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November 1921...

November 1921

Business Meeting: The Honorable will address the meeting upon the subject

of the proposed consolidation of cities of the east bay region, presenting the arguments of

both sides and commenting thereon. On account of the importance to the community of

this subject and the prominence of the distinguished authority who has consented to

address the Club, the meeting will be open to the public.

[Max Thelen Sr. (1880-1972) was a prominent East Bay attorney, specializing in railroad

law. During and after World War I he held various positions the War Department and

earned the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1920 he co-founded the firm of Thelen and

Marrin, and was a director of the First National Bank in Berkeley.

The November 1921 ballot measure proposed a “consolidation” of Oakland with up to

nine other East Bay cities, including Berkeley. On September 29, the Berkeley Daily

Gazette reported that the mayors of Emeryville, Piedmont and Alameda participated in a

meeting to organize the “Alameda County Anti-Division League.” One speaker argued

that the proposal would “segregate and divide our rapidly growing and developing

county” and create a new Oakland “machine” for political corruption.

Thelen also opposed the measure. On October 20, two weeks before his appearance at the

Hillside Club, he spoke at a meeting at Berkeley High School, saying “here in this

favored locality, we men and women of Berkeley have built not merely a city of wood

and brick and stone with streets and avenues between, but a city which stands for

whatever is clean and forward-looking in municipal life, a city which creates within us

the joy and the inspiration of civic patriotism—a city with a soul. And when we are

asked, as we now are, to give up all our most cherished powers of local government, let

us consider carefully and seriously before we take the step which, once taken, is

irrevocable.” The results of the election were decisive: Oakland was the only city to vote

for consolidation.]

Board Meeting: A communication from the Science church [i.e. The Second Church of

Christ, Scientist] was read. It was moved and carried that the secretary be directed to

answer, accepting the conditions mentioned, viz. a monthly rental at $100 per month and

the use of the room for the entire evening on Wednesdays as well as the special dates

named in the least of last year. [The relationship between the Hillside Club and the

Second Church was formed very early on, as a number of people were members of both.

In 1926, the Church built its new home nearby at 1521 Spruce.]

Scholarship Fund: Miss Barrows reported on the Hillside University of California

scholarship fund. Mrs. Sproul [Ida Sproul, wife of Robert Gordon Sproul, for whom

Sproul Hall is named] is the chairman of the committee, the other members being Mrs.

Randall and Miss Barrows. It was moved that this committee be allowed the use of the

club house free for either an afternoon or evening card party in January.

November 1946

Fireside Meeting: Our speaker will be Professor W. F. Meyer, of the Astornomy

Department of the University of California. His subject will be “Some Popular

Misconceptions About Astronomy,” and his talk will be illustrated with slides. Those

who have heard Professor Meyer speak on this subject assure us that it is extremely


Evening of Art: Hillsiders always look forward to the annual Evening of Art, as it is

always an original and different variation on the elusive theme of “Art.” This year, Mrs.

Goldsborough and her committee announce an exhibit of paintings, drawings, sculpture,

and ceramics from the University of California, the California College of Arts and Crafts,

and the Berkeley High School. The committee also invites the work of children of

Hillside Club members.

November 1971

Fireside Meeting: Club member George Rentz received his Ph.D. from the University of

California where he did his work under the renowned historian, Robert J. Kerner. During

World War II he served with the US State Department in Cairo, where he met his wife.

Following the war he was retained by the Arabian American Oil Company to set up a

translation and geographical research department in Saudi Arabia. From these functions,

his activities led him over the next two decades into wide-ranging studies and counseling

services on the historical, geographical, political and ethnic problems of the Arabian

Peninsula and the countries around the Persian Gulf. Dr. Rentz will discuss a topical

aspect of affairs in the Arab world, Come and hear a fascinating analysis of one of the

world’s real hot spots.

Chairs: Your Chair Committee was set up by the Board of Directors to make

recommendations on the possible purchase of new chairs for the club. During September

all members were sent a ballot to vote their preference on this question. To date, 110

members have already completed their ballots and sent them to Tommy Tomlinson,

chairman of the committee. However, it is important that we hear from all members so

that the final decision can be made at our next Fireside meeting on November 1.

November 1996

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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