Remembering Our Past: Golden Links

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Found in our church archives, we came across a couple of scrapbooks about “The Golden Links,” a women’s ministry at Brewster Baptist Church in the 1950-1970s.  The earlier scrapbook contained two excerpts from the Cape Codder in 1953, sharing about the beginnings of the Golden Links.

“On the evening of September 15, several women met at the home of Mrs. Alfred (Emily) Holler for the purpose of organizing an evening group to work for the benefit of the Brewster Baptist Church.  Tentative plans were discussed to be acted on at the next meeting.

Eighteen lades met at the Brewster Baptist Church on Tuesday, October 20, 1953 and organized a group that will work together for the good of the Church.”

Emily Holler

“It is hoped that more ladies who find it difficult to meet on an afternoon, will find it more convenient to meet with the ladies in the evening.  The name chosen for the group was the “Golden Links’ – something fine and pure – joined together for the purpose of doing good. The meetings will be held once a month, beginning the third Tuesday of the month at 7:45 p.m.  The dues are 50 cents a year payable in October.”

Just like we are doing today, at their first meeting following organization in November, 1953, the pastor, Rev. Cyril E. Bentley gave an address to the group called “Links With the Past, Present and Future”.

During this address, he remarked on the re-occurrence of names in the early period of church growth and mentioned names of direct descendants who were still active in the church at the time (and still are today); discussed the need of a present extension in regards to building facilities and equipment for a modern Sunday School, and spoke of a letter written to the church to be opened in August 2053 (wish we knew where this was!). 

The Golden Links of the Brewster Baptist Church held a successful covered dish supper in the church vestry on Tuesday evening with Mrs. Chas. Gregson (Ben Gregson’s mother), Mrs. Alfred E. Holler and Mrs. Chester Berg on the supper committee.

Over the next few years, they continued to meet regularly and share about different topics including places they would travel or organizations they were a part of, or aspects of raising a Christian family.  They began to raise money for the church through clothes exhibitions and sales, food sales, public suppers, a candy sales, and talent shows. 

They also did several service projects for the church including starting a nursery for little children during worship, running a church family night, purchasing Christmas candles for the church windows, and contributing to the church’s mission offering and to the “New England Home for Little Wanderers” (an orphanage founded in 1865 after the Civil War left many children across the country without family). 

In 1954, they sold the commemorative plates that many people still have today (one is displayed in the lobby).

On Sunday, June 28, 1970, the Golden Links held their first Annual Strawberry Festival.

It was advertised as an old-fashioned strawberry social featuring homemade shortbread and handpicked Falmouth strawberries with real whipped cream. 

They charged 90 cents for a large portion and 75 cents for a small portion.  Gift items and baked goods were also on sale at the event. 

Tickets were sold at local businesses throughout Brewster and Orleans. 

In 1972, they picked 250 quarts of strawberries and raised $500 at their Strawberry Festival. 

A few members of the Golden Links have continued to stay connected to BBC over the years, and are current members of our  congregation, and some of them shared about their experiences.

“I was a member of the Golden Links.  I remember fun Square dances, bake sales and Jacquie Price babysitting my boys which gave me the day off to pick strawberries for our strawberry festival!  The strawberry festival was the big money maker.  We held it in the parking lot and everybody came.” 

Jacqueline Reycroft

“I did all kinds of activities involved with the Golden Links, which was the young mothers’ connection to the church. The Golden Links was a big part of my life. We did a lot of things – including Strawberry Festival, and a number of things to raise money for the Sunday School and the church.”

Sandra Tubman

“It was a wonderful women’s fellowship, making money to support our Sunday school. We became close friends that lasted a lifetime. Sad to say, many of those lifetimes have already ended. Most of us had children the same age and shared motherhood issues. A great memory of a small church fellowship supporting itself.”

Ginny Watson

While the Golden Links is no longer a ministry at our church, we are thankful to be able to continue to do some of the things that they felt passionate about: reaching moms through our Mom2Mom group, raising money to serve our community through the Holiday Fair, and doing good things for our church and community through the thousands of hours people volunteer each year to serve one another and the world around us.  We are thankful to be able to celebrate the Strawberry Festival this weekend in remembrance of these wonderful women.   

“Tried and true” Cape Cod recipes handed down for several generations have been gathered by the Golden Links of the Brewster Baptist Church. With their permission, some of the recipes are printed herewith.

Oyster Pie

Make regular pie crust for a two-crust 9-inch pie and line the plate. Then mix a white sauce of 1½ cups of milk (or part oyster liquid); two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of flour. Heat. When cooked, add the oysters. Put this mixture into the pie crust and add a sprinkle of salt. Cut holes for steam in the top crust. Bake for about 15 minutes in a 450-degree oven. There’s your oyster pie.

Lobster Pie

Make regular crust for a two crust, 9-inch pie and line the pie plate. Save the liquor in which you boil the lobster to use in the white sauce. To make the sauce, mix a cup of this liquor and a cup of milk. Add three tablespoons of butter and three tablespoons of flour. Put two cups of lobster meat into the pie shell, add a sprinkle of salt, pour the white sauce over it and put the top crust in place. Cut steam holes in the crust and sprinkle it with paprika to dress it up. Bake the pie in a hot oven for about 15 minutes and serve it immediately.

Cran-Apple Relish

This Cape relish has a flavor that resembles strawberries. To make it, mix tow cups of raw cranberries; 4-5 good MacIntosh apples and a cup of sugar. Core, but do not peel, the apples, and chop them fine with the cranberries.  Add sugar to taste.

Strawberry Rich Shortcake

4 c. sifted enriched flour
2/3 c. liquid shortening
½ tbs. sugar
2 eggs, beaten

8 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 c. milk
tsp. salt

Sift dry ingredients, beat eggs, add milk and liquid shortening. Mix all together for stiff dough. Spread in sheet cake pan 9×13” lightly greased.

(SIZE OF THE CAKE PAN IS IMPORTANT)

Bake at 450 degrees for 15-18 min. until light tan. 425 degrees for glass pans. Cover immediately with cloth, while cooling to keep moist. When removing, wrap in foil or saran wrap.

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