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A social tribute this December 2020

The History Corner

by David Mostardi, Club Historian

Once Upon A Hillside: 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago

Frank Morris, 1920-2020

We have just learned of the passing of Frank Morris, a Club member since 1994, and widower of the late Gaby Morris. He was just two months shy of his 100th birthday. Frank was born in Dublin, Ireland, but moved with his family to Berkeley in 1925. He joined the Air Force in 1943 and served with the 398th Bomb Group at Nuthampstead, England. Frank remained in the Reserves after World War II, and was recalled to active duty at the start of the Korean War. On a rainy night in November 1954, Frank opened the door to find his roommate’s sister and two soggy companions who had just arrived in town. Ushering them in for an impromptu spaghetti dinner, he met Gabrielle Ryder for the first time. They were married less than a year later and spent 58 years together until Gaby's death in 2013. Frank and Gaby joined the Hillside Club in 1994; he served as director at large in 1995-97, and first vice-president in 1997-98. Frank is survived by a daughter, Catherine, and her husband, Mike, son Patrick, son William and his wife, Danica, and two granddaughters, Rebecca and Sara. A memorial will be held after the pandemic eases. A full obituary can be found at:

Once Upon A Hillside: 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago

December 1920

Business Meeting: Major John D. Galloway gave an interesting talk on the “Marshall Project.” This is an elaborate plan of irrigating the dry parts of the state in the south by means of canals, some of them passing under the mountains for great distances. In Major Galloway’s opinion, this project is not feasible on account of the enormous cost of such an undertaking, which would make the water rates per acre prohibitive to the rancher. [Robert Bradford Marshall (1867-1949) was a geographer with the US Geological Survey. He published his plan for water management in 1919. Despite the loss of speech to a laryngectomy in 1927, the following year he was appointed State Landscape

Engineer for the California Division of Public Works. He died shortly before the completion of one of his dream projects, Shasta Dam. John Debo Galloway (1869-1943) was a noted civil engineer who worked on many notable construction projects in California, including Shasta Dam, Coyote Dam, Moccasin hydroelectric plant, and the San Mateo Bridge. From 1906-08 he was a partner of architect John Galen Howard.]

Christmas Ceremonial: On the evening of December 20, the Club held their annual Ceremonial. “The Quest,” written by Mrs. C. W. Whitney, was a most elaborate presentation in a series of historical episodes of the religious conflict in England in 1620, just three hundred years ago. The scenes presented showed Mary Queen of Scots as a prisoner; Queen Elizabeth in her library; an interior at Delfshaven, Holland; Scrooby Manor; and the landing upon American shores, and the meeting between the Pilgrims and the Indians. The music incidental to the play was sung by the Hillside chorus of forty voices, led by Mrs. Alexander Graham.

December 1945

Fireside Meeting: The International Relations Section presents our own Ralph Dewey, who will talk on “International Relations and Foreign Trade.” His direct contact in this field over a long period of years should give us some answers to this question. [Ralph W. Dewey was the chief economic advisor to the US Ambassador to Guatemala in the mid-1940s. They were Club members from 1930 until the early 1960s.]

Christmas Ceremonial: “A Provençale Pastorale” will be presented by the Committee and Choral. It is a rather ancient nativity play, traditionally carried on in southern France. It was witnessed by former Club member Mrs. Mrs. John Galen Howard, who secured the text and translated it into English. She has graciously loaned both play and music to us. We are deeply grateful to her.

December 1970

Fireside Meeting: Peggy Cunningham Lucchesi, daughter of our Second Vice-President Helen Cunningham, will present a talk and demonstration of “The Techniques of the Percussion Section of the Symphony Orchestra.” This program will make Hillsiders confirmed “Peggy Watchers” when they attend the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. Peggy is a member of both of these orchestras and in addition to teaching percussion instruments, plays with the San Francisco Percussion Ensemble, which gives Concerts for “Young Audiences Inc.” in schools throughout the Bay Area. As a Phi Beta Kappa she is on the faculty of the UC Berkeley Applied Music Program. She was the first woman to receive the degree of LRAM (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music) in Orchestral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in London. Peggy has been married to the French Horn player Dino Lucchesi of the San Francisco Symphony for twenty-six years. [Peggy Cunningham Lucchesi (1928-1985) was a percussionist for the Symphony and Opera orchestras for thirty-five years. She was a passionate swimmer as a youngster until a back injury—caused by a fall from a redwood tree—forced her to give up sports activities. She earned her BA in Music from UC Berkeley and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. In 1981, at the age of 53, Peggy returned to competitive swimming, and entered many competitions both at home and abroad. At the Australian Nationals, Peggy won a Gold Medal as High Point in her age group. In 1985, at a meet in Palo Alto, Peggy swam the fastest 100-yard freestyle of her life, celebrated her record time, then suffered a cerebral aneurysm and sank into the water. She never regained consciousness. Her large collection of swim meet T-shirts were sold to raise funds for a memorial trophy in her honor, which has been awarded every year since.]

December 1995

The Club’s archive of printed monthly newsletters ended with the May 1994 issue. If you know of a source for any newsletters between 1994 and the Club’s renaissance in the early 2000s, your historian would love to hear about it!

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