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(Updated 19 Nov, 2017)
The first meeting of the Reel and Strathspey Club was held on Saturday, November 23, 1946 at the home of Mrs. Margaret Lamont at 1121 7th Ave, Oakland, California. Present were:
The name `Reel and Strathspey Club' was suggested by Phil Aldrich and approved by all. It was agreed to meet on the second and fourth Saturday of each month beginning on December 14th. Phil became director/teacher, and Margaret Lamont took on the duties of business manager and acted as secretary. In some of the Club records she is listed as co-director. Membership was by invitation only, and the club's objective was to learn and exhibit Scottish dances. Most of the charter members had done a good deal of folk dancing and belonged either to the Merry Mixers of Alameda or to Chang's International Folk Dancers of San Francisco. Among the dances learned the first year were the Quadrilles, Petronella, The Eightsome Reel, Glasgow Highlanders, Highland Schottische, Circassian Circle, and Waltz Country Dance. Meetings continued to be held at the Lamont home with various members supplying refreshments. Most meetings didn't break up until 2 or 3 AM. In at least one instance they were fed breakfast before departing. When the Lamonts moved to San Francisco, Margie Lervik, Margaret's daughter, continued to live in the Lamont home and the club continued to meet there. At the second meeting Mr. Hugh McDonald was added to the roster of members, but in February of 1947 he resigned to move to Arizona.
On January 25th, 1947 members of the club attended a Burns celebration at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in San Francisco and participated in the Scottish Quadrilles that were included in the program. On May 17th Bob and Margaret Lamont were presented with two portraits of a Scottish boy and girl in costume to honor their marriage, which appears to have taken place sometime prior to February 8th as they are listed as Bob and Margaret Lamont in minutes beginning on that date. The Club became affiliated with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society in March of 1947 but allowed the affiliation to lapse the next year because the treasury was empty and it was felt that the Society was too remote and of little benefit to the club. In April Ed Silva joined the group and became Margie Lervik's partner. Lucille Czarnowski, dance instructor at UC Berkeley, was a quest at the May 17th meeting. Club members again participated in the quadrilles at the Tartan Ball on June 14th and drew favorable comments from other participants. Attendance at the Caledonian Club Gathering and Games at Sigmund Stern Grove ended in an impromptu demonstration consisting of Road to the Isles, Waltz Country Dance and Petronella. Three new members; Jerry Munoz, Bob Gibson and Doreen Prullage were welcomed on Sept 13th. Petronella was danced again as the Club's first formal demonstration at the Folk Dance Federation's festival on September 21st sponsored at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco by Chang's International Folk Dancers. After the demonstration they brought the audience in to dance Road to the Isles. At the meeting following the demonstration, club members voted to 1) join the Folk Dance Federation of California, 2) impose $0.25/person/month dues, and 3) to start a scrapbook. The Club also joined the Oakland Council of the Folk Dance Federation. An Anniversary Party was held on November 22nd, a Christmas Party on December 20th. Dances introduced during 1947 included the Highland Fling, the Foursome Reel, and Strip the Willow.
1948 opened with a demonstration at the Folk Dance Federation festival at Oakland High School on January 10th and a party at the usual meeting place on January 31st with Lucille Czarnowski and Mr. & Mrs. Pruellage (presumably Doreen's parents) as guests. Gus Andros joined the group in April temporarily replacing Ed Silva, who was unable to dance for a time but returned to the group in October. The list of demonstrations grew at the rate of one or two a month and the dance repertoire increased with the addition of Flowers of Edinburgh, Argyll Broadswords and The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh to name a few. During the summer both the Lamonts and the Aldrichs went to Scotland and brought back additional dance and dress information. A fancy new entrance was worked out and considerable effort was spent on recording music for the demonstrations. Phil Aldrich resigned as instructor on October 16th and Margaret Lamont took over. Bob Cowen (as piper) and Ed Herzel (as dancer) joined the group in November. Some meetings were now held at the Montclair Clubhouse on Moraga Ave in Oakland others were still at Margie Lervik's home. A second anniversary and Christmas party, held at the home of Marvin Hatfield on December 12th, showed an amazing amount of organization.
In January of 1949 Erban Cummings (as drummer) and Janice Dunlap and Stefan Edlis (as dancers) joined the group and Millie and Vernon vonKonski and Bob Gibson withdrew as the result of a conflict over scheduling a demonstration for the Elvesta Chapter of the Eastern Star. A similar invitation had been turned down the year before because it conflicted with an exhibition by Millie's folk dance exhibition group. This demonstration, on March 3rd, was the first for which the club received a payment ($20.00) and also marked the debut of a new set of white gowns for the women. Several halls in Oakland, deFremery Club House at 18th and Adeline St., Park Boulevard Clubhouse at Park Blvd and Newton Ave. and the Alexander Hamilton Community Center at 309 Linden St., saw use during this period. In March Vilma Lenshaw, Mary Silva and Tommy Schenck joined the club. Tommy pinch hit, after three nights of intensive practice, in a demonstration of the Glasgow Highlanders at the San Francisco Museum of Art when Gus Andros had to work and Bob Cowen, who had agreed to dance in his stead, missed the rehearsal. The first of April dues were increased to $.50. In April the group also started learning English Country dances including Rigs o' Marlowe, taught by Bish Bishoff. Margie Lervik and Tommy Schenck were married in May and were presented with an electric toaster as a wedding gift. Howard Bell joined the group in June although he was not formally accepted until July. C Stewart Smith's name first appears on the roster at this time also, but there is no indication that he was ever formally inducted. Janice Dunlap resigned in July for health reasons, and Gus Andros and Stefan Edlis left for New York to join the cast of `Brigadoon'. Margaret Lamont resigned as Dance Director on November 26th because of a heart condition, and she and Bob moved to Guerneville. Gerry Munoz (Tysz) was elected Director; Ada Harris, secretary; Margie Lervik Schenk, treasurer. The Club continued to meet at the DeFremery Club House and at Margie's home. Kathleen Carter now appears among the members present. Some eighteen formal demonstrations were given during 1949. New dances added during this year included Princess Margaret's Strathspey and Highland Laddie.
