Knights of Momus moves to new ball locale, celebrates 2017 queen

Carnival season mirth was all over the city Thursday (Feb. 23) night: parades for the Krewe of Muses and the knights of Babylon and Chaos commanded the streets, while at the Orpheum Theater another festive occasion was happening, the Knights of Momus were celebrating its 146th ball.

It was this organization's first year at the theater, which gave the event a dramatic setting with Momus's famous motto "Dum Vivimus Vivamus," which in Latin means "While We Live, Let Us Live" dominating the stage's backdrop. Following the National Anthem, a brief tableau ensued, invoking this year's theme, "Lost and Found." 

Upon his throne, Momus, the god of Mirth and Mockery, observed the scene, but also awaited his queen.    

Michael K. Fitzpatrick, the ball's general chairman, was in charge of the regal scroll with her majesty's name, and, as directed by Momus, he went into the call-out section to locate and present the document declaring her queen of the ball.

Miss Virginia Parker Stewart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. Gordon Stewart, reigned this night. Her family has royal ties to the organization going back to its founding years.

Queen Virginia was brought to the stage, where a crown and mantle were added to her ensemble, and she held a bouquet of white orchids. Her maids also received scrolls and bouquets of yellow Cymbidium orchids.

Maids to her majesty were Misses Emily Smith Adams, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse R. Adams III; Eliza Ann Baldwin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William M. Baldwin; Emily Dickson Ellis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Ellis III; Caroline Walmsley Favrot, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. James P. Favrot, and daughter of the late Mrs. Kelsey Bradley Favrot; Ninette Therese Hickey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Hickey; Margaret Sullivan Hildebrand, granddaughter of Mrs. J. Barbee Winston and the late Mr. Winston and daughter of Ms. Ruth M. Winston; Margaret Elisabeth Hoefer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Karl E. Hoefer; Anna Eugenie Huger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James M.  Huger; Caroline Emily Lane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Merritt Lane III; Cynthia Callaghan Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Nelson; Elizabeth Flower Redd, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund E. Redd; Erin Curry Reily, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Reily; and Avery Scott Rowan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Rowan Jr.

Miss Elizabeth Hayne Rudolf, who reigned as last year's queen and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Bailey Rudolf, was presented to their majesties and given a bouquet of red roses. Mrs. David P. Milling, who reigned as queen in 1967 as Miss Susan Andry, was then presented to Momus and his consort by the Captain.

Dancing, an impromptu supper and, most of all, merriment followed, which no doubt pleased Momus.


To reach Sue Strachan, send an email to or call 504.450.5904. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @suestrachan504, with the hashtag #nolasocialscene. Visit her on Facebook. And, come back to for more New Orleans area event and party news and photos.