Thursday, 10 June 2021 15:15

A few years ago HSMC received a small sterling stirrup cup. It was given to Henry A. Bonynge, MD (1883 - 1956) for participating as a judge at the June Fete Horse and Pony Show in 1954. The cup was made by J. E. Caldwell Co. of Philadelphia.

stirrup   cup

2018.232.001 - Stirrup Cup, HSMC Collection

June Fete started in 1912 when women in the Abington area wanted to raise funds for a local hospital. Three of the main founders are listed as: Mrs. Charles Kruger (first president of the Women's Board), Natalie Fox Elkins (wife of Abington Memorial Hospital's first President), and Louis Elkins Sinkler (daughter of Abington Memorial Hospital founder George Elkins, Sr.). These three ladies, among others, successfully organized fundraisers to open Abington Memorial Hospital in May 1914.


Henry A. Boynge, MD, Judge for the 1954 Horse and Pony Show

The original fundraisers were organized as street fairs, lawn fetes, and holiday bazaars. In 1913 the Women's Auxiliary decided to create a large annual fundraising event for the hospital. The Elkins family offered the use of their estate for the event which was then known as the Garden Party Fair. In 1918, Mrs. George Horace Lorimer, wife of the Satruday Evening Post editor, started to take an active role in the event. She promoted the idea for having a different theme every year. She is also credited with giving the event the name "June Fete," as the event is always held in June.


Henry A. Bonynge, MD riding a horse

The Pony Show and the Horse Show were added to the event in 1922 and 1923 respectively. Since then, these events have become major staples for the June Fete. People like Henry A. Bonygne came, and continue to come, from the surrounding areas to participate in the annual event.

The June Fete has moved among several local estates throughout the years. In 1955, the Pitcairn family donated land in Huntingdon Valley to serve as a permanent home for the event. To date, the June Fete remains one of the county's earliest continuously-running fairs.




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