Minutes for the period from the beginning of January to June 10th, 1950 are missing, but seven demonstrations were recorded. On June 10th a meeting was held at the home of Phil and Juanita Aldrich to formally organize the Club. The attendance roster listed:
Absent were: Vilma Lenshaw and Ida May Huntington. Several names mentioned earlier were notable by their absence, i.e. C Stewart Smith.
The meeting was chaired by Leslie Margetts and led to the adoption of a set of principles for conduct of the Club's business. Formal bylaws were to be adopted at the next meeting. Existing officers were reelected for another year, i.e. Chairman, Leslie Margetts; Dance Director, Gerry Munoz; Business manager, Kathleen Carter; Treasurer, Margie Schenck. Tommy Schenck was retained as equipment manager except for the master records, which were to be handed over to Phil Aldrichfor safekeeping. Phil was also nominated as Costume advisor. The Club was now meeting at the Darrow Studios at 2212 Parker St, Oakland with refreshments and business meetings afterwards alternating at the homes of the Aldrichs and Howard Bell. A second meeting was held as scheduled on June 24th, but there was no mention of bylaws in the minutes. Ed and Mary Silva and Tommy and Margie Schenck resigned in July, and George Furguson was accepted as a new member; dues went up to $0.75 per month. Juanita Aldrich was elected treasurer in place of Margie and Phil Aldrich assumed the responsibility for the equipment. Howard Bell left in August to return to Philadelphia, Vilma Lenshaw and George Furguson announced their engagement, and a Club scrapbook was started with Tommy O’Connor in charge.
In September the Club moved to San Francisco, meeting in the home of Vilma Lenshaw's parents at 889 Brussels St in the Portola District until February, 1951, when they moved to the Del Oro Studios (later the Academy of Ballet) at 2121 Market St. Membership in the Oakland Folk Dance Council was dropped. Kathleen Garbutt, Dave Blue and Bill Roberts joined the group on a three months probationary basis. A successful Christmas party was held on December 23rd at Vilma Lenshaw's home. 15 formal demonstrations were given during 1950.
New officers were elected at the first meeting in January (the 13th), 1951, but the names were all the same with the exception that Phil Aldrich was elected as dance instructor along with Gerry Munoz. Margaret Lloyds was voted into the club in April. Kathleen Garbutt resigned in May, and leaves of absence were granted to Kathleen Carter, Carlos Carvajal and Doreen Pruellage. John and Alice Biggar were accepted as probationary members in June, and Howard Bell returned from Philadelphia. Anna Clark joined in October. The first `social' member, John Peel, was accepted in November; and two more, Millard and Ruth Creary, joined the following February. The Club's membership in the Folk Dance Federation of Calif. was dropped. Sometime between May and November, when they were granted a leave of absence, Vilma Lenshaw appears to have become the wife of George Ferguson.
Officers were again elected at the first meeting in 1952 - See the listings at the end of this chapter. Margaret Lloyds resigned due to the pressure of holding down two jobs. In February The Club affiliated with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society again after a lapse of several years. Separate extra practice sessions were instituted for those participating in upcoming demonstrations. Two new members, Nancy Burks and Dan Rennert, were accepted in March; and plans were made to recruit more. A suggestion was made that C Stewart Smith and his wife be asked to rejoin, but there is no indication that the suggestion was followed. Leslie Margetts, Kathleen Carter, and Howard Bell resigned in May; and a leave was granted to Millard and Ruth Creary while they were in Alaska. As a result of a demonstration in June for the Scottish Cultural Society the Club acquired several new members including Walter and Inez Lloyd, Cliff and Millie Porter, Peter and Evelyn Aleshin, Genny Lindsay, and Bill and Alice McPhee. Jerry Curran and Ken Gordon were accepted as members in July. Also at this time an executive committee was organized and the business of running the Club was turned over to them. Meetings of the general membership were continued but less frequently. The new executive committee consisted of:
|Vice chairman||Ada Harris|
|Dance Director||Phil Aldrich and Gerry Tysz|
At the first meeting of the executive committee bylaws were discussed and Anna Clark was appointed assistant dance director and the post of vice chairman was dropped. The host and hostess system of providing refreshments after dancing was abandoned, and the practice of repairing to Compton's Cafeteria was started. Ada and Anita McNab and Mack Whitmer were accepted in August and Lilly Campbell in September. It was decided to limit membership to 40 evenly balanced between men and women. The executive committee voted to include Ada Harris and Marvin Hatfield on the committee because of their long participation in the Club and their contacts outside of it. On October 12th the Club had a picnic on the Bowling Green in Sigmund Stern Grove. At the December meeting Ann Knight was accepted as a member; there was a discussion on the advisability of incorporation; and new officers were elected - see the listings at the end of this chapter. The title of assistant dance director seems to have reverted once again to vice chairman, and Gerry Tysz appears to have resigned. The September 13th minutes mention receipt of a letter from her but give no contents. A crib for their new baby was presented to John and Alice Biggar.
