Unfortunately we were unable to find more of the early history from 1923 to 1930 and a few presidents after that. Here are some notes from records of presidents or as reported in the club bulletins:
1931-32: Harry Quill notes that attendance was the best ever at 95 percent – “No one had enough money to leave town.”
1932-33: Walter Thoresen in 1932-33 also refers to the great depression and observes that in spite of this problem the club was able to maintain its membership of 75 and make substantial contributions to charity. This included shoes for underprivileged children, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Crippled Children and milk for underprivileged children.
1936-37: Leonard Carlson remembered that his club of 90 members experienced a two month strike of the Cooks and Waiters which created a problem at meeting places. Many members were reluctant to cross the picket lines and made up attendance at other clubs.
1937-38: Dr. William Quinn saw his club grow larger. His efforts included sponsoring the new Rotary Club of Garberville.
1941-42: Chet Connick recalled 1941 as the year of Pearl Harbor. The club was at 135 members and in spite of war-time travel restrictions, maintained a high level of program quality and excellent attendance. Frank Brennan of the Eureka club was elected District Governor .
1942-43: President Harold Charters was proud of initiating what was then a record number of new members into the club in 1942-43. Chal Crichton became Secretary of the club – an office he would hold for 32 years – and a District Conference was held in Eureka.
1943-44: On December 31, 1943, President Walter Malloy died while in office and Jim Nealis was appointed to fill his term. Jim also served the following year and so he and Ritchie Woods were the only presidents to serve for more than one year. Jim dismayed many Rotarians by raising the fines from 25c to $1.
1945-46: In Howard Fisher’s year the weekly newsletter “The Club Bulletin” was named the “Rotary Burl” (First edition April 5, 1946) and Ladies Day on Valentine’s Day was inaugurated.
1946-47: Mel Pinkham presided at each and every meeting of the year 1946-47 which was an unusual occurrence. He was the youngest president of the Eureka club and acknowledges that he was known for his bad jokes.
1947-48: During Harold Adams’ year singing became a regular part of the program. A quartet made up of Walt Thoresen, Walt Dolfini, Herb Kramer and Ray Watkins sang such favorites as “When the Bell in the Lighthouse rings Ding-Dong”
1948-49: Ernie Pierson started the custom of charging for early leavers – $1 – an effective penalty at the time. The Burl included a list of absentees and makeups. The club celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Spengler Youth Fund was begun – Raffle tickets for 25c.
1949-50: Kelton Steele remembered that the first steps were taken toward creation of the Rotary Grove at Prairie Creek. The Rotary wives (Known as RotaryAnns at that time) presented a surprise Valentine Day program. Even the president didn’t know.
1950-51: saw Harvey Harper as president and he insisted that the District Governor was not impressed with the club that year..
1953-54: Cliff Dumm was president when the Crescent City club was organized in 1953. The “New Member Assimilation Committee” was formed and the invocation was introduced to regular meetings.
1955-56: Pix Hilfiker recalls that 1955 was the year of Rotary’s 50th anniversary; a tremendous flood in this area prompted the raising of $1,500 from our members for aid to victims of the disaster; and the first of our foreign students, Arnoldo Castelanos arrived from Guatemala.
1956-57: John Bauriedel was the first to have photos in the club roster. The club presented a special program at the District Conference. Selected high school students were invited to club meetings
1957-58: Ole Olsen promoted a vocational service program as Rotarians invited competitors to attend a meeting.
1958-59: Jack Daly had a 100% meeting in September. He encouraged the idea of sending a golf team to the District Conference. 45 youngsters were sent to summer camp.
1959-60: Fellowship was stressed during Chal Crichton’s (He took off a year as Secretary ) year and members were often called upon to speak about themselves and their business. HSC student Sam Kunkle was our international student to Germany. Forty three Eureka Rotarians went to the District Conference in San Francisco and inter-club meetings were held in Arcata, Crescent City, and Garberville.
1961-62: Dick Nash promoted inter-club relations with visits to Garberville, Crescent City and Weaverville. Past President of R.I. Bru Brunnier was the speaker of a joint meeting with Arcata and Fortuna. Our foreign student at HSC was Pedro Lara of Puebla, Mexico.
1962-63: Fred Goodwin’s year saw a large shipment of books sent to schools in Tanganyika. Digital dialing was introduced to the area by Jim Nealis. Recognition was given for special support of the Rotary Foundation.
1963-64: Jim Henderson recalled a year of international committee effort. The foreign student program was kept active and young people were exchanged for visits to homes in Puebla, Mexico.
