The Young Men’s Business Club of Moss Point has announced the Royal Court for its 84th Coronation Ceremony.
The coronation of the King and Queen of Joy LXXXIV and their Court will be held February 9, 2024, at the B. E. “Mac” McGinty Civic Center in Pascagoula, and as always, a capacity crowd will be in attendance to pay tribute to the members of the Court.
The ceremony differs in purpose from the many great carnival celebrations that are enjoyed this time of year. Over its long history, the formal black tie coronation ceremony has recognized residents of Jackson County who have made meaningful contributions to the community through professional, civic, or personal impacts.
The first ceremony was held in 1935, but the event was suspended a few times over the years, 1943-45 during WWII, 1951 during the Korean War, 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, and 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
An additional highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the 44th annual Lifetime Community Service Award in honor of Liz Ford. Liz is a lifelong resident of Pascagoula, formally named Mary Elizabeth, but known as Liz to everyone except for government computers. She is a former Queen of Joy. Liz attended OLV and graduated from PHS, then continued her education at Ole Miss where she served as President of Delta Gamma Fraternity and the Women’s Student Government Association. Following graduation, she taught school for one year and realized that was the wrong profession for her. Liz went to work temporarily to answer the telephone for a steamship agency just as the Pascagoula Port was opening. She retired 41 years later as Vice President of a worldwide steamship agency and has been recognized as the first female steamship agent in the United States.
Upon retiring, Liz she had three goals – saving Old PHS, restoration of Round Island Lighthouse and rehabilitation of the LaPointe-Krebs House and Museum. All three goals were achieved! Less than two years after retirement Hurricane Katrina hit, and destroyed her home. She spent the next 17 years volunteering with the City of Pascagoula, primarily in Community Development and historic preservation. Retiring from her volunteer job in February 2022, she continues to use her time for The City of Pascagoula Historic Preservation Commission, Main Street Pascagoula, Pascagoula Strategic Plan Steering Committee, Jackson County Historical & Genealogical Society, Pilgrimage Garden Club, 20th Century Club, PHS Ladies Lunch Bunch, the Singing River Little Theatre Association, and the Thursday Bridge Club.
Liz served on many boards including Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Main Street Pascagoula, Jackson County Historical & Genealogical Society, Our Lady of Victories Parish Council, University of Mississippi Alumni Association, and FEMA Task Force following Katrina. Honors and recognition received include ten years (full term) of the LaPointe-Krebs Foundation as President, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Mississippi Heritage Trust Hero, Certificate of Appreciation Chevron NMTC fund LLC, Main Street Pascagoula Board Member of the Year, Main Street Pascagoula Betty Bensey Community Award, Mississippi Main Street Special Service Award, and Historic Preservation Medal presented by the National Daughters of the American Revolution in recognition of outstanding Achievement in Historic Preservation.
Leading the Royal Court will be King of Joy LXVI, Jimmy Wheat of Moss Point, and Queen of Joy LXXXIII, Mallory Bosarge of Gautier. Mr. Wheat stands in memorial of King of Joy LXXXIII, Dr. Alvin Lafayette Felts, III. The identities of the new King and Queen are a closely held secret and will be revealed as the final part of this year’s program.
Archduke to the King for 2024 is Rick Pribanic of Pascagoula, and Archduchess to the Queen is Jo Anne Fontaine of Moss Point.
Dukes to the King are Kyle Miller, Jamie Wheat, Sam Stauter, Steve Capdepon and Michael Moore. Duchesses to the Queen are Amy St. Pe, Priscilla Northrop, Gabrielle Lynd, Laura Burrow and Jessica Hatfield. Crown Bearer to the King is Master Paul Banks, son of Brock and Mary Banks of Pascagoula. Trainbearer to the Queen is Miss Anna Grace Robertson, daughter of Sidney and Jessi Robertson of Moss Point.
After the coronation and unmasking of the King and Queen of Joy LXXXIV and the royal procession, guests are invited to participate in celebration and merriment, enjoying the music of Troy Laz Band for the remainder of the evening.