ED’S SWAN SONG at WVRC on June 24th
WOW that’s the only exclamation about the soloist and pianist that capped the meeting. Anyway, ALY SOHJI led the Pledge, and ED JACKSON provided the Invocation:
“We want to give thanks for ED leading our Club to another friendly, successful, and award winning year. Thanks for the older members and the newer ones that excel in, and enjoy, service above self. The only bad happening this year is the loss of friends that we won’t be working with again. A tip of the hats to you, ED for a heady and wine-filled year.”
Well done, ED an excellent summary. Maestro LENNY again came forward to learn of his unsuspected interest in Opera, Prexy ED then providing a horned number which LENNY was supposed to be using. The song was Smile, Sing a Song.
There were no Visiting Rotarians, but we had guests. ABRAHAM CARONS brought his friend, Bill Edwald. ELOISE SISKEL and MARIE ROLF were there for the Auxiliary, KATHIE GAULD , plus her friend, Nancy Thomas, were ED’S guests, plus the soloist, Lisa Hendrickson and pianist Darren Motise. PEGGY BLOOMFIELD was accompanied by her helper, Rosario. DEBBY SCHERER was with PP STEVE, and SUNNY of course accompanied LENNY. The Head Table was occupied by ALY SHOJI, PP TOM LENEHEN and VP ED JACKSON, and on the other side were KATHY GAULD, and DWIGHT HEIKKILA.
Prexy ED began his Swan Song with a Summation It has been a good ride, to which we can all agree! When he entered this very room 12 months ago for his first meeting, his first bit of advice, from an unnamed source, was, “Don’t screw it up.” What has he learned from being President? It is very time consuming, and also challenging and demanding. It’s fun and rewarding. The Rotary Year goes by very quickly the hour allotted for the meeting doesn’t lend itself to much down time.
It is great to work with and for such an impressive group of individuals who comprise the WVRC. Rotary International is an amazing organization. Ed would not have been a member of WVRC were it not for STU GILMAN, a former member who was active at that time. We were then meeting at the Bel-Air Hotel. ED met STU at a music fund raiser at what he called a Starter House in Hancock Park. STU’S companion that evening happened to be one of ED’S wife KATHIIE’S Marlborough classmates. The GAULDS had recently moved to Los Angeles, from Long Island.
Invitations were extended by STU (Ed call him Stewart, by the way) to attend a subsequent Rotary meeting. An editorial comment by ED, here it’s very important to ask a friend or acquaintance to Rotary. He became hooked on Rotary and became a member in July of 2003, when PETER MORE was President. Recalling his first meeting as President in this room, ED had just returned from England after KATHIE and he attended the International Rotary Convention in the city of Birmingham. Before the Convention, he and KATHIE toured Ireland by motor coach. He claims he wore one of his hats, but who knows for sure? They did see a large number of people who looked surprisingly like PP SEAN MCMILLAN… Their coach was filled with Past and Present District Governors, which was a treat. They were a most interesting group. Birmingham, by the way, is the city where the Industrial Revolution began today, it is amazingly diverse.
Ed noted that he owes a debt of gratitude to a great number of Rotary people during his Rotary year. He wants to thank the entire membership for their help and support. He has a special thanks for the Board for their contribution, counsel, and work throughout the year. If the meetings were sometimes long, it was because there was lots to discuss and decide. There are of course a number of individuals who he wished to single out. First, and most important, he wants to acknowledge his wife KATHIEs, who provided support, counsel and advice. It is of course a tremendous asset to have a wife who generates great ideas, loves working with people, particularly Rotarians, and is a terrific sounding board.
He also wants to thank DON NELSON, the peerless Treasurer, consigliore and Clubrunner guru. Where else would one expect from a UCLA math major who was one of its finest athletes? A special thanks goes to RALPH BEASOM, ensuring that each meeting flows smoothly. Thanks to DANA WOOD and PETER MORE and others for taking pictures. PETER MORE and RON LYSTER provided computer and website support. A special thanks goes to ERNIE WOLFE, particularly with respect to the Windmill. Having been responsible for the Windmill a few times when ERNIE has been travelling, ED is cognizant of the time and effort required to publish it week in and week out.
