Our Beginning…



March 1953: Soroptimist Club Gets Its Charter

SOROPTIMISTS ATTEND CONVENTION. Vista took a prominent place at the Pacific Region District No. 2 Soroptimist Conference at Palm Springs the past weekend. Besides having a large representation, the Vista Club, one of the newest in the region, was singled out for mention for its fine work. The picture, taken at the convention, shows (seated) Mrs. Victoria Mace; standing, left to right, Mrs. Lorraine Hamilton, Mrs. Helen Biehl, Mrs. Orbee Mihalek, Miss Mary Ellen Pangle, regional governor, of Riverside; Mrs. Elsie Fenton, president of the American federation, of Des Moines, Iowa; Mrs. Emily Ziegler, second vice president of the American federation, of San Diego; Mrs. Mayme Barnes, president of the Vista club; Mrs. Helen Harkey and Mrs. Rae Baietto.



The Vista Press, April 2nd, 1953–An auspicious beginning portending a bright future prevailed during the launching of Vista’s newest service club, the Soroptimist Club, Saturday night at a formal dinner installation at the Carlsbad Hotel, Carlsbad. About 150 guests from Southern California clubs and Vista joined with members of the fledgling club when it received it’s charter.

Featured on the extended program was the installation of Mrs. Mayme Barnes, as president, and other officers of the new Vista Club. They are Naomi DeJong, vice president; Mrs. Gladys Caslon, secretary; Maybelle Patton, treasurer; and Iola Sturgell, Cora Zuber and Helen Harkey, directors.

Sponsored by the Soroptimist Club of Escondido, it was natural that members of the club took a leading part in the impressive program. The presiding officer was Mrs. Gladys L. Potter, president of the Escondido club. Mrs. Lois McCarty, who had served as one of the principal organizers of the Vista club, presented the Vista officers.

Mrs. Esther Frenzel, president of the Oceanside club, led a pledge of allegiance to the flag and Dr. Graeme Smith gave the invocation.

Dinner was served at six long tables, each centered with branches of polished avocado leaves with gold and natural colored avocado. Placecards were in the shape of avocados inscribed in gold ink. Mrs. Ralph Wilson of Escondido made the cards. Yellow tapers in gold candelabra were placed along the tables.

Welcomes Group

On behalf of the Vista Chamber of Commerce, Vernal G. Humpherys welcomed this first woman’s service club of Vista in an appropriate talk.

Mrs. Louise Daley, president of the Soroptimist Club of Chula Vista, presented the welcome from the clubs in the America Federation. Congratulations and greetings were received from clubs all over the United States, Canada and England and included financial assistance to the new club.

Donald Maloff, baritone, accompanied by Mrs. Potter, rendered a much appreciated musical interlude.

Greetings from the American Federation of the club were extended by Mrs. Emily N. Zeigler of San Diego, second vice president of the Federation. Uppon the presentation of the Vista officers by Mrs. McCarty, Mrs. Ziegler installed these officers in an impressive ceremony. The theme of the growing tree, which was used during this installation, was borne out with the placing of golden fruit on a grown tree by the newly installed officers. The growth of an avocado tree was the appropriate symbol used.

Tells of History

Mary Ellen Pangle, governor of the Pacific Region, gave the Soroptimist history and with the presentation of the charter to the newly formed club, sincerely stressed the aims and objects of the club.

Presentation of the flag and the president’s pin was made to Mayme Barnes by Hazel McKeen of Long Beach, secretary of the Pacific Region, followed by a commentary on the emblem of the club by Jue Lo Monaco Kern, president of the San Diego County President’s Council. During the explanation of the emblem, the members of the new Vista club were presented with their membership pins by the members of the Escondido club.