1964-65: Haven Howatt had a busy year. An inter-club meeting with San Francisco was well attended as was the Golden Anniversary Conference in San Francisco. The December 1964 flood created a great need for assistance in the disaster and a great deal of money was raised. All-Star football and the foreign students program were other club activities. 28 members participated in the District Conference in San Francisco.
1965-66: Newt Steward provided a colored TV on which was shown the World Series during program time. The club supported the proposed Public Television Channel 13.
1966-67: Les Westfall promoted interclub meetings with Crescent City, Garberville and Willits. Les had a number of visiting ship captains at meetings.
1967-68: Fred Landenberger pursued the theme of “Fellowship Through Service” . as a record 21 new members were introduced during a busy year which included a meeting at the Rotary Grove in Prairie Creek State Park.
1968-69: Charlie Strope chartered the Rotary club of Southwest Eureka. With 53 Mondays and only one holiday, he had 52 meetings. A lumber seminar brought visitors from as far away as Germany. It was mentioned in the Rotarian Magazine. There was an old-timers day, a children’s day and a well remembered Stag Night.
1969-70: Ted Loring chartered the Eureka High Interact club . Attendance was maintained at more than 90%. Rotary Grove was started at College of the Redwoods – growing higher each year since. A Blood Bank program was established.
1970-71: Wendell Adams was president. A meeting was hosted by Les Pierce at Murray Field. 22 club members attended the District Conference in Burlingame. Attendance for the year was 92%.
1971-72: Tom Knowlton’s club supported Charlie Strope as District Governor and a highly successful District conference was held in Eureka under the guidance of Chairman Jack Daly. Charlie Strope was made the club’s first Paul Harris Fellow.
1972-73: Vic Novarino was elected President for the year but served only a few meetings before ill health forced him to resign. Andy Genzoli assumed the office for the balance of the year. A Junior Achievement program was established during that year. Well remembered by those who knew him, Andy used items from the newspaper column which he wrote. His confused story telling was so funny that it was difficult to believe that it was not intentional.
1973-74: Jack Morton (present in his regular bow tie) presided over the celebration of the club’s 50th anniversary. Charlie Strope was chairman of the three meeting celebration and the featured speaker was R.I. Director John Dalton. Secretary Chal Crichton retired after 32 years in office and was duly recognized. The office was assumed by his son Bob who would serve for 14 years. The club was recognized for its support of the Rotary Foundation.
1974-75: President Jack Singer saw the club receive the Significant Achievement Award for its efforts in 1974-75. There was an exchange of meetings with the Redding club. A Group Study Exchange team was hosted.
1975-76: Walt Dolfini featured the celebration of the nation’s Bicentennial. Walt would die later in the year and the remaining meetings were conducted by past presidents and board members. Walt will be remembered for the major part he played in establishing the College of the Redwoods.
1976-77: Dave Dillon not only helped stabilize the previous year but then took over for his own term. He supervised the establishment of the Woolford Scholarship Fund (Dr Joe Woolford was a club member who left a sum of money, the income from which was to be administered by the club in providing scholarships to graduate students at Humboldt State.) The club worked closely with the Euroa club in Australia.
1977-78: Jim Callison was president and was able to announce that the R.I. Council on Legislation voted down a proposal to take women into Rotary. The Blood Bank was supported.
1978-79: Tim Gallagher featured an old “Burma Shave” commercial at the end of each meeting. Students (Andrew Kotzur and Sandra Seversen) from Australia were hosted by the club. This was the first of a highly successful exchange student program chaired by Dave Dillon. Scooter tickets were required for early leavers.
1979-80: Don Lorensen established the club’s Annual Raffle which continues to be a highly successful fund raising project The club celebrated Rotary International’s 75th anniversary with Stan McCaffrey (shortly to become President of R.I.) as a speaker.
1980-81: While seriously caring for the club business, Charlie Harris provided his own unique brand of humor. He encouraged fellowship among the widely diverse membership.
1981-82: Jack Feigal had California Governor Jerry Brown as a program speaker.
1982-83: Walt Shimasaki introduced the Clam Beach Run during his 1982-83 year. The All-star Sports Committee arranged a basketball game with Santa Rosa. He greeted seventeen members into the “Century Club”
1983-84: Bill Hegy would establish a scholarship in the name of a deceased son – to be granted along with the Woolford awards. A number of Paul Harris Awards were made.
