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Burbank to San Jose West

In July, 1960 Dr. Ken Devine, a veterinarian, was the first professional man to serve as president … the providing of Rotary information was a paramount concern of the president and as a result this information was featured at many meetings. Also community service projects came alive during this year … individual Rotarians contributed toward the start of a rehabilitation center for Tuberculosis patients at the County Hospital … 300 textbooks were collected and sent to Rangoon University in India … the club provided uniforms for the Burbank Elementary School Traffic Squad … Charter member Bill Gelabert died during the year and the club assisted his widow in the purchase of drugs and commodities.

Floyd Sorenson, President 1961-62, was considered an excellent leader … early in the Rotary year San Jos? Club magnanimously gave up territory to West San Jos? … the club unanimously nominated Perc Bliss as the club’s candidate to be District Governor of District 513 for the 1962-63 year … on February 20th, 1962, Pant International President ‘Bru’ Brunier (1952-53) of San Francisco spoke to the club in the presence of five Past District Governors … contributing $1380 (approximately $30 per member), the club became a 300% contributor to the Rotary Foundation … the club continued its excellent attendance record, being in the top 5% of the District.

The West San Jos? Club elected Russ Grube as President for 1962-63. Russ was a genial and innovative President … to announce its pride in having the District Governor, the club purchased a white silken banner on which was inscribed ‘Home Club of Governor, District 513’ this banner was passed on to the President of the club of the next succeeding governor and has continued its traditional journey ever since … two vocational tours, to the IBM plant and to the Fiberglas plant were held … also a bus trip to Monterey for dinner and a theater party … the American Field Service, Little League and Hospital Rehabilitation Programs received support from the club … the major project of the year was the club’8 leadership with other clubs of Santa Clara County in putting on the Annual District Conference, a 3 day affair held at Rickey’s in Palo Alto … our own member and Past President Jim Pasquali was the General Chairman with over 2,000 Rotarians attending … the club contributed a sizeable amount of money to assist District Governor Perc Bliss and his wife Alice to attend the International Convention held in St. Louis.

President Fred Swisher, a forceful, energetic leader, demanded and got excellent participation throughout the 1963-64 year … this year featured the first major community service to be initiated and completed during a single Rotary year… Ken Bell as chairman and club members spent many hours and dollars rehabilitating the Los Gatos Ming Quong Home for Underprivileged Boys … since there were few opportunities for community service within the club’s own boundaries, an arrangement was made with the Rotary Club of Los Gatos to initiate and carry out the project … John Marlais published new By-Laws …the classification survey was updated … eleven social activities were carried out … a major project chaired by Harry Murphy was the feeding, housing and transportation of 47 members of the Japanese Mandolin Society for four days as they gave concerts in our area.

For the year 1964-65, Harry Murphy was President … he had served previously as Vice-President … Dick Garland was Secretary … this year, Rotary International matched West San Jos? with the Rotary Club of Udaipur, India. … Much correspondence passed between the two clubs, including photographic slides of the members and their places of business … another major RI project was the initiation of the high school Rotary sponsored Service Club, INTERACT … our club sponsored one of the first at Del Mar High School – Chairman Sid Hamilton was a leader in this venture … Dave Rosenthal formed a Parole Advisory Committee to work closely with parolees … the club gathered 1,000 volumes of books to send to the University of India … 400% stature was achieved in the Rotary Foundation … President Harry appointed Perc Bliss and Bob Pulver to assemble historical information for a 20th Anniversary publication.

The twentieth President was Fred Hurt … Fred, 1965-66, was a detailed planner and followed up on his projects, which made him an effective leader … Warren Gilbert was on the Board of Directors … the club grew from 51 to 55 members … the growth was notable since 11 members resigned for various reasons … as usual attendance was emphasized and the club ended the year with a fabulous 99.2% … the second INTERACT Club was formed at Abraham Lincoln High School…the Parole Advisory Committee was active, giving counsel and help to eight parolees … American Field Service exchange students were featured at one program … social activities continued high on the agenda, the club went to the Castlemont Country Club in Pleasanton for the Spring dinner-dance … the debunking of President Hurt was held at the Los Gatos Elks Lodge for a light hearted evening … the club aided in putting on the District Conference, held in San Jos? …the club became a 500% contributor to the Rotary Foundation.

Dick Garland became President for 1966-67 … Dick joined the club in 1961 and had served as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President… and San Jos? State were invited to speak to the club – Perc Bliss was the chairman vocational talks by members became a regular feature of our meetings as happens each year, there was an excellent participation at Camp Campbell in July. Our 1974-75 President Jerry Scott took a lot of ribbing from members since he’s a proud University of California Golden Bear … Jerry, along with his Board, decided to move the club from Lou’s Village – after 29 years there – to the Pine Cone Restaurant on the Alameda … it was an active year with 72 members … we sent 125 young campers to Camp Campbell, even going to the schools to help select the campers … our candidate was accepted as a Rotary Fellow and Mark Sturges, son of Ray Sturges, spent a year at the London School of Economics … Mark was the fourth selection in three years successfully submitted by our club … This year saw a full social calendar with a tailgate party at the San Jos? – Stanford football game, annual Christmas party, Mystery Trip and many other gatherings … we also contributed $500 to San Jos? State University toward their scholarship programs and, most important, our name was officially changed from the Rotary Club of West San Jos? to the Rotary Club of San Jos? West. The District Governor at that time, Mike Koutsouris, had the notion that no one could find us in the phone book if they looked for West San Jos?, but should have no trouble if the name of the city appeared first. Governor Mike couldn’t understand that we were not listed in the phone book at the time. We also tried to start a city called West San Jos?, but were thwarted by all those people who would have had to print new stationery. So here we are, San Jos? West.

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