Toronto club marking 80th anniversary

The Three Arts Club of Toronto celebrated its 80th anniversary on Sept. 19 at the home of Susan Kulstad, past president, with a dinner, cake and review of the organization’s history.

Kulstad made a special occasion cake to the theme “Diamonds and Pearls 80th Anniversary,” and new officers of the club served as hostesses of the covered-dish dinner.

They include Susan Conaway, first vice president; Karen Myer, second vice president; Nancy Lewis, secretary; Joanne Barnes, treasurer; Margaret Alice Myers, publicity chair; Romayn Care, parliamentarian; and Kulstad, past president, who presided at the business meeting in the absence of Barbara Carter, club president.

Conaway provided a short history of the club with a display of originating documents, a 50-year history and past programs dating back to the club’s roots in 1933.

In the beginning, a group of young women interested in the arts wanted a study club of fine arts, with a vision to establish a public library for Toronto. Every year the books they purchased were kept in one of the members’ homes, which changed each year, and it operated similar to the library today in taking out books. In 1939, after a library was built in Steubenville in 1937, the club donated its 89 books and $50 to the library and began donating $15 annually to the library to buy books. This turned into purchased donated books to a school in the Toronto school system over the years. Books also are donated in memory of a deceased member each year.

The organization was created to promote the study of literature, music, and art – which changed from drama in the 1940s – to encourage in any way possible, those who have shown special talent in these subjects.

In September 1956 the club voted for another main project – to annually donate $50 to the highest ranking senior of Toronto High School, providing the merit scholarship award. The amount has increased over the years, and an interest in the arts was added to the grade point average calculation.

Members participating in this year’s celebration included Joanne Barnes, Astrid Bricker, Romayn Care, Brenda Cottrell, Susan Conaway, Sue Davidson, Shirley Gillis, Susan Kulstad, Nancy Lewis, Karen Myer, Margaret Alice Myers, Barbara Pritts, Amanda Speece, and Gloria Zamborsky. Other members are Barbara Carter, Kay Lynn Criss, Ida Haynes, Phyllis Leasure, Virginia Mayhew and Diane Swearingen.