I currently have columns running in 3 newspapers;
- Tri-Valley Herald : Looking Back
- Valley Times : Do You Remember?
- The Independent : Do You Remember?
The Articles appear in the Herald and Independent on Thursdays,
and the Times on Sundays.
They will also be found on this page each week as well.
If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.
Rotary rolls into 100th year
By Barry Schrader..................................February
Since I have been featuring longtime service clubs and fraternal groups
in recent columns, I must not overlook the Rotary clubs which are celebrating
their centennial this week of the founding of the first club in Chicago
back in 1905.
As some of you know, Rotary is the largest international service organization
with 1.2 million members in 166 countries. The Tri-Valley alone has six
clubs from Dublin to Livermore with nearly 500 members, by far the largest
service group locally. They each meet weekly for lunch, breakfast or dinner
and hear speakers on a myriad of topics, plus raise lots of money for local
causes as well as internationally.
The granddaddy of local Rotary chapters is the Livermore (Wednesday noon)
club which was founded in 1947. The one remaining charter member, Hal Kamp
of Kamp Furniture fame, is 89 years old in March and was honored this week
at his home club for his contributions to Rotary and the community these
past 58 years. That included a commendation from Assemblyman Guy Houston,
read by club president John Gordon.
In 1965 that club sponsored a new one in Pleasanton and three of their pioneer
members are still active-Warren Annis, Jack Bras and Dr. Don Roberts. Roberts
was coincidentally president of his club during Rotary's 75th anniversary
and had the distinction of presenting the late Dr. Edward Teller with Rotary's
Paul Harris Fellow medallion after Dr. Teller delivered the keynote speech
at the combined valley clubs' anniversary dinner.
In 1970 the Dublin Rotary Club was spawned by Pleasanton, and its sole remaining
charter member Dr. Harold Ceizler (DDS) recalls other original members such
as the late Earl Ising, Don Landers, Bob Wolverton, and Ron Hyde, among
Hyde is still in Rotary, but now part of the Pleasanton North Club. Hyde
shared an anecdote with me that happened during his tenure as the third
president in Dublin. It seems they used to have drawings and prizes provided
by members. One meeting a visiting Rotarian from Livermore, Ed Rundstrom,
won the drawing and received, much to his embarrassment, a packet of "Making
Love" body paints. Rotarians are known for lots of humor at their meetings
and a few pranks among clubs, like stealing another club's bell and demanding
a ransom for its return.
The Pleasanton North chapter was spun off from the downtown (Thursday noon)
Pleasanton Club and meets Friday noons. Then a third club in P-town was
formed recently and meets Thursday evenings for dinner.
In 1985 the Livermore Club decided to form a second club (for early risers)
in the Livermore end of the valley. That club now meets Tuesday mornings
for breakfast and is called the Livermore Valley Rotary.
Some of the high schools have Interact clubs which are sponsored by local
Rotarians, and now a new college-age club, called Rotaract, is forming at
Las Positas College. So the Rotarians keep spawning new clubs, and future
Rotarians, at an amazing rate and probably should change their symbol from
the cogwheel to a rabbit
If you want to learn more about possible membership in any of these local
groups, just email me for a phone contact.
* * *
And, would you believe, another presidential hopeful's visit to the
Tri-Valley was revealed by a local resident who was in sixth grade at the
time? It seems the late Alabama governor George Wallace came to the fairgrounds
in 1968 to campaign and young Randy Hashagen took his camera and went over
to hear the orator. He recalls that a truck with an advance team using a
loudspeaker rolled through the streets of Pleasanton drumming up interest
in the candidate's appearance.
* * *
The history mystery question for this week is: What famous Livermorean
(people don't like me saying "Livermoreon") will be immortalized
with a life-sized statue at the new LARPD Community Center when it opens
on East Avenue next month? Incidentally, the sculpture is being donated
by the Livermore Rotary as a centennial year gift to the community.
The columnist can be reached via email at :
or by snailmail at:
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551