create our own rules – generally none – and our own titles. For example, the Coastal Collens have appointed Grace McCloskey as Queen Mama Grande (Big Mama to those unfamiliar with the ‘grande” part) and Rita Shea as Queen Communicator. She gets to send invitations, write press releases, and otherwise report on the events and non-events of our chapter. At our luncheons we have loud music, circa 1950; the hand-wringing discussions of burning issues such as pensions, Medicare, and the like. No one takes life very seriously and we encourage all like-minded ladies to join us the club.

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