By early 1953 the Club was showing many more of the signs of a social club; it had grown in size (to about 40) to the point where instruction, especially for polishing demonstrations, was becoming difficult; attendance was much more irregular than it had been in the early days; and several members were delinquent in dues. Rules were adopted by which members delinquent by three months were to be notified by letter that they would be dropped if they did not respond within 30 days. Later minutes don't name those dropped, so it becomes more difficult to track participation. New members admitted at this time included: Barbara Bruce, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Smith, Greg Gillespie, and George Angus. Former members Kathleen Carter and Leslie Margetts were readmitted. In March the Club received an invitation from the Caledonian Club to participate in a SCD competition at their upcoming Games. Phil wrote to Scotland (presumably RSCDS headquarters) and was informed that "there is never competition in country dances at the Games. Sometimes at private affairs there may be competition, but never at the Games". The Club voted to demonstrate but not to compete. Ada and Anita McNab were dropped in March when they did not respond to the notice that they were delinquent. C Stewart Smith is reported to have taught Coronation Waltz, but he does not appear to have rejoined the Club. A Mrs. McKay taught several figures from the Scottish Lancers.
In May it was decided to meet every Saturday at the Del Oro Studios; the second and fourth Saturdays as social nights for all members and the first and third as practice nights for demonstration rehearsals and the teaching of new dances. Joyce MacKenzie was accepted as a probationary member and Pete Shearer in the new category of associate member. The Club now had three categories of membership, probationary, regular and associate. A picnic was held in Tilden Park in Berkeley on June 14th. Anna Clark was granted a leave of absence since she was in England for an extended stay; and Inez Lloyd was appointed to take her place as vice chairman. Leslie Margetts and Kathleen Carter were married and were given a gift certificate as a wedding gift. A gift certificate was also given to Genny Lindsay for her new baby.
On August 15th Mary Isdale MacNab from Vancouver, a frequent teacher at the RSCDS Summer School at St Andrews University, visited the Club and spent an evening teaching; and later in the month the Club had another picnic in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland before dancing for the annual Woodminister production of the Folk Dance Federation.
Elections were held at the December 12th meeting nominations having been completed at the meeting on November 28th. The results are given in the listing at the end of this chapter.
Cliff Porter was appointed as publicity Chairman, and Roy Bright was accepted as a probationary member.
At the January 8th, 1954 meeting it was felt necessary to call for a rededication to the standards of earlier days and a more serious attitude towards the teaching. How familiar that will sound to any RSCDS teacher! Jean Chatfield was accepted as a probationary member, and a leave of absence was extended to Barbara Bruce. Leslie and Kathleen Margetts resigned because of Leslie's asthma. Discussion was started in February on a new set of bylaws. Leave of absence was granted to Mack Whitmer and Greg Gillespie. A three month beginner class was started in April, but it did not prove to be very successful. At the May 15th meeting an extended discussion of complaints, criticisms and suggestions for improvement was held. The major complaints seemed to center around the demonstrations; too many, two few, who danced and how they were picked, the criticism of those who goofed off during practice, required attendance at every meeting, etc. Most of the problems were referred to the executive committee for further consideration. The system of 2nd and 4th Saturdays for general dancing and 1st and 3rd for demo practice was reinstated. The fourth Saturday was designated as a party night. Jack and Evelyn Wilson and Mary Lochead were accepted as probationary members in June. Phil Aldrich reported that he was going to Canada on vacation and while there would attend a special class on SCD. He was also given $25.00 to spend on records for the Club in addition to the $50.00 that was voted to reimburse him for records already bought. For the first time a committee, consisting of Jean Chatfield, Jerry Curran and Lilly Campbell, was appointed to select a program for the August party. The question of competitions came up again, and the Club reaffirmed its stand against, but was willing to join in a massed demonstration. It is not clear with who though as there were no other country dance groups in the area.
In September new management took over the Del Oro Studios and doubled the rent. The Club moved to the Sangerhalle Room of the California Hall at Polk and Turk streets. It was decided to serve refreshments again at the hall since the new location had appropriate facilities, and Millie Porter was appointed to chair a social committee, a post she was to hold for many years. A donation of $0.25 was asked for the refreshments and dues were raised to $1.00 per month. The October party honored Gerry and Jean Curran on the occasion of their marriage. Joyce McKenzie arranged the program for the Christmas party in December.
In April of 1955 two Club members, Tom Kernohan and Joyce MacKenzie were married. In May major sections of the new set of bylaws that had been under preparation for some months was finally adopted. The major change was moving the fiscal year and the election of officers to June of each year. New officers were elected in June.
In July the new bylaws were amended to make the position of Director a permanent one, and Phil Aldrich was elected to fill it. A class for beginners was started under Cliff Porter, but there were only three students the first night and only one of those was among the three that came the second time. Two new members, Morgan Gilbert and Corinne Sparks, were accepted in September. A garden party at the home of one of the Aldrichs' neighbors on October 9th was enjoyed by many of the Club members. A Christmas party was held on Sunday, December 11th at the home of Morgan Gilbert in Corte Madera. Phil Aldrich provided music for dancing and movies. Jennie Lindsay and Millie Porter handled refreshments.
