Oakland Rotary News

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Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson welcomed Rotarians and Guests to the 5,392nd Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland, and pointed out that this is the last meeting he will preside as next week is his demotion. In keeping with the Alameda County Health Department’s indoor masked mandate, President Dudley asked members in the ballroom to keep masks on when not eating or drinking. For those members participating via Zoom, President Dudley encouraged the use of the chat function.

Presidential Processional

Past President Lorna Padia Markus invited members and guests to stand and cheer as the Past Presidents accompanied Dudley into the ballroom to the strains of ‘The Iowa Corn Song”. As the procession neared the stage, Dudley was not in it. Where was Dudley? Ken whispered the news in Lorna’s ear – Dudley forgot his vaccination certificate and as per club rules, could not enter the Ballroom. After a brief discussion Lorna proposed a solution – a vote by the attendees suspending the rule and allowing Dudley to participate. A very quick vote was taken, the Past Presidents returned to the back of the ballroom, and the procession began once again – this time with President Dudley.


Past President Iris Brody Lopez, joining via Zoom from Peoria, Arizona, noted that the high point of President Dudley’s year was his appearance on the cover of the August 2021 issue of Rotary Magazine. This is the first time the magazine cover has featured a Rotary Club of Oakland president. But she shared this was not the first time Dudley had been on a magazine cover. In fact, in his hometown of Belmond, Iowa, soon after he was born, he was on the cover of The Iowa Farmer Monthly. To commemorate that event, Past President Marlo Seligman presented Dudley with his Past President’s Pin.

Next Past President Linda Chew reminded Dudley that the Covid pandemic had challenged his administration. For example, Rotary volunteers had to suspend their in-classroom assistance to the Transitional Kindergarten students in the Oakland Unified School District.

Past President Charlie Adams amplified the impact it had, but how the club managed to still support students with summer book reading, field trips to the Oakland Zoo and Children’s Fairyland and give the teachers gift cards to obtain supplies for their classrooms. These accomplishments landed him on the cover of Ranger Raccoon magazine. Charlie then presented Dudley with this Past President’s Badge.

Linda advised Dudley to wear his new badge to Rotary meetings and events so all Rotarians will recognize his status as a Past President.

Past President Carla Betts recalled how the World Community Services Committee has historically supported projects throughout the world, even during the pandemic. Dudley’s leadership was commemorated with an appearance on the cover of Rational Geografix magazine.

Past President Sean Marx reminded Dudley and everyone that usually Rotarians visit many other clubs each year and bring back club banners which are given to the outgoing President.  Since travel has been non-existent, the club presented banners from other First-Five sister clubs – Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. Also, Sean presented a banner from Dudley’s alma mater, Drake University, home of the fighting bulldogs.

Past President Linda Boessenecker told how the Business Development Committee had promoted business opportunities among Rotarians as well as the greater Oakland community. She shared that Dudley appeared on the cover of Business Month magazine and almost single-handedly revived the after-work cocktail hour.

Past President Robert Kidd presented Dudley with a gavel plaque in recognition of his attempt to control the “herd of cats” at the weekly meetings.

Past President John Protopappas observed the audio-visual experience was especially challenging given the hybrid nature of meetings, encompassing members both in the Ballroom and on Zoom. The Audio-Visual Committee was rebranded, and expanded, to the Meeting Production Committee.  In recognition of his efforts, Dudley was featured on the cover of Sound & Sight magazine. With the improvement of the sound system, John presented a LARGE box of cords and wires from the old system, which he unceremoniously opened and dumped on the floor in front of Dudley.

Past President Ces Butner addressed the outdoor activities the club engaged in during the pandemic, including baseball games, pickle ball contests, golf tournaments, bicycle rides, and hikes. Dudley was featured on the cover of Outsider magazine for these events. Ces then presented Dudley with a gift from the Past Presidents – a Swing Caddie electronic golf measurer.

Past President David Stein presented highlights of the club’s many accomplishments. These are listed in the story – left hand column of today’s Live Oak.

Past President Mary Rudser came to the microphone. With the customary “Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor” in hand, Mary then introduced special guest, Mayor Libby Shaaf. Currently an Honorary Member of Oakland Rotary, Mayor Shaaf spoke about an earlier time when she was an active club member and recalled the many things Rotary did for the residents of Oakland. She then congratulated Dudley for his leadership of the tremendous support the Club now gives the community. She presented Dudley with the framed document which proclaimed June 30, 2022 as Dudley Thompson Day in the City of Oakland.

President Dudley’s Acknowledgement

President Dudley thanked the Club for the opportunity to serve and how much he appreciates what members have done this past year.  He then introduced our next president, Mary Geong.


Mary Geong reminded everyone that there is no weekly meeting on July 7th, but her inauguration will be July 14th. She then declared the meeting adjourned as she rang the bell for the first time.

Next Meeting, July 14 – Inauguration of President Mary Geong

There is no Rotary meeting on July 7th.

On July14th please consider coming to the California Ballroom for the Inauguration of Mary Geong, our 114th, 9th woman and 1st Asian-American President of the Oakland Rotary Club #3. Her theme for the year is Imagine Rotary. Join your fellow Rotarians in hearing how Mary plans to lead and inspire us in accomplishing her goals.

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