1984-85: Hap Gaylord replaced President-elect Don Quinn after Don’s death. The Club hosted a Group Study Exchange from Paris, France. The Eureka club basketball team defeated Santa Rosa for the second year in a row.
1985-86: During Laurie Lazio’s year Jim Hoff lead a Group Study Exchange to France. The club hosted a GSE team from Japan. RI Past-President Ed Cadman visited Eureka. The club took part in construction of a youth soccer field.
1986-87: Harve Ingham hosted California Governor George Deukmejian as a program speaker. The club was among the leaders in response to a request for support of the new PolioPlus program – set to eliminate polio in all corners of the world. The Rotary gender matter was discussed at length here and around the world until the Supreme Court found that women could not be denied access to membership in Rotary. The first Northern District 513 Foundation Dinner was held at the Eureka Inn – becoming an annual event.
1987-88: Pat Folkins presided over the introduction of the first woman club member, Peggy Betholtz. Subsequent years saw several more female members. The club earned a Presidential Citation for its year of service.
1988-89: Will Kay’s year saw District 513 divided into north District 5130 and south District 5150, the division at the Marin/Sonoma County lines. Jack Vallerga who was born in Samoa across the bay, was the District Governor. A program featured the Counsel General of Nigeria.
1989-90: Gary Barker initiated and served as chairman of a three year project that raised $100,000 for the Humboldt Room, a centerpiece of the new Humboldt County Library. A GSE team from India was hosted.
1990-91: Ted Mason found time during the year to get married. He promoted a joint family picnic at Camp Bauer with the Southwest club. There was a good turnout for the District wide tree planting program.
1991-92: Lane Strope, with 53 Mondays in the year, presided with good humor at every one of the meetings. A special blood platelet machine was provided for the Northern California Blood Bank.
1992-93: Jim Davis introduced 18 new members and 8 Paul Harris Fellows. He was proud of many contributions to community and international service. Such efforts included exchanges with Brazil, hosting a Group Study Exchange from Germany, contributions to the Cancer Society, Easter Seals, Hospice, Vector Health, Blood Bank and Jazz Festival.
1993-94: John Burke noted that the club purchased a computer and began using it for club business. Plans were completed for scholarships to College of the Redwoods students. A contribution was made toward Eureka High Band uniforms.
1994-95: Dennis Hunter’s year saw the beginning of a three year project that supported the construction and equipping of the Heart Institute at St. Joseph Hospital. The year featured regular reference to the San Francisco 49ers and $49 fines.
1995-96: Hugo Papstein saw his club identified as the “Club of the Year” at the District Conference. The Glyndon and Ruth Smith Fund was established at the Humboldt Area Foundation.
1996-97: Tom Schallert. In April of 1997 Glyndon “Sign” Smith died. The proceeds from the Christmas Ornament fund raiser were used to help fund the Redwood Youth Sports Complex. Computer hardware was presented to the Eureka High School physics department. Books were donated for the Lafayette School literary project and the Science Fair.
1997-98: Edie Young became the first woman president of the club. She valiantly attempted to make the club a singing club with songs at each meeting. The club contributed to the restoration of the Carnegie Library building for the Humboldt Arts Council. A committee, co-chaired by Dave Dillon and Charlie Strope, prepared for the upcoming 75th anniversary celebration.
1998-1999: Hank Ingham was President from 1998-1999. He took pride in not planning his meetings, using his sense of humor to get himself out of almost any situation. His major project was the Washington School Sign and Ruth Smith Girls softball fields. As a recognition token he gave away little plastic televisions.
1999-2000: John Gierek – It was with great wailing and gnashing of teeth that the Rotary Club of Eureka met that first meeting of July 12, 1999. The remainder of the year went considerably worse. There was funding for a Jaws for Life, which the club president endorsed thinking it had something to do with a large white shark that saved people instead of eating them. There was also funding for the Clarke Museum.
2000-2001: With reforms and innovations, Kim Bauriedel turned a deficit into a reserve in the Operational Fund account. In April and May Kim led a medical Group Study Exchange for District 5130 to Siberia. Our club then helped host the visiting Russian physicians when they came here.
2001-2002: Bill McAuley – The club funded a memorial garden at the Humboldt Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in honor of Richard Guagdagno, the Wildlife Sanctuary’s manager, who died aboard United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania on 9/11. The Sign and Ruth Smith Endowment funded improvements to the softball/soccer complex at Washington School, and the club funded and completed water projects in India.