At the beginning of January, 1956 a new schedule was started for the 1st and 3rd Saturdays because those nights, which were designated as demonstration practices, were not well attended. Teaching of new dances as well as demonstration practices was planned; and the schedule of what was to be taught was sent out weekly by Cliff Porter, the assistant director. The new system received a favorable response. Three new members, Guillermo Del Oro, Betty Jane Park, and Murray Taylor, were voted into probationary status in March and another, Barbara Scott, in April. Four associate members, Finette Hall, Mrs. George Chatfield, and Mr. and Mrs. McCormack, were also accepted; and two regular members, Jack and Evelyn Wilson transferred to associate status. A Party to raise money for the depleted treasury was held on April 17th. Seventeen members and 41 guests attended resulting in a net of $29.15, almost a month's rent. The elections held in June resulted in only one change of office that of sergeant-at-arms, which was now occupied by Morgan Gilbert. June this year had a fifth Saturday, and the opportunity was taken to have a social evening with all the associate members invited. Mrs. McCormack died in July; this was the first death of a member reported in the minutes. Jack and Evelyn Wilson resigned for health reasons, and Joyce Graham was voted in. Kathleen Sweeney was voted in in August (Today's dancers will recognize her more readily as Kathleen McAdam.) and Roy and Betty Bright became associate members in September. October saw the addition of three more members, Sandy Whelan, Gene Newcomb and Jean Andrews. An open house Christmas party was held on December 8th with nearly 100 attending including members of the Caledonian Pipe Band. Walter McAdam attended his first R&S meeting as a guest on December 15th, which was also the night on which probationary member Kathleen Sweeney was voted into full membership. The February 9th minutes state "Fred Macondray has now returned home from the Service and expects to be with us regularly", which implies that he had been around previous to this time, but he is not mentioned in the minutes. He was accepted in the usual probationary status on March 9th. Jacqueline Dudley, Walter McAdam, Margaret Wood, and Kathryn Stewart were accepted as probationary members on February 9th. In April the hall rent was raised by 33% and a committee consisting of Cliff Porter, Fred Macondray and Margaret Wood was appointed to come up with ways of augmenting the membership to cope with this added drain on the treasury. The Club also rejoined the Folk Dance Federation of California and Fred Macondray was appointed as the Club's delegate. In May James Carlow was added to the list of probationary members, and Jacqueline Dudley, Fred Macondray and Walter McAdam were accorded full membership. Officers were again elected in June.
Jimmie Lochie joined in July; and beginning August 5th the meeting night was changed to Monday at 7:30PM in the hope of attracting greater participation. C Stewart Smith has returned to the Club again as he is listed as one of the dancers for the Folk Dance Federation concert at Woodminster on August 31st. He was voted into full membership on September 23rd, but I find no mention in the minutes of the usual probationary status or of it having been waved. The R&S joined the San Francisco Council of the Folk Dance Federation, and Fred Macondray was appointed chairman of a membership committee, and he and Phil were delegated to classify all of the members into beginner, intermediate or advanced. These classifications were not posted, but an individual would be told his or her classification if he or she asked. It isn't clear what use of this exercise was intended. Elizabeth Sunny was elected a full member on November 11th and Gayle Bornemann, Celia Chester and Ursula Munster on November 25th; again there was no mention of probationary status. In December the secretary, B J Park resigned because of her upcoming marriage and move to Montana. She was given a brooch as a farewell gift; and Kathleen Sweeney was appointed to fill out the remainder of her term of office.
At the beginning of 1958 the bylaws surfaced once again. It was decided that they had actually been completed in 1954 or 5 (The surviving minutes don't show that they were ever adopted in full, however), but they were now out of date. A committee consisting of Marvin Hatfield, Cliff Porter and Walter McAdam was appointed to revise them. The treasury was beginning to look healthier, so it was decided to allot $5.00 per month for tea supplies, and Marvin Hatfield was appointed to purchase them. New members for January were Polly Davis, Gay Gordon and Stewart and Hilda Walker, for February Ann Harper, Barbara and Herb Briggs, and Alan Horobin. Stewart Smith offered to teach highland dancing from 7:00 to 7:30 beginning in March. On April 14th Allen and Lydia Smith, newly certificated teachers from the Boston Branch, taught for the evening. On Saturday, April 19th there was an Open House Party, held in Room 201 of California Hall. Polly Davis and Kathleen Sweeney were in charge of the entertainment program. A net profit of $6.91 was made. Members accepted in April included Hilda Deakin (Gotcher), Pat Jordan, Joan Yates, and George Brown. Elections were held at the June 9th meeting.
New members for June were E H Vincent and Ruth Doyle. The British cruiser `Newcastle’ visited San Francisco in July, and the officers and men were invited to join one of the regular Monday classes. Three of them did; Kathleen McAdam has a snapshot of the affair. A committee consisting of Stewart Smith and Fred Macondray was appointed to look into accommodations for a weekend of country dancing. Here was the first thought of what has become our `Asilomar'. Establishing a time for the demonstration group to practice had become a problem again. Various solutions were tried. At one time the practice was during the intermediate class; then it was set from 7:30 to 8:30 on the 1st and 3rd Mondays; and then in June it was shifted to 2nd and 4th Fridays at the Northbrae Community Church in Berkeley. New members were Rick Coffey for August, Gillian Child for September, and Everett Stanley, Gael MacDonald, Robert Knutzen, Ann Birch, and Jesse Rabinowicz for October. In September it was learned that former member and Secretary Betty Jane Park (now Mrs. Stephen Barnwell) had given birth to triplets, three girls.
