This column is a regular contribution from Wilton Newcomers Club president Tara Thompson.
Just the other day I was looking through The Wilton Villager, searching for references to the Wilton Newcomers Club. I read an opinion piece on why we should have a community pool complex, referencing specific plans in the works and plenty of conflicting opinions and budgetary concerns. There were also articles about too much snow, too many school cancellations and reports of car accidents and injuries from falling on ice. It could have been an issue from last week, or last month… or at least sometime this past decade.
But it wasn’t. After reading through dozens of issues, I eventually found what I was looking for–a description of the founding of the Wilton Newcomers Club. The year was 1965.
Back then, each new home buyer in Wilton, primarily couples, would have a short bio printed in the Villager listing where they moved from and what street they had moved to, where the husband worked, (and more rarely the wife’s occupation, if she worked outside the home). Specific interests were mentioned, as were the names and ages of their children. Just like today, there was a huge influx of newcomers in spring, summer and early fall, with just a few profiled each week from Thanksgiving until Easter. Almost all had young children, as moving to Wilton “for the schools” was common even then.
There was so much interest in and camaraderie among all these newcomers that the Wilton Newcomers Club was formed, an offshoot of the Welcome Wagon. The Aug. 4 article detailed the various activities of the new club. Their first season kicked off with a September luncheon and fashion show by Ann Taylor at the Norwalk Shore and Country Club. Bridge, riding, tennis and bowling groups met weekly. A record hop and a Las Vegas Night were in the planning stages, as were classes in conversational French and Spanish, silver-smithing, and gourmet cooking.
Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about the amount of work it must have taken to start up the Wilton Newcomers Club–but it sure looks like they hit the ground running!
When the current Newcomers’ board began planning our 50th Anniversary Celebration, initially we wanted to have a Casino Night, but Connecticut laws must have changed over the past five decades because gambling is now strictly regulated and prohibited outside of a state authorized facility.
In just a couple of weeks, on March 28, I hope many of you will come out to celebrate our proud history of welcoming people to Wilton. Café Ruche, the newest restaurant in town, will cater our bash with delicious food and generous drinks. A jazz ensemble of local musicians will play, and a theatre company will provide the entertainment–a murder mystery. The evening will benefit Wilton Library, a pillar of our community that offers so much to so many. Tickets may be purchased in advance online. Don’t wait too long–they’re going fast!