Buena Park Woman’s Club’s on their 120th Birthday
Buena Park Rotary Salutes the Buena Park Woman’s Club on their 120th Birthday. Donna Bagley is a long time Buena Park Resident and Honorary Member of our Buena Park Rotary Club. The Woman’s Club has done many great projects over the years. Below is the Register Newspaper Article celebrating the 120 years of the Buena Park Woman’s Club.
OC Register Sunday March 22, 2009
An organization that’s been around for 120 years is bound to generate some history.
The Buena Park Woman’s Club has, and in this case, it shares a lot of Buena Park’s history. The group started in the latter days of the 19th Century, before there was a Beach Boulevard, streetlights, or even an Orange County.
Nine women founded the club on March 9, 1889, and adopted its bylaws on March 23 of that year. Back then, club members brought a dozen eggs to participate in socials. On Thursday, another dozen plus about 40 guests celebrated the club’s 120 anniversary in the same clubhouse the group has used since 1931.
What has kept the club around so long?
“It’s determination,” member Sally Riggs of Buena Park said. “There are good members. We’ve been very active in the community. That’s what keeps us going.”
At the first meeting, “They met to sew for a family that had been burned out of their home,” said Donna Bagley, who joined the Woman’s Club in 1949 and has served 13 terms as president. “In those days, you just couldn’t buy a shirt. You had to sew.”
The Buena Park Woman’s Club has done good turns ever since.
“The Woman’s Club put in the first streetlights in the city in 1910,” Bagley said, six lights stretched along what was then Grand Avenue, now Beach Boulevard. “They paid for the lights until they went out. Then the men decided they liked them,” and they burned anew.
The club helped to form the Buena Park Library District in 1919, and got a volunteer fire brigade going around 1915. More recently, it still sponsors baskets for the city’s Easter egg hunt, and creates care packages for U.S. troops serving overseas.
Though it has had as many as 70 members, the Woman’s Club these days has dwindled to about 11 active members. That’s about to change, however, with the pending addition of 16 members as part of an evening group, as opposed to the original club’s daytime lunch gatherings.
Dues now are $35 a year. In 1889, it was 5 cents per meeting.
This week’s luncheon, appropriately enough, was entirely homemade: tea sandwiches, fruit salad, devilled eggs, and, of course, a 120-year birthday cake.
By MICHAEL MELLO
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER