Every Day Is Mother’s Day (1949)


Top Row:   Mrs. Leona Dumas, Mrs. Nellie Ory Haydel, Mrs. Lucille F. Kemp

Bottom Row:  Mrs. Ethel J. Young, Mrs. Bertha Aubry, Mrs. Marguerite Barre

On the day before Mother’s Day (May 8, 1948) the Louisiana Weekly chose six New Orleans women to honor as their “Mothers of the Year.” On the front page of their Saturday edition was a photo and short write-up of each lady. These six ladies, as stated by the social editor-OdileTaylor Elias, were examples of the thousands of other deserving mothers who played a major part in the moral, financial and advisory roles of their families. It was impossible for the editor to print the entire list of the many such types of mothers they did locate, but the composite ones are typical of the many they found. In summary, they all championed the cause of their children and helped them to achieve lofty heights of success.

Below, is a short summary of each honoree that was selected for this award.

Mrs. Leona Dumas, a widow ever since one of her children was two years old and the other only six months, resided at 2526 London Avenue. Her son, Frederick Joseph received a Master’s Degree from Xavier Univ., became an instructor at Thomy Lafon School and served as a Lieutenant in World War II. Audrey Mae Dumas, her only daughter, also a graduate of Xavier University, was an instructress at Valena C. Jones School and even conducted her own dancing school which was well known and respected throughout the city of New Orleans. Mrs. Dumas, as a dressmaker and designer, made all the costumes worn in the revue of her daughter’s Audrey Mae Dumas School of Dancing.

Mrs. Nellie Ory Haydel of 2828 St. Bernard Avenue was the mother of nine children, six boys and three girls. Whitney and John were proprietors of Mecos, Inc., a cosmetic company; Dr. Clarence C. Haydel, medical doctor; Claude, an instructor at Cayette-Collier School; Roy, instructor at Tri-State, and Earlie, a rice and sugar-cane planter in St. James, LA. Her three daughters:  Loretta Cayette, Earline Hicks, and Bessie Duroncelet were all housewives.

Mrs. Lucille F. Kemp, was the wife of 1st Lt. Chester l. Kemp. They lived at 2018 Toledano Street and had three little girls, two of whom were born in Osaka and Gifu, Japan. Mrs. Kemp became the first woman of color to have given birth to children in those parts of Japan and, as a result, she was honored and awarded several gifts: a hair pin with two genuine pearl stones, a clustered ring with a genuine pearl center, and a pair of genuine pearl beads from the hospital staff. Her three daughters were Diane Lynn, Brenda Marie and Saundra Patricia Kemp.

Mrs. Ethel J.Young married Charles H. Young, Sr., an employee of the postal service. They resided at 716 South Salcedo Street with their four children, two boys and two girls. One son, Charles Jr., was a senior at Meharry Medical College and a graduate of Leland and Stanford University in Palo-Alto, California. Her second son, Lionel Young was a junior at Xavier Prep and a member of the school band. The girls were Doris, mathematics major and a member of Xavier Prep’s faculty; and Vera Mae, a French major and senior in Education at Xavier University.

Mrs. Bertha Aubry resided at 1928 Lapeyrouse Street and raised seven children, five boys and two girls. Albert, an optician, was employed by the American Optical Company. Allen was a painter; Alvin, an instructor at Thomy Lafon School; Alfred, a student at X.U.; Cpl. Alexis Jr., with the 371st Infantry Battalion in Germany. Bertha was an instructor at Craig School and Sister Anna Mary, a nun at the Holy Family Convent.

Mrs.Marguerite L. Barre resided at 3231 Pauger Street and was the mother of seven children, six boys and one girl. Three of her sons were deceased by 1948. Lloyd George was killed in action on July 13, 1944; Lawrence met with an accident, and Ferdinand was lost at sea September 7, 1944 during World War II. The other boys were Clarence, Stanley and Stanford Barre. Theda Barre was the only girl. The Barre Housing Project for veterans was named in honor of her sons who were killed in action.

SourceThe Louisiana Weekly, 08 May 1948 pages 1 and 5


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