Active International: A Brief Outline Covering First Years in History

By Carl C Springer
Founder of the Active Club

The first meeting of the Active Club was heald at the Sweet Shop in Aberdeen, Wash., on February 10, 1922. Those present were Paul Arthaud, Ernest Axland, Cal Teman, Pat McNamara, Edgar Jones, and Carl Springer. The latter was named temporary chairman and Ernest Axland temporary secretary.

At the second session in the Washington Hotel of the same city the same group was present along with Carl Morck, Clarence George, Tom O’Hara, Earl Woodland, Gordon Tebb, FK Green, LA Aldrich, Vard Steiglitz, Carl Weathrwax Jr., Dr. Harry Tyo and Frank Partridge. A constitution and by-laws committee was appointed.

The third session was held at the same place. At this time the constitution and by-laws were adopted and the following officers were elected: EC Axland, chairman; Carl C Springer, timekeeper. Several names were presented for an appropriate title for the organization and Carl Morck proposed the word “Active” which was adopted on motion.

Meetings were continued in the same manner until the constitution and by-laws were revised on Jan. 3, 1924. At this time the former titles were dropped in recognition of president, vice-president, and secretary. Carl Springer was named president of the club; Charles J Kalb, vice-president, and Arthur J Spacek, secretary. The constitution recognizing the organization as a national was filed with the secretary of the state on August 20, 1924.

The group was incorporated under the laws of Washington. Hoquiam group No. 2 was granted a charter presented by Herbert Wilson, president of the Aberdeen Club. Montesano became No. 3 as chartered by the present international treasurer, Ed Nattrass, who was the vice-president of the Aberdeen Active Club.

Soon after Elma became No. 4 and Olympia No. 5. During the early days in the organization several activities were entered into by the Aberdeen group. They sponsored joint banquets with the other service clubs and the Chamber of Commerce, helped in establishment of a tourist park and Boy Scout Camp, sponsored a kid’s day, and were active in Near East relief work. Many other smaller tasks were accomplished by the organization.

This includes a general outline of the Active Club up until the time of the first convention held in Montesano, 1925, when the present constitution and by-laws were adopted and new officers elected for the International. A new charter also was received from the secretary of state.

Following this time the rapid expansion of the club started. This history of the organization from this time to the present is generally know to the membership of the international.

(1927)

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History of Active 20-30 International (part 1)

Active 20-30 International is the result of the fusion of two Clubs, Active International and 20-30 International, whose story is told below.

733938_498805500176554_1550661425_nHistory of Active International

Active International was founded in Aberdeen, Washington February, 10, 1922. A group of young men including Ernest Axland, Paul Arthand, Carl Morck, Carl Springer, Carl Teman, Edgar Jones and Pat McNamara were eager to give the young men a more active part in the affairs of the community. Thus, they formed together to establish a young men’s club which they named “Active”. They elected Ernest Axland as president.

The emblem selected for Active was the buzz saw. The buzz saw is just about the most active object you can find anywhere. Even when motionless, as it is on the emblem, it has the appearance of intense activity. Since Aberdeen was a lumber center and sawmills with humming saw blades were in evidence everywhere, it was only logical that the founders of Active chose the buzz saw for their emblem. The buzz saw represents the usefulness of intense activity and the abundant energy of responsible youth, means power, strength, and progress.

Active was incorporated under the laws of the State of Washington on August 20, 1924. Before long, Active Clubs were formed in Elma, Hoquiam, Montesano and Olympia.

In 1925 the first convention was held in Montesano, Washington with Carl Morck of Aberdeen being elected as president. In the same year, the name of the organization was officially changed from Active Club to Active Club International.

In June of 1929, the organization became international in fact, as well as in name, with the chartering of the Vancouver International Club in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Active clubs soon spread through Washington, Oregon, California and Montana in the United States and the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta in Canada. Clubs were also located in Idaho, Hawaii and Washington D.C.

The motto selected for this growing organization was: “Enthusiasm – Goodwill – Progress”.

  • Enthusiasm: “Get in” with all your heart, with spirit, interest and energy in all the activities of the Club.
  • Goodwill: Be more than fair in relations with our fellow men, bring more harmony, mutual appreciation and tolerance; be friendly, show greater concern for the welfare of others; justice and fairness in business, cooperation for mutual progress.
  • Progress: Improve health; better education and recreation, improving conditions for development and welfare of society.

The slogan used as a guide for all Active projects was “A man never stands so tall as when he kneels to help a child”.

The National Offices of Active International have been located in Aberdeen, Tacoma, Raymond and Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

336708_218824074841366_328015875_oHistory of 20-30 International

 20-30 International was founded in Sacramento, CA in the fall of 1922. Paul W. Claiborne was just twenty years of age when he conceived the idea of forming a service club whose members would consist of young men.

Together with Earl B. Casey, Alfred B. Franke, Charles G. McBride and Marshall A. Page, he went with his idea to Mitch Nathan, the president of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.

Nathan approved of his plan and appointed a committee to foster the formation of a club whose activities would aid the growth and advancement of young men. This committee consisted of F.A.S. “Sandy” Foale, Chairman; Charles Hansen, Clinton Harbor, Joseph Quire and Mrs. Alva Archer.

A meeting was held in the Chamber of Commerce building on Tuesday, December 12, 1922, with Judge Peter J. Shields as the speaker. It was decided to proceed with the organization work immediately. Upon the suggestion of Sandy Foale, the name 20-30 was adopted.

An organizational meeting was held on December 19, 1922, and Paul Claiborne was unanimously elected as the first president. Sandy Foale was named chairman of the advisory board. After the Sacramento club had established itself, 20-30 began to expand to new areas.

On March 10, 1924, the Stockton club was chartered with the assistance of the Rotary Club in Stockton.  G. Lewis Fox was elected president, and Dr. Hall was named Chairman of the Advisory Board.

A meeting between Sacramento and Stockton was held on March 5, 1925, and they created the 20-30 Club Executive Council to help with expansion to other cities.

On August of 1925, the third Club, San Bernardino, California becomes affiliated with the organization.

During 1926, 20-30 Clubs were formed in San Francisco, Hayward, Tracy and Oakland.

Delegates from the seven clubs met in San Francisco on August 21, 1926. This was the first convention of 20-30. A Constitution was adopted and the following officers were elected: Sumner Mering, President; Tom Louttit, Vice President; Ivan Shoemaker, Secretary/Treasurer.

From 20-30’s inception in 1922 until December 1941, charters were granted to 260 clubs and a total membership of 4,675 was attained. During the war years, approximately 65 percent of the membership served in the armed forces. This compelled 68 clubs to disband and decreased the number of active clubs to 122 with active membership at 1,800. In many cases the clubs were kept on active status by one or two members who maintained the charter.

Beginning with the chartering of the Juarez Club on February 16, 1944, these started the movement of 20-30 in Mexico and Latin America. It was a result of these charters that the name of the association was changed to 20-30 International at the 1946 Victory Convention.

In the years to follow, the organization continued to expand through the Mid West to Ohio and south of the border to Mexico, and afterwards to El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Cuba and Colombia.

The emblem of 20-30 International was an hourglass, symbolizing the passage of time and the need of young man to take advantage of his time and energy for useful activities.  Around this hourglass, there were four “S”.

The four “S” have a double significance since these were the initials of the first four 20-30 Clubs (Sacramento, Stockton, San Bernardino and San Francisco) and they also conform the initials of the slogan “Sincerity in Service, our Slogan for Success”.

The motto of 20-30 International was, “Youth, to be Served, Must Serve”. Both were authored by Sandy Foale.

Snooping Into Active 20-30’s Past?

I LOVE history, especially when I can find a more personal connection to it. Knowing that my grandparents and parents were members of Sacramento #1, made me curious to learn more about this organization’s past.

Here are two articles that I found had some interesting information, the first is an article the day after the very first official meeting of the 20-30 club and the second one mentions the 50th anniversary celebration where there was an explanation of the hourglass symbol (interesting to note that things haven’t changed much with a social hour, followed by a dinner where likely there were speeches and announcements, followed by dancing).  I might be the only one that’s jumping for joy at this find but it is exciting to be able to solve mysteries of the past and learn how things came about and what happened. Enjoy!

Active 20.30 article1a

Organization of 20-30 Club is Completed

Final organization of the 20-30 Club, composed of men between the ages of 20 and 30 years engaged in all lines of work, yesterday was completed at a meeting held at the chamber of commerce, when officers were elected and constitution and by-laws were approved.

The officers of the club are: Paul Claiborne, president; A.B. Frank, vice president; Carroll Couture, second vice president; C.J. McBride, secretary; Joe Rohl, treasurer, Jack Foale, sergeant at arms; directors, E. Casey, R. Cohen, Homer Dunn, R.Kirby, and Clarence Breuner.

The next meeting of the club will be held December 28th at 8 p.m. at the chamber of commerce.

A feature of the program yesterday was the appearance of Verne Vernill, female impersonator, who sang several songs.

 Sacramento Union, 20 Dec. 1922:  22.

Active 20.30 article7

20-30 Club Was Born In Sacramento

“Twenty-Thirty is Fifty” is the theme of a dinner dance which will be held Saturday in the Woodlake Inn in observance of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the 20-30 club.

More than 500 members and former members and their wives will be in attendance at the affair, which will start with a 6 p.m. social hour followed by dinner and dancing.

Toasts and messages of welcome will be offered by David K. Murphy, president of the club; J. Edward Cain, president in 1927, and Robert Baumgart, who held the office in 1953.

Gene Pendergast is chairman of arrangements.

It was in 1922 that 20-30 Club, long an international organization, had its beginnings. The late Paul Claiborne conceived the idea of forming a service club with a membership that would consist only of young men and with goals directed toward helping the youth of the community – two needs that were not being filled at the time by senior service clubs in the Sacramento area.

Along with Earle G. Casey, Alfred B Franke, Charles G McBride and Marshall A Page, Claiborne took his idea to Mitchel Nathan, then president of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.

The first meeting was held Dec. 19 and the hourglass, a symbol of the passage of youth, was adopted as the emblem.

Soon after the Sacramento club had established itself, 20-30 began to expand into new areas. Clubs were formed in San Bernardino, San Francisco, Hayward, Tracy, and Oakland.

By 1941 charters were granted to clubs from California to Indiana, from Washington to New Mexico. In 1946, with the chartering of a club in Juarez, Mexico, 20-30 became an international organization and at a “victory” Convention, the official name of the association of 20-30 Clubs was changed to 20-30 International and the age limit advanced to 35.

In the years to follow, expansion began in the far west and Southwest. Clubs also spread through Mexico and into all the Central American countries and parts of South America.

Nineteen Twenty-Two was also the birth date of another service club. Some 700 miles of Sacramento, in Aberdeen, Wash., another group of young men had hit upon Claibornes’ idea and formed an organization which they named “Active”. Throughout the years of expansion both 20-30 and Active were drawn along similar paths. In 1959 President Norm Morrison of 20-30 International and President Ken Helling of Active International proposed that the two almost-identical clubs should merge. On August 1, 1960, Active and 20-30 became known as Active 20-30 International.

Throughout its fifty years of service to the community and country, 20-30 members (or more recently Active 20-30 members) have provided aid and service to youth and provided a training ground for young businessmen.

Sacramento Bee, 26 Nov. 1972:  W-1+.