We’ve asked some of the senior members of the Arcadia Rotary to recall some of their memories of the club’s early days. This is the third in the series of these recollections. It’s from Jack Lamb, who joined the Altadena Rotary Club in 1955 and transferred to the Arcadia Club in 1957. He’s had perfect attendance in both the Altadena Club and the Arcadia Club, a total of 59 years.
Share some of your early memories of the club.
When I joined the Arcadia Club Don Camphouse was the president. We met Friday noon at Eaton’s Restaurant, which is now Coco’s at the corner of Michillinda and Colorado. Women were not permitted to join Rotary when I first became a member. Since that time Rotary International has modified their constitution permitting female members. This change resulted from a suit brought by a former member of our club, Sanford Smith. Our club has had several lady presidents since the change.
Your most memorable highlights from your years in the club.
I was privileged to serve president in 1971-1972. The club had our luncheons at the Ramada Inn located at Huntington Drive and Colorado. We had a Rotary Baseball Team, which included Frank Perini and myself. We lost to our to our sponsored Pony league team. Club membership reached 132. Among the new members inducted my year was Dr. Brian Cogbill.
What projects, both local and international, were emphasized in the early days of the club?
We have always emphasized community projects such as the Peacock Fountain at the county park and the patio at the Chamber of Commerce, both before my time. Probably the important early function of the club was the support of the effort to bring the Methodist Hospital from Los Angeles to Arcadia and the continued support of all Hospital expansions since.
Compare and contrast the club of the past to the present day club. Was there a difference in time, place and manner in which the meetings were conducted? What fund raising methods were used?
The Club has always met at noon on Fridays. The location of the meetings has changed many times over the years, Eaton’s, The Ramada Inn, the Arcadia Women’s Club, a hotel in Monrovia, etc. Fund raising seems to settle into either a “Casino Night” motif or a $10,000 club raffle with auction items.
4. Please add anything else that from your experience you think would be of interest to club members.
In my opinion, the greatest accomplishment of Rotary International, with the support of individual clubs such as ours, is the virtual elimination of Polio world wide, Rotary’s Polio-Plus program.
P.S. I am often asked, what we might do to increase attendance at luncheon meetings? I seriously think we should consider changing the day of the week that we meet. Three day weekends are becoming more common as is the trend toward a four day work week. Just a thought.