President Mayme Barnes, who had previously been compared with the First Lady of the land, followed that comparison in a gracious and endearing acceptance of the charter and in acknowledgement of the congratulations and good wishes. She expressed appreciation and thanks for the many gifts from the Soroptimist Clubs of the Pacific Region. She stated the inspiration given by the various clubs and the installing officers in their talks would instill in the Vista members the true meaning of their Soroptimist pledge and ideals–“The sincerity of friendship, the joy of achievement, the dignity of service, the integrity of profession and the love of country.”

Welcome and congratulations were given by Mark Hanna, president of the Vista Rotary Club; William P. Schlechte, Kiwanian and superintendant of Vista Unified Schools; Jim Wells for the Junior Chamber of Commerce; A.E. Betraun for The Optimist Club, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs; Mrs. Lee Eichelberger, president of the Vista Business and Professional WOmen’s Club; Everett Remsburg of The Vista Press, and Vernal Humpherys, President of the Lion’s Club.

In addition to those installed as officers, the following members of the Vista Soroptimist Club introduced themselves to the guests: Rae Baietto, Ann Cogo, Gretchen L. Craig, Elsie H. Crenshaw, Gwendolyn Fleming, Loraine C. Hamilton, Catherine Hayden, Zella S. Humpherys, Eida J. Kling, Annalee Krieger, Victoria B. Mace, Emma Louis McLean, Cleo Meeks, Orbee Mihalek and Helen Prunier. Margaret Rutherford, another member, was unable to attend.

During dinner, Ralph Wilson of Escondido entered carrying boxes containing avocado saplings, in various stages of development, to symbolize the stages of development in the new club.

The word Soroptimist is derived from the Greek words, soro, meaning sister, and optima, meaning best. The loose translation is “Best for Women.”

Presidents – SI Vista

Mayme Barnes 1953-54
Orbee Mihalek 1954-55
Gladys Casson 1955-56
Cora Zuber 1956-57
Helen Fricke 1957-58
Sami Thomas 1958-59
Lorraine Hamilton 1959
Jesslyn Gostree 1959-60
Mayme Barnes 1960-61
Rae Pietrantono 1961-62
Fran Lucas 1962-63
Eleanor Rutledge 1963-64
Eleansor Rutledge 1964-65
Mary Carlson 1965-66
Lorrane Gardner 1966-67
Grace Hinshaw 1967-68
Doris King 1968-69
Betty Gates 1969-71
Edith Bogart 1971-73
Jan Loftus 1973-74
Pat Mason 1974-75
Leona Ray 1975-76
Alice McKee 1976-77
Alice Pendleton 1977-78
Alice Pendleton 1978-79
Jean Barnebee 1979-80
Mary Lou De Long 1980-81
Shirley Beckel 1981-82
Jean Bice 1982-83
June R. Francis 1983-84
Donna Nardi 1984-85
Lillian Bengtson 1985-86
Linda McCullough 1986-87
Vicki Monahan 1987-88
Thoralinda Soyland 1988-89
Candy Mezzanatto 1989-90
Judy Gregorie 1990-91
Vicki McDonald 1991-92
Kitti Freitag 1992-93
Lynn Fuller 1993-94
Judie Massie 1994-95
Anna Holmes 1995-96
Linda McFarland 1998-99
Susan Roncone 1999-2000
Nadine Rutman 2000-2001
Pat Origlieri 2001-2002
Eleanor Hutchins 2002-2003
Runa Gunnars 2003-2004
Catherine Manis 2004-2005
Kaye Van Nevel 2005-2006
Pini Byma 2006-2007
Catherine Manis 2007-2008
Pat Origlieri 2008-2009
Nelly Jarrous 2009-2010
Cherie Wilson 2011-2012
Thoralinda Soyland 2013-2014
Dee Dee Timmons 2014-2015
Dee Dee Timmons 2015-2016
Thoralinda Soyland/Runa Gunnars 2016-2017
Lani Beltrano/Thoralinda Soyland 2017-2018
Assly Sayyar 2018-2019
Assly Sayyar 2019-2020
Assly Sayyar 2020-2021
Melinda Jarrell 2021-2022
Jennifer Luz-Olson 2022-2023

Share This