Shortly after World War I ended in 1919, several men from the Southern Province assembled and formed the Southern Province Widows Society. It was patterned after the Widows Society of the Northern Province which had been in existence for more than 100 years.
This year we are observing our one-hundreth anniversary. We celebrated by giving the present recipients an extra $100.00 in the September check. In March, 2019, 56 widows received $500.00. Therefore, their total for 2019 is $1,100.00 At the present time, there are 284 men who are members of the Society.
The good news is that the society is open to any Southern Province Moravian married male who is under age 61, and in good health. Or he may be married to a Moravian Church member. Membership is also open to anyone in any Province anywhere in the world (see below for contact information for the Northern Province Widows Society) There is a one-time charge of $250.00 to join. For those who are between 50 and 60, there is an additional $10.00 for each year. For example, a 57-year-old person would pay $320.00 to join.
Across the years, hundreds of widows have received thousands of dollars. One woman has been receiving checks for over 38 years. Some might say, “Well, a thousand dollars is not a lot of money.” The interesting thing is, however, that no widow has ever returned the check saying “I don’t need it. Give it to somebody else.”
Listen to this comment by one of the women who just received her check. “Today I got the wonderful semi-annual Widow Society check and do appreciate the bonus in celebration of 100 years! This is the only extra income I ever get and I really look forward to it. I usually plan ahead and have fun figuring out how I will spend it! For this fall’s check, I decided to use it to take a badly needed trip to visit my family! It’s been fun to anticipate the trip, knowing I was going to get the money to pay for it. I am so glad my husband was thoughtful enough to join and I hope all Moravian men will take advantage of this opportunity.”
For more information and an application, contact the Rev. Dr. Bill Campbell at [email protected] or or 336-403 -3209. n
The Rev. Dr. Bill Campbell, is a retired Moravian Minister and longtime fiduciary and Widows’ Society Board member. For Northern Province information, write Widows Society of Bethlehem, 561 E. Market St., Suite #1, Bethlehem, PA 18018-6323