My special thanks goes to STEVE PETTISE for the outstanding job he has done providing interesting speakers. Being speaker chairperson is no easy task. He wishes to recognize NEVIN SENKAN, who is not here today, for bringing the Turkish Project to WVRC. NEVEN spends a good amount of time in Turkey which means she can provide hands on monitoring of the project. And of course there is Maestro LENNY FRIEDMAN and his splendid conducting throughout the year. Certainly the music world has never recovered since LENNY forsook music to own a jewelry Store. ED had a brief story to share: Apparently, LENNY called him recently to say that he enjoys all of the hats, but as Maestro, he has a very big ego and wanted a hat to go along with his ego so here it is! And we now recognize why CATHIE was at the Head Table she had a cache of maybe a hundred hats which she supplied on demand during ED’S presentation!
Ed feels he would be remiss if he didn’t recognize all of the Past Presidents who were always available for help. Past President SEAN MCMILLAN was particularly helpful since ED followed him as President. Ed wants to thank VP ED JACKSON for being responsible for, among other things, the greeters, and those who lead in the Pledge and give the Invocation.
Special kudos to the Auxiliary under the splendid leadership of MARIE ROLF. Her support, along with that of the Auxiliary Board and entire membership continues to make a significant contribution to the success of WVRC.
STEVE SCHERER had performed admirably as Membership Chair. During the year, we had a number of deaths and transfers. This means that WVRC has to work all the more just to keep our membership numbers constant. As of today, we have 107 members, 82 of whom are Active and 29 Honorary.
The Avenues of Service were active and productive during the year. Here are just a few of the Projects undertaken: With respect to Youth Activities under DWIGHT HEIKKILA, the Rotaract club undertook an amazing summer of projects, and fundraisers. In addition, the newly chartered Interact Club became active. Regarding Vocational Service under JOHN HEIDT, Reading To Kids represented a very important and worthwhile program. International Service under MARSHA HUNT saw the introduction of the Uganda Project. Marsha is able to monitor this program as a result of her periodic trips to Uganda. Community Service under LEAH VRIESMAN, with assistance provided by LEO TSENG, effected the distribution of Easter Baskets for the Mattel Children’s Hospital.
Ed felt that his Rotary Year witnessed a number of interesting events. First, there was the August Moon Summer Fun Party at PETER and SHIRLEY MORE'S home. Another hat appears at this time…In early October, a continent of members visited the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown and lo, another hat appeared. The Paul Harris Celebration and Casino Night followed in Mid-October at the Carson Community Center. It was here that Prexy ED sported the actual hat Paul Harris wore when he was running Rotary in 1910. The Turkish Delight party took place in late October at NEVEN SENKANS lovely home again, a hat appeared! In November, LA 5 hosted the USC-UCLA Football luncheon. ED reminded us that he was the cheerleader for UCLA, (with a brief demonstration following). ED contends that he managed to commandeer another hat at that event. A special Treat for ED in December was having his shipmate’s son, Commander John Wade, speak to our club. He is the commanding officer of the USS Preble, DDG 88 and he also had the hat he wore at this event! Commander Wade has just made Captain, three years ahead of his graduating class at Annapolis.
In late December, we had our Holiday Party at the UCLA Faculty Club. And it’s only fair to point out that since ERIC LOBERG has been on strike for several years, ED had to hire a Santa to replace him. This of course allowed another hat to be displayed. When R.I. President Kenny came by in February, there was a special luncheon and another hat appeared.
He was pleased that during the year the Club was recognized by the District and Rotary International for its service and contribution to Rotary Ideals. And of course at the District Conference in May, we received 19 Citations, eleven for excellence and eight for achievement. The District determines Citations by processing the information which each club provides. However, this did provide an opportunity for ED to display the hat he wore at that meeting. As a final modeling touch, ED then donned the hat he wore for his picture advertising his Demotion.
This was capped by an operatic rendition was truly wonderful. Speaking personally, I have never before been within ten feet of a performing opera singer, which I was today. It was memorable. Lisa Hendrickson will go far and it was thrilling to hear her today.
Words of Wisdom:
In the long run, the pessimist may be proved right. But the optimist has a better trip.