Oberlin City Club celebrates 60 years

For the News-Tribune

The Oberlin City Club will celebrate its 60th birthday when members meet Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Sterk’s Restaurant, 580 West Lorain St.

The club began to be formed in September 1956 when some former members of the Exchange Club started a new group because of dissatisfaction over an “all-white” restriction clause in the club’s national constitution.

Only the name of the new organization was adopted in the early meetings of 1956 with the objective “to promote good fellowship; to stimulate interest in civic affairs; to exchange ideas of good citizenship. These purposes shall be achieved by means of regular luncheon meetings, lectures, discussions, committee investigations, reports and such other means as are deemed appropriate by the membership.”

A membership drive was launched and the governing rules were debated and revised well into 1957. The final revisions of a constitution and bylaws of the club were adopted on Dec. 17, 1957.

Although there were many discussions over the years, the Oberlin City Club remained all male until September 2011 when it merged with the predominantly female Oberlin Spectrum Club, becoming a fully integrated organization under its original name.

The club’s longtime special project has been the Bob Thomas Recognition/Scholarship Endowment Fund, which is administered by the Community Foundation of Lorain County.

At the Dec. 19 meeting, member Kathleen Carothers will speak on “Symbolism in Chinese Art and Artifacts.” Anyone who has an old cup or plate or other object that looks Chinese can take it to be read and interpreted. Bats, cranes, peaches, and pine trees all send a message to Carothers’ trained eye.

Membership is open to men and woman who desire personal involvement in the leadership and improvement of Oberlin. The city club aims to attract new members through social networking to ensure it can continue to provide quality community fellowship and service for another 60 years.

For the News-Tribune