Our History

Ikebana International Chapter 13 History

Ikebana International Dallas Chapter 13 was organized on May 19, 1958. Mrs. B. A. McReynolds was teaching Oriental arranging to a group of ladies when contacted by Mrs. E.W. Hays representing the Washington D.C. chapter # 1.

The Gealy Group of Dallas

They gave such an interesting report of the study of Japanese Art in Washington that our chapter was immediately formed with the name of “The Gealy Group of Dallas”.

Mrs. Mildred Gealy was the first Oriental Art teacher in Dallas, and had spent several years studying in Japan. She was bestowed the first life membership in the Dallas Chapter. A charter was applied for and the group voted to have only six officers’ names on the charter.

The first officers of the Gealy Group:

Ikebana Dallas Officers 1958

President – Mrs. B. A. McReynolds (Anna)
1st Vice President – Mrs. Lavere Brooks ( Bette)
2nd Vice President – Mrs. U. E. Meyer ( Kay)
Secretary – Mrs. T. M. Montgomery (Ruby)
Treasurer – Mrs. R. E. Byers ( Poppy)
Historian – Mrs. R. J. Littlefield (Grace)
Past Publicity Chairmen –
Erna Gealy and Dorothy

First Meeting 1958

The first regular meeting of the Gealy Group of the Dallas Chapter of Ikebana International was held May 22, at 12:30 PM in the Preston Center Oak Cliff Savings and Loan bank. Membership was limited to 20 members.

In September 1958, plans were made for an invitational coffee for the purpose of organizing a city wide chapter of I.I. with small study groups. The coffee was held at the Dallas Garden Center on October 31, 1958, with 29 new members added. January, April, August, and October were set as months for regular meetings.

January 29, 1959

The Dallas Chapter of I.I. presented Mrs. Takako Saibara from the Sho Fu Ryu School of Japanese Flower Arranging in a demonstration- lecture at the Dallas Garden Center. Mrs. Saibara was a founding member of the Houston Group and held certificates in several Ikebana Schools. A capacity audience attended. Workshops were held on the 28th and 30th.

April 29, 1959

Themeeting was held at the Dallas Garden Center with several members making arrangements and discussing their arrangements. Plans were made for master teacher, Mrs. Tomoko Yamamoto, of DeMoines, Iowa for the Oct. 27th meeting.

June 3, 1958

A special meeting honoring the founder of Ikebana International, Mrs. Ellen G. Allen was held at the Tower Hotel. Mrs. Allen gave an illustrated lecture of Japanese Flower Arrangements and showed slides of the Ikebana International tour of Japan. Mrs. Allen told of her ideal — her dream and its realization–in the founding of Ikebana International. Forty-one members attended lunch with Mrs. Allen following the meeting.

August 27, 1959

After a business meeting and discussion of the October meeting plans, Mrs. McReynolds introduced Mrs. Bennett of Humble, TX. Ms. Humble showed slides of her recent trip to Tokyo with Mrs. Allen’s group– including pictures of the schools where they studied. Mrs. Bennett’s delightful comments and interesting stories made this an outstanding meeting.

Ikebana Dallas Group Photo 1959

October 23, 1959

The Dallas I.I. chapter met in the Four Seasons room of Tower Courts. Fifty-seven members, 37 guest, and 7 members
of the Cleburne Chapter were present. After a business meeting, lunch was served. After lunch Mrs. Tomoko Yamamoto of DeMoines, Iowa, an internationally renowned flower arranger, gave a demonstration-lecture.

January 29, 1960

The I.I. Dallas chapter met at the Singing Hills Garden Center. A business meeting was held, a nominating committee was elected, and Margaret Fleming read the revised by-Laws. Nageire-style arrangements were made and discussed by members.

Charter Members of Dallas I.I. Chapter 13 (Original 20 in Alphabetical order)

1. Mrs La Vere Brooks ( Bette)
2. Mrs Richard E. Byers ( Poppy)
3. Mrs E. S. Erickson ( Helen)
4. Mrs Robert Ewing ( Mildred)
5. Mrs Herbert Fleming ( Margaret)
6. Mrs Fred Gealy ( Mildred)
7. Mrs. E. W. Hays ( Erna)
8. Mrs G. W. Hopkins ( Sis)
9. Mrs John Horton ( Nettie)
10. Mrs R. J. Littlefield ( Grace)
11. Mrs H. Neill McFarland ( June)
12. Mrs. B. A. McReynolds ( Anna)
13. Mrs U. Edward Meyer ( Kay)
14. Mrs. Charles Mitchell ( Mary)
15. Mrs T. M. Montgomery ( Ruby)
16. Mrs. Albert Pabst ( Dorothy)
17. Mrs W. O. Parks ( Moena)
18. Mrs. D. C. Prichett
19. Mrs. J. Elmer Weaver ( Virginia)
20. Mrs W.E. Weaver ( Wyness)
21. Miss Irene Haddox ( Mrs A. S. Waters)
22. Mrs. Metz Wright
23. Mrs Mary Porter McCarkle
24. Mrs. H. Frank Smith
25. Mrs Ted J. Freeman ( Mary)
26. Mrs Lane P. Davis ( Mary)
27. Mrs A. W. Bourke ( Eleanor)
28. Mrs Lawrence Rhea ( Jeanette)
29. Mrs Bill W. Filgo ( Hortense)
30. Mrs Frank G Harmon ( Nita)
31. Mrs A. D. Edwards ( Lola)
32. Mrs Roy M. Cooper ( Marge)
33. Mrs L. B. Stone
34. Mrs James J. Huey ( Corrinne)
35. Mrs A. B. Cass ( Iva)
36. Mrs Hugh A. Purnell ( Lula May)
37. Mrs George C. Mitchell
38. Mrs George S. Bell Sr. ( Stella?)
39. Mrs Joe A McCloud
40. Mrs W. C. Bednar
41. Mrs A. Wilson Wood ( Ethel)
42. Mrs Juluis Stanglin ( Frances)
43. Mrs J.H. Squires ( Henrietta)
44. Mrs E. E. Seaton ( Margaret)
45. Mrs J. A. Benford
46. Mrs Fred J. Mabry ( Blanche)
47. Mrs Ralph Canter ( Rose)
48. Mrs Conrad Preston ( Billy Jean)
49. Mrs Steve Mulkey
50. Mrs H. S. Keough ( Lee Ola)
51. Mrs W. R. Elliott
52. Mrs W. M. Baker
53. Mrs James A. Ball ( Dorothy)
54. Mrs Chaim Richman ( Betty)
55. Mrs Seymour B. Gastin ( Gladys)
56. Mrs Eugene Callahan ( Madelyn)

On May 19, 2008

Our Chapter celebrated 50 years of history with a wonderful Gala Evening. On May 23, 2013 the members of Dallas Chapter 13 gathered to celebrate our 55th Anniversary.