The Club formed its own blood bank in October. Walter McAdam had been in the hospital a couple of months prior to this time, and Club members had donated five pints of blood for his use. He required only two, so he suggested the credit for the remaining three be used as the basis for a Club blood bank. Walter was appointed director of the bank for the first year. A Halloween party was held October 31st at the home of Herb Briggs. The first Asilomar Weekend of Scottish Country Dancing was held December 5th-7th, 1958 - cost: 2-to-a-room, $16.00; single rooms, $18.00, all meals included. Walter McAdam chaired the arrangements committee; Fred Macondray and Gill Child arranged the dance program.
1959 was started with the final adoption of the new bylaws that had been under preparation for so long, and a new teaching schedule was started. In February the Demonstration team began meeting every Friday instead of twice a month. Gael MacDonald was appointed Historian and Librarian and provided with a working fund of $15.00 for the purchase of books, etc. In March Phil Aldrich resigned as Director but was persuaded by the members to reconsider and withdrew his resignation in April. A letter was received from C Stewart Smith who was in Edinburgh studying for his Scottish Country Dance and Highland Dance certificates. New members for the first quarter included Wally and Jackie Davis. The annual party was held on April 18th in Room 201 of California Hall. Gael MacDonald was in charge of entertainment; Millie Porter, food; Herb Briggs, publicity; and Fred Macondray, dance program. Charlie Doig acted as MC. The program was:
|8:00PM||Greetings &introduction of officers||Cliff Porter|
|History of the Reel & Strathspey||Phil Aldrich|
|8:10||Step Practice||Fred Macondray|
|8:25||Dancing for Everybody||Fred Macondray|
|Rakes of Glasgow|
|My Love She's but a Lassie Yet|
|De'il Amang the Tailors|
|Irish stepdance (The Blackbird)||Kathleen Sweeney|
|Pipe and Drums||Vic Biswell & Rick Coffee|
|Highland Fling, Sword||Katherine & Keith|
|Dance, Gillie Callum||Thompson|
|Gaelic singing (Eriskay Love Lilt, The Irish Rover, Westering Home)||Kathleen Sweeney|
|Pipe and Drums||Vic Biswell & Rick Coffee|
|Country Dance Demonstration||Reel & Strathspey (Craigellachie Bridge & MacDonald of Sleet)|
|10:50||Food and request dancing.|
On May 1st the Club moved to Room 201 with its smaller adjacent hall, which was used for the beginners' class, refreshments and business meetings. A second Asilomar weekend was held May 29th to 31st, 1959 with Walter McAdam again acting as chair. A formal nominating committee, consisting of Walter McAdam, Marvin Hatfield and Jesse Rabinowicz, was appointed this year for the first time. The results of their hard work are in the listings at the end of this chapter.
There's no record in the minutes, but a summary of Club activities mentions that the men of the Club presented Walter McAdam with a set of tools on the occasion of his upcoming marriage to Kathleen Sweeney. New members for the second quarter included Jinx Hone, Reinout DeRoover, Pamela Shaw, Andrew Lane, Dick Gotcher, and Mary O'Brien.
At the first meeting in July the following appointments were made:
|Reception Com. Head||Barbara Briggs|
|Refreshment Com. Head||Millie Porter|
|Acting Asst Director||Clifford Porter|
Notice was received in August that C Stewart Smith had passed his examinations and was fully qualified to teach Scottish Country Dancing. The Club became associated with the British Commonwealth Club at this time. Phil and Juanita Aldrich were given a life-time membership in the R&S. New members for the third quarter were: Kay and Ray Curl, Jorge Bogart, Jessie Hall, Gloria Hetherington, Marion Walker, Nancy McWilliams, Mary McLaren, and Bruce McLean.
A party was held on October 24th in Berkeley to honor C Stewart Smith on his return from St Andrews. A committee to be responsible for the Club's records was appointed consisting of Phil Aldrich, Fred Macondray, Stewart Smith, and Kathleen McAdam. After a lengthy discussion it was voted to hire a teacher for two nights each month for a period of six months. A second motion designated C Stewart Smith as that teacher and set his pay at $15.00 per month. Dues were raised to $1.50 per month. A motion was also passed to have Stewart instruct the Demonstration group under Phil Aldrich's supervision. Stewart agreed to do this without a fee. A request was made by Ada Harris for someone to take pictures at demonstrations, and Dick Gotcher volunteered to be official Club photographer. A New Years Eve party was held at the home of Barbara and Herbert Briggs with C Stewart Smith organizing the entertainment. New members for the fourth quarter were: Lois Bodie, Jennie and Peter Wolf, and Lois De Banzie.
1960 started off with a new beginners' class, and Gloria Heatherington was elected Publicity Chairman. In February Mr. and Mrs. Walter McAdam were granted a leave of absence not to exceed one year. The third Asilomar weekend was held March 4th through 6th. Five attendees were from the Los Angeles area. C Stewart Smith was paid $20.00 for his services. Ev Stanley requested a leave of absence because of his health, and his post as treasurer was filled until the next elections by Bruce McLean. Fred Macondray was granted a waiver of future dues and tea fees in recognition of his many services to the Club. New members for the first quarter were: Afke Sieswerda, Sally Watson and Betty Connor. In April Stewart’s contract as a teacher was extended for six months and expanded to cover three nights per month at a fee of $25.00 per month. The nominating committee appointed for the upcoming elections consisted of Gloria Hetherington, Gayle Bornemann and Sally Watson. New members for the second quarter were: Lindy Chris and Will Kinsey.
A party was held in June 4th at C Stewart Smith's home. Elections were held on June 6th.
