Reprinted with permission from
Dolls of Friendship, 2nd Edition,
copyright 1997, Sidney L. Gulick, 3d

Farewell to Dolls in Hartford, Connecticut

This story describes the farewell given in Hartford, Connecticut, to the Friendship Dolls to be sent to Japan:

Two hundred and seven dolls from this district carried their message of goodwill to Japan. They came from Hartford and New Britain and twenty-two small towns around, from Sunday schools, Girl Scouts, Girl Reserves, W.C.T.U., Y.M.C.A., all kinds of clubs, women's sewing societies, individuals, one of the large public schools, and two large private schools.

There were baby dolls, bride dolls, winter and summer dolls, party and play dolls, and one lonesome boy doll, named for one of the Congregational ministers. There was one little Scout doll, and the little girl who sent it loved it so much that when the time for parting came she hugged it harder than ever, and then, like a good Scout, sent it on its way.

There were farewell parties in various churches which had sent a dozen or fifteen dolls. At one of the parties the Girl Reserves had a supper, with tables placed in a hollow square, and a small table in the center with the dolls seated around it. There were stunts and a farewell candlelight service.

At the big farewell party for the Hartford district, held in the spacious dining-room of MacKenzie Hall of the Hartford Seminary Foundation, the dolls were arranged on round tables so that two hundred or more guests could walk around and see them. At a given hour everyone sat down and listened to an impressive farewell ceremony, at which a charming daughter of Japan told the story of the doll festival, talked about how the American dolls would be welcomed and did some Japanese stunts for entertainment.

The love and happiness of our Hartford children can best be expressed in the message which one of them sent to Japan: "We love to think that this dolly that we have loved so much is going to tell our little Japanese sisters how much we love them."

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