History of the Guam Women's Club

 

 

The Guam Women’s Club was formed in 1952 by a group of twenty-five civic-minded women. These women sought to make a make a difference in the welfare of the population of Guam. It was five years after the end of WWII, and the island was still recovering from the ravages of war. It was in this environment that the original members formed the islands first Women’s Club and it has been going strong ever since.

 

The purposes of the Club were outlined in the original Articles of Incorporation and have not changed in fifty-seven years:

 

To investigate, discuss and seek improvement of conditions within the Territory of Guam which affect the general welfare, education and health of the population;

 

To engage in research on local, Pacific-Asiatic and world problems;

 

To lend support to other civic and service organizations in their efforts to better local conditions;

 

To extend the public benefit of the Club to as many persons as possible.

 

To engage in fundraising activities for the purpose of securing funds to be used for public benefit programs.

 

When the Club was founded, then Governor Carlton Skinner said, “I count the founding of the Guam Women’s Club as one of the most substantial accomplishments during my tenure as Governor. It reflected recognition of the need to develop and maintain civic responsibility and civic leadership among the women of the island. This I consider an essential part of the political maturity of the territory which was achieved with the Territorial self—government.”

 

Governor Skinner was not the last Governor to sing the praises of the Club. In 1954 after proving themselves with several successful community projects such as the establishment of a day care center, the creation of the Latte Stone Pank and Padre C. Palomo Park in Hagatna and several beautification projects, then Governor Elvidge tasked the Club with the formation of the Parks and Monuments Committee.

 

This committee was responsible for the re­establishment of the Guam Museum, which took a direct hit from a bomb during the war. With the support of Governor Elvidge, the Club membership located a building, cleaned it up, sought donations for the furnishings and museum displays and eventually opened the Guam Museum. The Guam Women’s Club staffed the museum for many years.

 

Guam Women’s Club was also instrumental in the “Post Office Petition” which led to the establishment of village post office branches and the legislation that named the Guam flower.

 

Since its inception, the Guam Women’s Club has provided yearly college scholarships — the first recipient was awarded $150 to seek a teaching degree from the Territorial College. Currently the Club is supporting three full-time students at the niversity of Guam and expends almost $15,000 annually for this program. The Club holds an annual Mardis Gras Celebration to raise funds for this program.

 

Over the years, the Club has donated millions of dollars in cash, in-kind services and items and volunteer service to numerous needy organizations and causes. The Club is well-known for its fundraising ability and is often requested to sponsor events to benefit community nonprofit organizations.

 

Many of our island’s nonprofit and charitable organizations owe their existence to the Guam Women’s Club in one way or another. In some cases, the Guam Women’s Club spearheaded the fundraising efforts that helped them get started and in others, members worked hand—in—hand to assist in efforts that eventually turned into a separate nonprofit organization. In fact, many of the women in leadership positions of these community organizations are, or have been, members of the Guam Women’s Club.

 

The Guam Women’s Club is a vital part of the Guam Community. In recent years the Club has donated to a variety of organizations including the Salvation Army, the Sugar Plum Tree, Island Girl Power, the Guam Humanities Council, Erica’s House, the Get Healthy Guam Coalition, the Girl Scouts, the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association and several other organizations that assist the elderly and needy.

 

It has been fifty-seven years and the Guam Women’s Club is vibrant and still looking toward the future for a better Guam.

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