There was another wedding in June; this one uniting Ev Stanley and Marion Walker. Joanna Yates appears to have given up the secretary's duties at the end of July. The next minutes, for September 12, were signed by Hilda Deakin; those from October 10th through January 9th by Joan B Mabbatt, and for the balance of the year by Joan B Tesman. New members for the third quarter were: Joan Mabbatt, Mr. & Mrs. Peter Scott. By November C Stewart Smith had opened his dance studio, and the added expenses made it no longer possible for him to teach the Demo team gratis. The team members agreed to pay him from their own pockets, but it was arranged to have the monies go through the Club treasury.
In January of 1961 a new schedule of fees was introduced. The membership fee was reduce to $2.00 per year; and a new class fee of $0.85 per night or $7.00 for 10 nights paid in advance was instituted for members with the corresponding figures being $1.00 and $8.50 for nonmembers. The 4th Asilomar weekend was held March 31st to April 2nd. Fred Macondray handled many of the arrangements. C Stewart Smith was paid $26.00 for teaching classes. Lori and Peter Scott arranged transportation; and Elsie Robertson and Gloria Hetherington were in charge of accommodations. New members for the first quarter: Lorrie Price, May Harper, Irene and Bill Rowe, Peggy Schmidt, Phyllis Blake, Jim Eaton, Noah Lewis, George Luiz, Dr & Mrs. Payne, Ron Wilson, Ron Mortimer, and Alice Freligh.
Nominating committee: Lindy Chris, Peter Scott and Sally Watson. Raine Curl was appointed Public Relations Officer for the Demo team. New members for the second quarter: Neville Jerome and Margaret Bates. Minutes for meetings between the end of April and the beginning of June 1962 have been lost including the results of the June election. Some of the lost minutes were reconstructed from memory by President David Barnes.
In July the refreshment committee under Millie Porter and Barbara Briggs complained that not enough refreshments were being brought by the volunteers to feed the larger crowds now coming. The problem was solved by allotting $3.50 per week to the committee to supplement the volunteers. Later in July (the 29th to be exact) a picnic was held at the Tourist Club on Mt Tamalpias. J & J Gibbons and M Valleau arranged the supper. In late September team practices were moved to Wednesday nights at Stuart's Studio.
In October the Club was honored by a visit from Miss Milligan. This was a rare honor indeed as she seldom made a stop except to branches of the RSCDS. Her schedule was:
Monday the 16th - class at California Hall
Wednesday the 18th - special class at Marines' Memorial
Thursday the 19th - meet with the team
Saturday the 21st - Banquet and party at Letterman chaired by Gloria Hetherington.
Representatives of other Bay Area Scottish organizations were invited. There is no record of how many came. Publicity and notices for the week were handled by Sally Watson and Nancy McWilliams, entertainment and lodging for Miss Milligan by Barbara Briggs. It was agreed to ask Miss Milligan to examine three preliminary candidates (George Bogart, Diane Childers and Barbara Briggs). They didn't start their training until late September under Fred Macondray. The minutes don't record whether she agreed to examine them or how many passed. In December an executive committee meeting was called to discuss the desirability of forming a Branch as suggested by Miss Milligan during her recent visit. After much discussion, it was agreed that David Barnes would write a letter requesting permission to form a Branch for Phil Aldrich to sign. At this meeting Phil expressed a desire to decrease his responsibilities and possibly assume the title of `Director Emeritus'. There was also a discussion of the status of the Team. C Stewart Smith wanted the Team to have a separate bank account, but this was not agreed to. It was also decided to drop the probationary period for new members and instead elect them to membership when they had completed a satisfactory beginners' class. The Clubs regular meeting on December 18th was adjourned early so that attendees could go to the Edinburgh Castle (the one in San Francisco) for a special Christmas party being put on by the Castle. Just before Christmas the Club received a reply to the letter requesting permission to form a Branch of the RSCDS. Miss Milligan expressed enthusiasm for the project but couldn't grant permission to proceed until it had been brought to the General Purposes Committee, which would be done at its next meeting. The fifth Asilomar weekend was held March 30th to April 1st. Gloria Hetherington and Elsie Robertson were in charge of arrangements. The cost was $19.00 per person in double rooms, $23.00 per person for singles. C Stewart Smith refused to teach unless his expenses were paid, which caused another controversy. It was finally agreed to pay him for teaching on the same basis that he was being paid for teaching on Monday nights but without reimbursement for expenses. On April 15th a `Special Purposes Committee' met at the home of David Barnes primarily to discuss the relation between the Club and C Stewart Smith. It was pointed out that Stewart was not a member of the Club, and some members objected to paying him as a teacher and to his running the demonstration team. Others supported him, and no actions were taken. April 30th the Club gave a party for the officers from HMS Belfast, which was then visiting San Francisco Bay. A picnic was held on Angel Island on June 16th. The nominating committee for new officers to be elected in June was Sally Watson, Nancy McWilliams, George Luiz, Phyllis Blake, and George Bogart. Names of candidates were listed in the June 4th minutes, but the minutes for the meeting in which they were elected are missing. Later minutes indicate that Dick Gotcher was elected president and Hilda Deakin secretary. Uncontested offices were Jim Eaton, treasurer and Fred Macondray, assistant director. In any event a banquet was held at the Letterman Officers' Club to welcome them into office. New members elected into the Club during the first half of 1962 included Olive Ahrens, Pat Watson, Larry Way, Del Allen, Barbara Gratke, Ralph Wilson, and Roger Stephens. In July the new officers were faced with yet another financial crisis, and action was taken to reduce expenses including discontinuance for a period of three months of the paid instructor (C Stewart Smith), the separate hall for the beginner’s class and the use of Stewart's Studio for the Team practices. The third action was later rescinded, and a 15 cent per person charge for refreshments was instituted. There were also problems with the bookkeeping from the previous regime and the relationship of the Team to the Club. Inez Lloyd and Jim Eaton were delegated to try to straighten out the books, and the Executive Committee was to hold discussions with the Team. These discussions did not reach a satisfactory conclusion, and during September Stewart resigned all connection with the Club. On October 1st a new and independent team was organized under the name of 'Scottish Country Dance Society of San Francisco' with Stewart as director and instructor. Team members remained as members of the Club. The Club also retained a Team under the direction of Fred Macondray, so there were now two SCD Demonstration Teams in San Francisco. Nancy McWilliams left in July or August to take up a new career in Philadelphia. It was agreed that no Executive Committee meetings would be held so that all Club business could be conducted in open meeting with participation of the maximum number of Club members. A Christmas banquet was held at the Letterman Hospital Officers Club on Saturday December 18th. 38 persons attended at a cost of $5.50 per person. The list is given in the treasurer’s report for December 1962. New members: Tommy Craig. Names were still being listed of probationary members although earlier minutes had indicated that the probationary status was to be dropped in favor of completion of a satisfactory beginner class. Names listed in this category included Barbara Kwast, Eileen Anderson, Kelvin Bellis, Mae Kramer, Jenny Rice, Jill Rand and Fred Sommer. Mention was also made of the start of work on a constitution for the proposed new Branch.
