Robert Butler, Club Historian’s remarks upon the 90th Anniversary Celebration of the Rotary Club of Medford90th Anniversary Speech - Butler
On Rotary International’s 100 Birthday, our club along with the Ashland Rotary club and the Medford Rogue Rotary Club built a bridge across Bear Creek in the Sports Park. It’s a beautiful bridge and has two bronze plaques one on each end.
Back in the late 80’s a small Rotary club in Duarte, Cal which is located about 25 miles East of Pasadena near a town called Azusa. They were losing members, so they decided to invite women who were owners or managers including professional women, to join Rotary. Rotary International discovered the action and brought suit against the Duarte Rotary club. The action ended up in the US Supreme Court. In 1987 The United States Supreme Court ruled that women must be allowed as members of service clubs.
This club, I am proud to say, was the first in Southern Oregon to add women to our membership in the year 1987. That year we added 5 girls; Lindsay Berryman, classification Bakery goods Retail, Beverly Jackson, Newspaper Publishing, Sue Naumes, Fruit Packing, April Sevick, Collection Service, and Patsy Smullin, Television Broadcasting. Patsy is the only remaining member of the original 5, and we cherish her membership. As a matter of note, 3 ladies have served as Presidents of this club. Gail Schoenberg 2007-2008, Mary Holbrook, 2009-2010, and Katie Shepard, 2011-2012. (from remarks made in 2013)
Back in the 80s several of us participated in the Vacaville Rotary Fly-in. Using planes that were owned by fellow Rotarians, we flew with planes, loaded with club members, to the Nut Tree landing strip to attend a special lunch at the Nut Tree. Each lunch featured a special speaker. Three people that I particularly remember were General Jimmy Doolittle, Pappy Boyington and Mr Piper who owned Piper Aircraft. I always purchased their books and stood in line to have them autographed. Over 100 planes would show up for the event, from Cessna 150 to the largest, a restored B25. They even had a Lear jet on one occasion. The participation got so large that they had to move to Napa County Airport. After lunch it was a mad dash to reach your plane and take off to return home. Sadly it eventually was discontinued.
Thank you for your dedication and service to the club. We appreciate it, and the club would not be the same without your effort.
In 1982/83 Bob Gerhardt, a banker, was elected President of our club. Just prior to taking office he was transferred to Portland, Oregon. Dennis Hoffbuhr had been elected 1st Vice President and did not wish to be President at this time because he wanted to select his own team. He later ran for President and won in 1991. The board of directors decided to institute a unique experiment in club administration for the year.
They voted to have recent Past Presidents assume the office on a rotating basis to run the noon meetings. The following participated; Russ Jamison, Oliver Gustafson, Don Denman, Fred Lewis, John Becic, Bob Butler, Dwight Wilson, Bob Luther, Dick Hensley, Jack Cooney, Dick McLaughlin, Jack Dumas, and Pete Trim. Dennis Hoffbuhr took over the board meetings.
Sometime in the 70s, we changed our clubs office which was located above Johnston’s Shoe store which is now Pacific Diamond.
Somehow one of the file cabinets was emptied and we lost most of our records including all of the rosters as well as our original Charter.
Sometime later I asked the membership if anyone had copies of the rosters. I had a great response and managed to collect them from 1946 to the current date. The charter was replaced in 1998 from RI. Sadly the
The charter was replaced in 1998 from Rotary International. Sadly the original could not be replaced so our new charter though dated May 15, 1923, was signed by the President of Rotary International in 1998.
The major project was to finish the quad at North Medford Senior High. We enlisted the local National Guard with two of their dump trucks to haul the donated top soil. Rogue Disposal provided their small dump trucks for our club members to spread the top soil. We received $5,000 from the city of Medford to defray the cost of materials.
Most items were donated like the redwood for making benches, lighting for the quad and concrete for the sidewalks. Most of the labor that was used was donated. At the dedication, we had box lunches for all at North High which each of us paid. All firms and workmen were thanked for their participation. An estimation of $50,000 was mentioned for the project.
On July 3, 1962, the Medford Rotary Foundation was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
In 1947 we established the Student Loan Committee. Their function was to provide loans to students going on to higher educations. We had a lot of trouble in collecting funds after they graduated. So in July 3, 1962 Medford Rotary Foundation was founded and we began providing scholarships to the area’s graduating seniors. No more loans.
In 1958 we moved to our present location, here at The Rogue Valley Country Club.
The roster of 1951 lists our next venue as the Jackson Hotel located on South Central across the street from Montgomery Ward which is now Rogue Community College. It’s a parking lot now.