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Barry Schrader
Columnist

 

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.

Archive Page

Rotary rolls into 100th year

By Barry Schrader..................................February 24, 2005

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 others.
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.

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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.

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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 :

Historian2sbcglobal.net

or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551

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