Veterans of Foreign Wars
February is an historical month for the VFW ---
Cecil R. Ruddock Post #5931 was chartered February 20, 1946, and they purchased their former Post Home on February 8, 1958 and retired their building mortgage on February 8, 1967.
The Post derived its name from the "Pass" naval seaman who was killed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Although the original building purchase was for only $12,500.00, extensive renovations were made in addition to acquiring needed furnishings. After 12 years of arduous fund-raising the Vets burned their mortgage 3 years ahead of schedule. Camille caused major damages in '69 and another setback was in '74 due to serious fire damages.
Prior to the building purchase, the VFW constructed a wharf at the Park. The Pier was 1350 feet long with a broad 100 foot "T" for fishing and swimming.
The Women's Auxiliary came into being on June 5, 1958 which greatly augmented many of the activities and contributions made to the "Pass" and Coast communities. At one time or another, most of the leading citizens have served as officers or committee chairpersons of the Post and Auxiliary.
The VFW has stalwartly championed the promotion and observances of Americanism, Patriotism, and Loyalty to Flag and Country and Veterans who are living, disabled or deceased including members of their families.
The building that housed the Vets is one of the significant historical landmarks of Pass Christian. It was originally a shed which became enclosed in 1852. During World War I the American Red Cross used the building for volunteers to assemble and roll bandages. In 1941, it was used for storage by the Merchant Marine and later Frank Wharton converted it to a furniture store. Following several years of vacancy, it became available to the Veterans of World War II. They sold their post home which today exists as the Palace in the Pass.
Through the years, the VFW has supported significant contributions such as lighting of the tennis courts, student scholarships, Toys for Tots, in addition to gifts of American Flags to the Memorial Park, City Hall, Fire Stations, and the Scout Hut. Devout in their meaningful support, they planted trees in War Memorial Park, sponsored and funded the Camille Memorial which honors the 68 people who lost their lives in the Killer storm, and fostered programs at Senior Citizen activities, raised funds for Cancer research and Drug abuse programs, and displayed American flags from City Hall to VFW Hall for the 1976 Bi-Centennial celebration.
Vietnam Veteran Olivia Favre was the first female Commander of the Post. Serving a military tour of duty for five years, one and a half of which were in Vietnam, she is a longtime resident of the Pass.
In 1996, a special ceremony took place to celebrate its fifty year anniversary in addition to featuring a tribute to honor the then five surviving founders of the Post.