"Women’s Clubs," Oregon Journal, April 28, 1912, 5:4.
Edited by Mrs. Sarah A. Evans
Never have the club women of the state faced a more important or critical year, or one that has taxed their time, strength and pocket book as this year will do. Portland will particularly feel the stress of this as here the storm center will be, though it will be a storm of pleasure, delightful social intercourse and the meeting of old and the making of new friends.
When the biennial convention of the General Federation met at Los Angeles something like 10 years ago, Oregon had not wakened up to the full understanding of what federation meant, nor had she learned the fine art of club fellowship and club hospitality. Now it is a different matter. Twice presidents of the national body have journeyed to Oregon to attend the state conventions, and many other distinguished club women have been in our midst, while Oregon women too have gone to other states and accepted hospitality, thus the bond of friendship has been established and strengthened, thereby making it imperative upon the Oregon women to keep open house, to entertain handsomely and to see that our eastern club sisters carry back to their homes a beautiful memory of their entertainment in Oregon.
There is no doubt that every club in Portland will do its share in this great work that is before them. This will be the first obligation laid upon them. After this will come the state convention, which will open about November 5. Five times Portland club women have been hospitably and lavishly entertained by the various towns of the state, and that Portland will not fall behind in its duty to the visitors is assured.
When this is over the club year will have been fully inaugurated, and the work of a year well begun.
ONE of the goblins that some of the club women are afraid “will get them if they don’t look out” is the fear that, by the action taken several months ago by the Woman’s club of Portland, indorsing suffrage, and its activity in promoting the work, the club will be “turned into a suffrage club.” Like most things we are afraid of in this life, this foolish and utterly without cause. Suffrage has become a national question; it concerns women more nearly than any question before the public today; if affects civics, publice [sic] health, civil service reform, forestry, good government and if fact, every line of woman’s club activities. The large majority of women believe equal political rights will promote all these things so dear to the hearts of women, therefore the Woman’s club of Portland, with but three negative votes, decided to work for suffrage as a means to these ends. It, however, edged itself about by the restriction that it would work for it till the election in November. It contributed a stated monthly sum, believing in backing up its “faith by works.” This sum was also voted with the above restriction. Why then should there be any fear either that the work or allowance will be continued indefinitely? And what is more, after the 6th of November there will be nothing to work or spend money on for the suffrage. If suffrage carries, the work is done for all time; if it fails it could not become an issue again for two years at the very earliest, and all the present work would be abandoned and the round-about trail of “influence” be again taken up. Hence, in either event, the clubs that have indorsed suffrage will again slip back into their own work and that before the club year is well launched so the goblin is an imaginary one, and not to be given serious consideration for a moment.
1912 April Permalink