The WCCR History of the 1950’s
The club’s 10th Anniversary Edith Harshberger was president. 576 Christmas stockings were distributed. Betty Jiménez Mooney remembers that there weren’t many cars in Costa Rica in 1950 and only three where she lived in Limon: they belonged to the Superintendent, the head doctor and the taxicab driver.
Peggy Anson’s first term as president saw an average attendance of 42 members. The club decided to have its first U.S. Independence Day Picnic, held at the Estadio de Béisbol with 300 attending. The seventh annual Halloween Dance and raffle at the Country Club had 911 attendees and raised a record ¢15,500 ($2,795 which in the USA could have purchased a spankin’ brand new Oldsmobile 98 convertible!) One meeting speaker told of her experiences in a Japanese prison camp; another spoke of internment in Santo Tomas prison camp in Manila.
After the war years more of the Club’s efforts centered on welfare projects. During the polio epidemic in 1952 the club raised sufficient funds to donate an iron lung to the Hospital de Niños. The club was instrumental in establishing the Rehabilitation Center. Vesta Kadlec was president. The 8th annual Halloween Dance held at the Country Club netted ¢13,300 ($2,375). Some of the monthly card party proceeds went to earthquake disaster relief.
Founder Betty Oreamuno again served as president and instituted the May luncheon tradition at the Union Club. Memorial Day services at the US Embassy Residence and the U.S. Independence Day picnic at the National Stadium were arranged annually by the club.
Doris Hazur presided May to Dec., Peggy Anson Jan. to Apr 1955. Membership rose to 76. The venue for the traditional U.S. Independence Day picnic moved for the first time to the new U.S. Embassy Residence in Escazú. This year’s Fashion Show featured campus clothes with First Lady Karen Olsen de Figueres as Honorary Sponsor.
WCCR elections in these days were held at the first meeting of the year (March) and the new Board took office in May. Canasta and bridge parties, fashion shows and dinner-dances were often held as fund-raisers.
The club added Interest Groups to its programs, virtually “clubs within a club” as they were referred to. Gale Stone was president and an average of 35 members attended monthly meetings. Fund-raisers were a fashion show and the first Feria de las Flores.
Connie Herrera presided over a variety show fundraiser. Interest groups included a Couturier Group to design patterns and dresses. All women’s groups in the country joined in the second Feria de Flores in Santo Domingo de Flores to raise funds for Hospital de Niños. Telephone numbers in those days consisted of 4 digits only, e.g. 4974. FACT: In the 1950’s, proceeds from a musical comedy produced by The Women’s Club went to purchase an electrocardioscope for the Hospital de Niños.