Wayne Red Cross: President Taft, WWI & WWII, Woodrow Wilson, President Truman

14_image01Not only is 40 years of continuous service in Red Cross a record in itself, but in the case of Miss Grace C. Roberts, that record is augmented by several other factors. She was one of the eight women who were present at the meeting held on July 3, 1916, for the organization of the Wayne Branch of the American Red Cross, as told in last week’s column, held by order of President Taft, as part of the reorganization of the National Red Cross Society, so that this group might be prepared to do its part at home and abroad in World War I.

At that meeting, Miss Roberts acted as secretary pro tem. At the next meeting, held a week later, she was elected corresponding secretary, an office which she was to hold continuously for the next 32 years. When she resigned from that position at the annual board meeting in January, 1948, she was named a director of the Board, an office which she still holds. The picture shown above was taken at this time.

At the 1948 meeting, Mrs. Allen Hunter White, then Branch chairman, presented Miss Roberts with a leather bound portfolio, designed to hold the various citations Miss Roberts had received from the American Red Cross, and other data. Ornamenting the outside of the portfolio is a handpainted replica of the red, while and gold administration pin of the Red Cross, a pin that Miss Roberts has been entitled to wear ever since it became the official insignia of Red Cross office.

The embossed page of dedication in the front of the book is signed by many of the guests present at the luncheon, held in Miss Roberts’ honor following the meeting. The first citation is one signed by Woodrow Wilson as president of the United States. It was given “In recognition of service faithfully performed in behalf of the nation and her men at war.” On it Charles J. Hatfield, then chairman of the Southeastern Chapter of the American Red Cross, certified that between April, 1917, and December, 1918, Miss Roberts had given 2,800 hours of service to the work of that organization. This was presented at the close of World War I, only about a month after Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.

The second citation was presented on May 3, 1946, soon after the close of World War II. Signed by Harry S. Truman, President of the United States, and by Basil O’Conner, national chairman of the Red Cross, it reads:

The American National
Red Cross
Miss Grace C. Roberts
In recognition of meritorious
personal service performed
in behalf of the Nation, her
armed forces and suffering
humanity in the Second
World War.

Benjamin Rush, Jr., chairman of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Red Cross, added his signature to that of President Truman and chairman O’Connor.

These are but a few of the honors that Miss Roberts has received in the course of 40 years of Red Cross service. Others will be told in later columns.

(To be continued)