Pat Watson left the Club in January of 1963 to return to the UK. Gloria Hetherington became engaged to Danny Rennert and Michaela DeBoer to Will Kinsey in February, and the recent marriage of Susan Crouch to Steven Radoyichich was announced. Jenny Rice became engaged to Tommy Craig in May and Dick Gotcher to Hilda Deakin in Aug
Another Asilomar weekend (March 29-31) was held in 1963; and Miss Milligan paid another visit to the Bay area to examine two preliminary candidates, Phyllis Blake and Kay Curl, who had trained under Fred Macondray. Both passed.
The bylaws were revised at a special meeting on April 16th. Club dues were set at $2.00 per year. Officers were to be President, Vice president, Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, Director, and Assistant director. The office of Sergeant-at-arms was dropped. The President was empowered to appoint standing committees including Historian, Refreshment and Program. In recognition of their long service to the Club, Phil and Juanita Aldrich, Marvin Hartfield, Ada Harris, and Fred Macondray were granted honorary membership and excused from payment of dues and fees and granted the privilege of attending Executive Committee meetings.
New officers were nominated by a nominating committee headed by Phyllis Blake and were elected at the June 3rd meeting.
At the June 17th meeting Millie Porter, Jim Eaton, Hilda Deakin and Douglas Kirk were made honorary members.
A class for prospective teachers was started by Stewart Smith in anticipation of a visit by Miss Milligan that had been under negotiation for some time. This visit occurred in October. She taught a class on Wednesday, October 23, 7:30 PM to 1:00 AM at the Marines' Memorial Club and taught classes and examined teacher candidates at a weekend at Hobergs on Clear Lake (three prelims and three finals passed, but the only names were not given [Kathleen remembered that one was Barbara Briggs]). The cost for the full weekend (Friday evening Oct 25 through Sunday lunch Oct 27) was $29.00 for members and $34.00 for nonmembers. The attendance was as follows: Members; A Macondray, R Knudsen, R Mortimore, C Harrison, R Stephens, S Watts, J Whittingham, Mr. & Mrs. Higgins, R Wilson, F Sommer, P Blake, A Morgan, D Nelson, H Deakin, K Curl, ? Stefan,? Jocelyn, D Gotcher, Mr. & Mrs. Kinsey, D Barnes, B Hodgkins, P Jordan, A Peet, G Hetherington, J Yates, Mr. & Mrs. Bogart, ? Clinton, D Rennert, O Alfred, and I Mackenzie-Fay; nonmembers; B Brydone-Jack, I Munroe, M McRae, Mr. & Mrs. Graham and Mr. & Mrs. Brandon; R&S guests; H Melendres, C Smith, B Briggs and F Macondray; Hoberg's guest Miss Milligan.
Probationary members elevated to full membership during 1963 included Kelvin Bellis, Leslie Lendrum, Clarence Harrison, Jeanette Hamilton, Dick Winkleman, Mildred Burroughs, Brenda Hoskins, Kay Gillis, Larry Marshall, Orvin Alfred, Ann Morgan, Carol Young, Cheryl and Leigh Higgins, Olga Ivanocko
In December the contract with Stewart Smith as Club instructor was allowed to expire.
In January of 1964 the fee for the Monday night dances was reduced for couples to $1.50. Singles still paid $1.00 each. Beginning the first Monday in March the starting time was changed to 7:30 from 8:00, but it reverted to 8:00 the middle of April. At the April 12th Executive Committee meeting Barbara Briggs resigned as Assistant Dance Director because of the press of other responsibilities (but continued to teach classes), and Phyllis Blake was appointed to fill this position until the next election, and this was confirmed by the membership at the next regular meeting. Formation of a Branch was discussed at the April 12th Executive Committee meeting and at the two following regular meetings, and a letter was sent to Scotland requesting clarification one or two points.
A nominating committee headed by Fred Sommer presented the following slate of officers:
|President||Kay Curl||Ralph Wilson*|
|Vice president||Roger Stevens*||Fred Sommer|
|Secretary||Alice Macondray*||Lois Bodie|
|Treasurer||Ann Morgan*||Will Kinsey|
|Director||Fred Macondray||Stewart Smith*|
|Assist. Director||Phyllis Blake*||Ray Zavala|
The person elected by secret ballot at the next meeting is indicated by an asterisk. The old officers were thanked and the new ones welcomed at a barbeque at Sigmund Stern Grove House on Sunday June 21st engineered by Roger Stephens.
