Monthly Archives: November 2014

Mary Lou Elliot Duarte Club in California November 18, 2014

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Lee Russell introduced his friend of many years (they are co-members of the Friends of Oceanside Library Board) and Rotary: Mary Lou Elliot. Mary Lou is an honorary member of our club and was one of the original 4 women Rotarians, members of the Duarte Club in California. At the time she was invited to join the club, she was a JH
principal. All of the members of the Duarte club were in favor of the women joining with the exception of one gentleman who ended up quitting the club. After learning that the club admitted Mary Lou and 3 other women, RI terminated the club’s charter for “violation of RI by-laws which intended for clubs to be all-male.” Mary Lou noted that the original 1906 RI laws did not state this, only that members should be “Persons of Good Character” with no mention of gender. The women stayed on as members of the club and the club continued to serve its community and members as an outcast club. The club created its own Rotary pin which was the Rotary gear with an “X” through it to signify the un-inclusiveness of RI at the time. The issue was brought to the RI convention and in a vote of 1060-
against and 34-for, women were again denied admittance. Eventually an attorney and friend of the Duarte club, Stanford Smith, volunteered to file suit against RI to legally force them to admit women. The ACLU joined as well and the case was heard by the CA Supreme Court, was denied, appealed a couple of times and finally was taken all the way to the US Supreme Court who ruled in favor of the Duarte club on May 4th, 1987. RI appealed the decision
and lost. Mary Lou and here club members we called “The Mouse that Roared” and they made that the image on their club flag. Sadly, when Mary Lou moved to Oregon and tried to join a club there, she was denied admittance with the reason being “no more spaces for her category….” Fortunately we have come a long way since then, thanks to brave, persistent leaders such as Mary Lou.

Veteran’s Day Salute Lee Russell-November 11, 2014

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Today’s program was an idea by Lee Russell to recognize veterans in our club from who have served in the military. Club members (and two guests) were asked to give a brief overview of their service.
First up was Alice Williamson, a guest of Lee’s who served in the Women Marines during WWII as a personnel clerk. She said that she selected the Marine Corps because she liked their uniform best. She was proud to sign up, because basically, her work during the war “freed up a man to fight.” Following the war, she married a career marine officer and they were married for 59 years. Alice is currently a very spry 98 years old.
Next up was Knox Williams who served in the post WWII Naval Reserve, and had several deployments on an Aircraft Carrier and Destroyer Escort ships.
Lee Russell entered the armed services toward the end of the Korean War. When he was drafted, he was given a 30-day deferment to complete his current semester in college. While in basic training the fighting stopped and he was deployed to Germany, where he served as a clerk at the 7th Army Headquarters.
Scott Cadwallader was in the Army from 1970-1973. He was trained as a radar repairman, and spent 18 months in Okinawa and 6 months in Key West serving in the Army Air Defense Command at Nike missile batteries. Rick Graham graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1970 and attended flight school. He flew helicopters off the Southern California coast for five years before a seizure ended a promising naval career.
Dave Jones was an Army Physician who served in Vietnam from 1964-1965. This was the period just prior to an escalation of hostilities. Much of his time was spent going out into the villages and providing primary care services to the local Vietnamese community.
Joe Sarnecky was a naval aviator, first as a Radar Intercept Officer (or RIO) in the backseat of the F-4 fighter during the Vietnam War. He then qualified for the “front seat” and earned his pilot’s wings in 1971.
He was later in the Naval Reserves and retired as a Commander. During his years flying, he engaged in 200 combat missions and had 525 carrier landings.
Our second guest (thanks to Josh) was Todd Fowler who served in the US Marine Corps from 2004- 2012. He was an infantryman first and then switched his military specialty to air control. He had several deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our thanks to Lee for a great program idea, and a special thanks to all of our veterans for their service.