The Birthday Club turns 95

The Lopez Island Birthday Club is celebrating a special birthday. This organization, the oldest active service club on the island, has turned 95. Members will fete the occasion with a traditional cake and toasts on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Woodmen Hall.

The club was organized in 1922 with seven original members. They always got together for birthdays, so they decided to form a club. The members had a strong commitment serving the community, making handmade gifts for birthdays and Christmas as well as Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. During the Great Depression when times were tough on Lopez, members were a great help to the community by providing layettes and supplies for new parents.

Although the club is not a major fundraising organization, funds are contributed to scholarships, memorial funds and other causes.

Many members became acquainted with The Birthday Club at a young age because their mothers and grandmothers were members. They were the women who farmed, fished, raised food and families, helped others and attended quilting bees and church and potlucks and weathered storms and change.

The first meeting of The Birthday Club was held at the home of Mrs. John Tralnes at MacKaye Harbor in June of 1922 on her 50th birthday. Members of the club are, for the most part, in “their prime” as Miss Jean Brodie would have said.

At each meeting, members whose birthdays fall in that month must pay dues in the amount of one cent for each year they are celebrating, dropping coins into “the policeman,” a tin bank which is as old as the club.

Monthly meetings of The Birthday Club are held at 1:30 p.m. on the third Friday of the month at Woodmen Hall. Prospective members are welcome to attend and enjoy a delicious dessert and an enjoyable program.