2002-2003: Hank Pierson. Redwood burl clocks were the speaker’s gifts, and The Burl was sent by email for the first time, saving $5,500. Partnering with the Sign Smith Fund, the Humboldt Area Foundation and KINS Radio, the club provided a total of $30,000 for three years for the Senior Resource Center’s “Meals on Wheels.” Each year was matched by HAF.
2003-2004: Unique major events during Brian Papstein’s term included a water project in India sponsored by the club and a $25,000 donation from the Sign Smith Fund for the Humboldt Botanical Society. In one of the first “Eureka Clubs of Rotary” joint outreach projects, the Senior Nutrition Program was given $20,000. The year’s Project was the building of a public bathroom at the Clarke Museum.
2004-2005: Bruce Rupp, Rotary’s Centennial Year. Our Centennial Project was a Concession Stand and Equipment Storage Facility at Washington School. Our exchange student was Eric from Sweden. We supported the Library Literacy project, and began what became a long-term World Community Service project by shipping medical equipment to Tomsk, Siberia. We hosted a doctor from Russia, and presented him with a new laptop.
2005-2006: Harley Smith. The club started a new fundraiser for small nonprofits, a dance-a-thon called Dancing for Dollars. Almost two dozen nonprofits participated, and the event was a good success. Two successful blood drives were held in which several club members participated. The club also sponsored a dental sealant clinic in conjunction with CR, and sponsored the North/South All Star basketball game.
2006-2007: Don Leonard’s term was marked by fiscal innovations, including a mandatory fixed “recognition fine” dollar amount being added to all annual dues. He separated Service Fund revenue and expenses from those of the Operating Fund, resulting in a year-end total surplus of $7,086. He tremendously enjoyed his year as president, and considers it a highlight of his professional and business life.
2007-2008: During Bert Campton’s year the club worked to improve community literacy. It initiated a reading program for young students at Alice Birney Elementary School, with members reading to them and working with them. The club also sponsored a summer reading program at the main public library, and expanded its third grade dictionary project to Southern Trinity Elementary and the northeastern reaches of the Hoopa Valley.
2008-2009: Steve Justus’ saw the start of Backpacks for Kids program, the first steps toward our 501(c)(3), and the kick-off of the Cloney Field project and Safe Blood Africa project. Sponsored the visit of Sarah Lima’s family from Texas; Sarah’s last wish before passing from cancer was to see the Redwoods with her parents and siblings. Our Sign Smith Fund committed $70,000 in grants, and Jamie Carroll was our exchange student to Brazil.
2009-2010: Mike Moreland. Continued to sponsor the Cub Scout troop at Alice Birney Elementary and KEET’s Homework Hotline, donated $10,000 towards St. Joe’s new hospital tower, sponsored a Junior Sailing Scholarship, purchased a sound system for the EHS History Department, distributed 340 dictionaries to 3rd graders, re-chartered the Interact Club at EHS, hosted a Siberian friendship exchange, Lost Coast Rotaract was chartered, and we completed the Cloney Field project.
2010-2011: Carlton Nielsen introduced 22 new members and handed out 16 blue badges. We hosted an exchange student from Milan, Italy, Gabrielle Umidon. Program highlight was the Israeli Ambassador to the US. Installed a new computer lab at the Eureka High Family Resources Center, hosted an inbound GSE team from Japan, gave dictionaries to 384 3rd graders, and continued sponsoring the Logger Classic at EHS and the county science fair.
2011-2012: Greg Pierson. The club donated $10,000 to the City of Eureka for 4th of July Fireworks, $8,000 for the Humboldt Arts Council rotunda, $8,000 to refurbish sailboats for Sea Scouts, as well as a number of international projects, small grants and scholarships. Sent 168 World War II veterans to Washington DC through our local chapter of the Honor Flight program.
2012-2013: Nancy Dean. EHS Interact was revitalized and two Interact students were sent to the week-long Rotary Youth Leadership Awards training. The club sponsored two inbound exchange students, Larrisa from Germany and Franco from Chile. Thirty members, including Eureka High Interact students, cleaned up a City of Eureka pocket park, helping beautify the community.
2013-2014: Ziggy Ziegenfuss. Winship Middle School was to open in August and it was in terrible shape. We organized work parties, obtained donations, and had the school ready by opening day. That accomplishment overshadowed the whole year. Moved to a new venue at the Elks Lodge.
Unfortunately we were unable to find more of the early history from 1923 to 1930 and a few presidents after that. Here are some notes from records of presidents or as reported in the club bulletins: