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January 2020

The History Corner

by David Mostardi, Club Historian

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

January 1920

Board of Directors Meeting: The fee for life membership is raised to $100, or $175 for husband and wife. Revenue from life memberships shall be paid into the building fund or other funds for permanent improvements. [The category of “life member” was introduced in 1917, but two years later only three members had taken the offer. However, the rosy economy of the Roaring Twenties prompted many to take the plunge, and by 1930 there were thirty-one life members. The category was retired in the 1950s, but existing life members were allowed to remain such. The last living member, Dorothy Hahn, retired from the club in 1992 after having been a member for sixty-seven years.]

Fireside Meeting: Bishop Parsons was presented to the Club and talked on the “Spirit of Democracy.” Bishop Parsons touched on the attitude of the different nations towards the Americans, and gave a resume of conditions in Romania, Greece and other countries in Southern Europe. [Edward Lambe Parsons (1868-1960) was born in New York and attended Yale University. He had intended to study law, but after graduation decided to attend the Episcopal Seminary in Cambridge instead. In 1896 he became rector of a small church in Menlo Park, California, and then in 1904 became rector at St. Mark’s in Berkeley, where he remained for the next fifteen years. In 1924 he became Bishop of California, a post he held until 1944. He was a major campaigner for social welfare, including advocating for training for Episcopal deaconesses. He was a trustee of Mills College, Church Divinity School, and the Deaconess Training School; president of the War Work Council, 1917-1918; and a member or director of many religious and social agencies, including the ACLU, Rosenberg Foundation, Pacifica Foundation, Church League for Industrial Democracy, Alameda County Board of Public Welfare, and Berkeley Commission of Public Charities.]

January 1945

Assembly Dinner Dance: This is always the memorable Assembly evening of the year. Friendliness and good fellowship reign supreme from the first opening of overflowing hampers to the last “good night.” Just pack your favorite dinner in a basket, along with necessary dishes and implements of attack, and join the other happy diners at the Club this evening. It will be necessary for you to grill your steaks at home and bring them in a warming oven because there is not room enough in the fireplace for everybody to grill steaks at once. Dessert and coffee are supplied by the Assembly Committee. [If it sounds strange that the Club would host a potluck steak dinner, keep in mind that World War II was still underway and many foods were still rationed.]

Evening of Art: Mrs. R. N. Nelson has consented to tell us about life in the Dutch East Indies and to exhibit her collection of the native arts and crafts. Mrs. Nelson lived at various places in the Dutch East Indies and is well qualified by experience to talk about life and customer in that area. She is, furthermore, a charming and talented person. Those of us who already have been delighted by her singing, her play-reading, and her lectures are looking forward expectantly to a most enjoyable evening.

War Service: The War Service Committee is doing a splendid piece of work on the first Saturday afternoon and evening of each month serving meals at the USO headquarters in Berkeley. The hard-working members of this committee served more than four hundred meals on Saturday. Those who wish to assist in any way in this patriotic endeavor should communicate with the Chairman.

January 1970

Fireside Meeting: Arthur Hargrave will present Slide, with narration establishing a New Image for Berkeley. Harry H. Stoops is the newly appointed Vice President of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce and will share with Arthur Hargrave some suggestions as to how we all might cooperatively engage in the creation of this Image for our beloved Berkeley. [Your historian is intrigued by this item but has been unable to discover anything further about it, other than Hargrave and Stoops were both members of the Berkeley Rotary Club.]

Photographic Arts Section: Helen Foster will show us some of her slides taken in Africa several years ago; many interesting pictures of wildlife will be included. Bob Underwood has put together a set of views of Ceylon [now Sri Lanka] where he and Gladys enjoyed a two-week stay—we cannot recall any previous pictorial representation of this island country at the Club. The Buckleys have recently returned from the Orient, and they promise to include some slides of remarkable ruins at Angkor in Cambodia.

January 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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