* As reported by John B. Schoolland in 1969.
It wasn’t until around 1987 that women were actually able to become Rotarians. Before that, the all-male clubs referred to their spouses as Rotary Anns. Get it?
John B. Schoolland, writing in 1969, gushed, “Our Rotary Anns – there are only two real Rotary Anns in the club (we assume he meant spouses named Ann) – are superlative. There are the usual Annual Ladies Luncheons and Ladies Nights, of course. One that all who were present will remember is the super Ladies Luncheon in 1959-60. The ladies themselves planned the entire affair, secretly taking complete charge, even to a menu acceptable to the men. All the men had to do was to almost literally gasp, and beam their pleasure and pride. Not to be outdone, the men later chartered a special train to take their ladies to dinner at the student union at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.”
The following year, the men arranged for another special train, “destination unknown,” that took the group over the old Moffat Route and culminated in “a fine steak dinner at Winter Park. Subsequently Ladies Nights were arranged for Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, and the old Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.”
A few years later, Boulder Rotary members arrived for their all-male weekly meeting at the Harvest House to discover that their wives had taken over. Presiding was Sally Streamer. Other officers and functionaries had been replaced by their wives. The invocation was given by Virginia Patterson, later a member in her own right. Her husband, Father Pat, was notoriously late in arriving for Rotary; Virginia added a plea in her prayer that he might be assisted in the future in getting there on time.