Thursday, November 29, 2007
Mr. and Mrs. Clen D. Moore Jr. celebrate 50th anniversary October 6 at the Radisson Inn
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13
With the theme being I Corinthians 13:13, the words “awesome,” “spectacular,” “simply wonderful,” are just a few adjectives that one might use to describe the 50th wedding celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Clen D. Moore Jr., formerly of Coldwater, now residing in a new home in Waterford. From the sounding of the first note in the prelude to the last note in the postlude, all persons present can witness that this was indeed a royal celebration! The Moores were married on Oct. 2, 1957, but the grand celebration luncheon – given by their children, sister and brother-in-law – was held Saturday, Oct. 6, at noon at the Radisson Inn Memphis Airport.
The hosts and hostesses were nieces, nephews and former students of the honorees, along with their daughters-in-law, Dr. Susan Swayze and Dr. Rona Straughter-Moore. As the hostesses and hosts greeted and seated over 200 friends and family members that filled the Grand Concourse Room of the Radisson, an atmosphere of royalty was immediately established as the attendants – dukes and duchesses – and the royal children lined up for the processional.
The Royal Golden program began with the “Prelude” with violinist Dr. Aronica Williams, the couple’s niece; pianist, James Robinson, college friend of the celebrants; and soloists Dr. Clen Damon and Robert Irving Moore, sons of the honorees. Only two musical renditions were given. The first one was R. and C. Harris’ famed “In This Very Room,” sung by the Moores’ sons. The second selection was J.S. Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” rendered by Dr. Williams and Mr. Robinson.
Then there was the “Call to Celebrate” by emcees Mr. and Mrs. George Williams, Mrs. Moore’s sister and brother-in-law from Milwaukee, Wisc., who introduced the persons in the royal processional. First, to Purcell’s “Trumpet Voluntary” came the royal marshals, Darius Williams and Imani Bazzell, nephew and niece of the celebrants. They were followed by the dukes and duchesses – most of whom had known the celebrants for 50 years.
The dukes, dressed in black and ivory and pinned with a gold boutonniere, included: Messrs. Lawrence Autry, Floyd Miller, Russell Johnson and Dr. Arvern Moore, Holly Springs; Thomas Crockette, Albert Moore and Rev. William Smith, Memphis, Tenn.; Charles Crouther, Coldwater; Sterman Cullins, Denver, Colo.; Clyde Driver and James Moore, Waterford; Thomas Eskridge, Lexington; David Suggs, Milwaukee, Wisc.; and Captain Robert E. Davis II, USN, Lorton, Va. Dressed in ivory and wearing a gold corsage, the duchesses included Mmes. Becky Adams and Emma Crouther, Coldwater; Irene Autry, Boyce Blackmon, Carol Moody and Anita Moore, Holly Springs; Ann Davis Crockette, Lillian G. Smith and Pauletta McKinney and Doris Wright, Memphis, Tenn.; Minnie Cullins, Denver Colo.; Shirley Davis, Lorton, Va.; Elmira Driver, Waterford; Pearl Eskridge, Lexington; Helen Grantham, Columbus; Pauline Lane, Olive Branch; Margie Mathis, Oxford; Bobbie Suggs, Milwaukee, Wisc.; and Dr. Nellie B. King, Buffalo, N.Y.
Next, to the strains of the beloved hymn, “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” the royal children made their entrance – the boys wearing black and ivory and the girls attired in ivory. Each child had been pinned with a breast cancer awareness ribbon, because in lieu of gifts, the celebrants had requested that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn. Also, each child carried a long-stemmed red or ivory rose to present to the celebrants. Leading the line were the senior Moores’ grandchildren: Grantham, Lara, Gannon and Clen D. Jacob, followed by grandnieces, nephews, and neighbors.
When the music changed to the “Theme from Love Story,” the moment that everyone had waited for had arrived, the entrance of the celebrants. First, there was the entrance of his royal highness: emperor Clen D. Moore Jr., escorted by niece Imani, and sporting a gold crown and carrying a scepter. With the exception of a gold tie and vest, the emperor was clad in off-white. Next, escorted by nephew Darius, empress W. Jean Davis Moore made her grand entrance. She wore a gold floor-length silk gown, designed by Niki Livan, shoes from Chic Boutique, Tiara from David’s Bridal, and jewelry by Doron Rosen. She carried a bouquet of yellow roses entwined with her royal gold scepter. When the emperor and empress were seated at the head table, the royal children presented their flowers.
The formal program began with the emcees singing “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” followed by: Invocation, Rev. William Smith; Scripture: I Corinthians 13:1-13, Rev. O.B. Boothe; music, Massenet’s “Mediation from Thais,” Dr. Aronica Williams, violinist; and greetings and occasion by the Moores’ sons, Damon and Robert. Of the many reflections made by the sons, they commented that it was significant that their mother was expecting the former when President Kennedy was assassinated, that the latter when Dr. King was killed. The sons ended their remarks with the singing of a promise, “I Will Be Here,” composed by Steven Curtis Chapman. Then, the luncheon blessing was offered by Rev. Hugh W. Jones, the presiding elder of the Sardis-Olive Branch District.
Next, came the royal feast, and the royal guests were treated to a grand buffet luncheon – what a spread! As they dined, Captain Robert E. Davis II – USN – the empress’ brother, entertained the royal court by singing some religious songs, as well as popular songs from the ’50s. A highlight of the occasion was a video presentation, “The Journey to the Golden Affair,” by son Robert. As a lead in to his presentation, Robert’s son Grantham Moore played a beautiful piano rendition of “Beautiful Dreamer.” This done, out of the darkened room a golden Trojan (Robert) strove over to his parents and presented tokens of love. What followed in the video was the portraying of the celebrants’ union in reverse: starting with the present and life with the grandchildren, yesteryears with the sons growing up, and the beginning when there was just Mom and Dad! With many of the friends and family members included in the video, the presentation brought much laughter and some tears to all – just remembering.
The tributes were given by: the royal family – Master Grantham Moore, spokesperson; the royal friends – Anita Moore and Dr. Arvern Moore; and the royal family members – Albert Moore Sr. and Captain Robert Davis II. The toasts followed and were made by Mildred Hassell and her daughter, Jannifer H. Stovall; Dr. Nellie B. King and Russell Johnson. Even the royal children lifted their glasses of sparkling grape juice to wish the royal couple many more years together.
The closing of the royal golden celebration luncheon moved swiftly, with the response by the celebrants; closing prayer, Rev. Morris Stephens; benediction, Rev. Dr. Eddie L. Jumper Sr.; and the postlude, Damon and Robert Moore’s singing of Noel P. Stookey’s “The Wedding Prayer.” And when the last note had been sung and guests filed out to receive boxed anniversary cake and other 50th memorabilia, one could hear statements such as: “I’ve never been to anything like this before! It was beautiful! It was most befitting a king and a queen! It was awesome, spectacular, wonderful! True royalty!”
To conclude, Mr. and Mrs. Clen D. Moore Jr. are indeed grateful for the many family members and friends who helped to make their 50th wedding anniversary truly a royal golden celebration. Their gratitude extends to employees at the Radisson; florists, Queen Yancy and Vicki Gaddis; persons participating on the program; friends living far and near who came, including many missionaries; all those cousins who traveled from across the globe to be present; and their children, sister and brother-in-law who sponsored the affair. They also offer heartfelt appreciation to all people who continue to give to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This list embraces persons in their Christian Methodist Episcopal Church family throughout the Connection, including WMC officers and the Episcopacy. Staunch members of Bates Chapel CME Church in Coldwater, their pastor is Rev. Morris Stephens. Their presiding elder is Rev. Hugh W. Jones, Sardis-Olive Branch District; and their Episcopal leader is Bishop Thomas L. Brown Sr., presiding prelate of the North-East Mississippi Region, which is part of the Fourth Episcopal District.
Presently, several thousand dollars have been contributed to the St. Jude Foundation in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Clen D. Moore Jr. We join them in saying, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
Mrs. Moore is a retired English teacher of Coldwater High School and retired English professor and departmental chair of languages and communications, Northwest MS Community College, Senatobia.
She is a retired educator, Tate County Schools, currently serving as field director, ICS Headstart, Holly Springs.
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