Payment of teachers, both visiting and local was discussed at Executive committee meetings on July 6th and 17th. It was decided to offer $10.00 per class to teachers from outside the Bay Area but to defer any payment to local teachers pending the appointment of a committee to review Club finances. A Club newsletter to appear every two months was established under the editorship of Alice Macondray. The first issue appeared August 24th as `The Reel and Strathspeyper Vol, 1 No 1.
A teaching schedule for the last quarter of 1964 was established as follows:
|Beginners:||Kay Curl||Oct & Dec|
|Intermediate:||Fred Macondray||Oct & Dec|
An advanced class was discussed, but since opinion for and against was about evenly divided and since several affected members were not present, a decision was postponed.
August 31st Mary Shoolbraid from Vancouver, BC taught the regular Monday night class. Among other dances she taught one of her own devising, Leslie House, which was named for her home town of Leslie in Fifeshire. Another visiting teacher from Vancouver, Margaret Bowie, taught `The Red House' and `Curleywee' on October 19th
September 4th from 8 to 12 PM, a formal Scottish Ball was held at Letterman Officers' Club in the Presidio. It featured the first ever live country dance band to play in the Bay area, the Teuchters (Gaelic for `warblers') from Powell River, BC. Scottish ballads were sung at the intermission by Murray Shoolobraid who was also the band's pianist. The dance was actually sponsored by members of Stewart Smith's team rather than by the Club itself, but all Club members were invited. Tickets were $2.50.
September 5th and 6th many members of the Club participated in the Caledonian Club Games at Santa Rosa where the Teuchters again played for dancing at El Rancho Motel. Most of the dances were modern ballroom dances but some country dancing was also included. Forty one Club members met at the Green Mill for the traditional Sunday supper following the games and then returned to Santa Rosa for another dance with the Teuchters.
A Guy Fawkes party was held November 9th with costumes, SCD and plenty of food and drink. The Club experienced the first of several phonograph thefts in December, and Christmas party was held on the 28th at Stern Grove Clubhouse, 19th and Sloat, San Francisco.
Members elected in 1964 included Eileen and Stefani Winter, James Fraser, Mary Wallace, Gwen Chapman, Yvonne Graber, Ed Grant, and Norma Arroyo. The October 5th minutes mention that several others were accepted; names are not given, but the 2nd issue of the Reel and Strathspeyper lists Alice Smith, Al Galvan, Joy Bailey, Nancy Main, and Rita O'Laughlin.
1965 opened with the resignation of `interim' treasurer Kay Curl. The three people nominated to fill in declined, so the position was left open but was later filled by Fred Macondray. The record on this point is a bit confused. Kay Curl's term as treasurer should have ended in July of 1964 when Ann Morgan was elected to that post, but there is no evidence that Ann ever served. The only treasurer's report for this period is a summary report for July 1 to December 31 signed by Kay Curl. Ann was noted as being absent from the July 6, 1964 Executive Committee Meeting, and her place was taken by past treasurer Kay Curl at the request of President Ralph Wilson. All members except Phyllis Blake were reported present at a July 17yh meeting, but Ann was again absent from the September 21st meeting. None of these meetings included a treasurer's report.
A half-price admission to the Monday dancing was established for unemployed minors accompanied by a parent. The teaching schedule was often mentioned in minutes of either the Executive Committee meetings or of the regular meetings, but names are often omitted. The schedule for March & April 1965 was Beginners, Elsie Robertson, Social, Stewart Smith, Team, and Fred Macondray
A weekend of dancing was held jointly with the dancers from the Los Angeles area at Santa Maria on the weekend of April 24-25. The Saturday schedule: registration at Rick's Rancho (where the group was lodged) 7-8:45; Session I 9-10:30; Session II 11-12:30; lunch; Session III 2:30-4. Sessions I & II provided concurrent classes in beginning, intermediate and advanced dancing. Session III offered men's highland, ladies solo or general workshop. Sunday had Session IV 10-11:30; lunch; and `Review & Requests 1-3. One visiting teacher, Mary Shoolbraid from Vancouver, taught along with at least two from the hosting groups. The Ball Saturday evening at the Veterans' Memorial Hall was formal or semi-formal.
A barbecue was provided by the Santa Maria Club. Arrangements for the week end were made by Roger Stephens and Dave Brandon (from Los Angeles). Over 100 attended including at least 25 from the R&S Club. Fourteen R&S Club members also attended a weekend in Vancouver May 21-24.
A nominating committee chaired by Dick Gotcher returned a slate in which only two offices were contested. Orrin Alfred defeated John Richtars for Vice president; and Del Allen defeated Martha Holman for Registrar. The other officers elected are listed at the end of this chapter.
At the May 17 general meeting the formation of a Branch was again brought up, and after reviewing the pros and cons it was agreed to call a meeting of all interested parties on July 12. That meeting did in fact result in the formation of the San Francisco Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society into which the Reel and Strathspey Club was merged. The Club held its last meeting on July 19th at which outgoing officers were thanked for their good work. Ralph and Estell Wilson were welcomed back from their honeymoon. New members admitted in 1965 included John Richtars, Eda Coburn, Belle Elbert, Jim Cox, Russell Smith, Jim Beatty, Ronald White, and Stuart McMann.
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