Way back in 1924, a group of women from the Chuckatuck area started a book club to promote a new circulating library that served the community. Three years later, that club expanded its focus to pursue improvements in the community and the betterment of its members.
This year, the Junto Woman’s Club celebrates its 90th anniversary, and the Chuckatuck community it serves celebrates along with it.
When the club started, members met in a one-room cabin owned by the father of former Gov. Mills Godwin Jr., a native of Suffolk who would later become the only governor to be elected to two terms during the 20th century. The “Junto” name paid homage to the literary society founded by Benjamin Franklin 200 years earlier.
Through the years, the Junto Woman’s Club has done much to improve Chuckatuck. Among its greatest achievements was helping to found the Chuckatuck Library, which opened in 1983. For years, volunteers from Junto helped staff that library, located in an old building by the old Chuckatuck High School.
With a current membership of 55, the club remains active in projects designed to help the community. Meals on Wheels, local fire departments, Scout groups and the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts all benefit from volunteer help from Junto, as well as funds donated by it and its members. For the past several years, the club also has donated two $1,000 scholarships to Suffolk high school seniors.
“We have a strong club involved in community activities, and as long as we continue to get new members and they support those activities, I think our club will continue for a long time,” membership chairman June Felton said this week.
We sincerely hope Felton is right. Chuckatuck — and, more generally, Suffolk — needs generous people like the members of the Junto Woman’s Club, who are committed to its improvement.