‘Making up’ missed meetings in Westfield

Chautauqua Rotarians enjoy making up missed meetings with the Westfield/Mayville Rotarians in Westfield every Tuesday.

For those who are not Rotary members, the explanation of making up meetings is simple. Rotarians meet on a weekly basis and when a member misses a meeting, he/she is on his/her honor to make up that absence by attending another Rotary club. Chautauqua Rotarians take advantage of a short ride to the nearest village.

A few long-returning Chautauquans are considered part of the “year-rounders” because they have made many friends and contribute to Westfield/Mayville Rotary activities. For instance, Jim Hall plays the piano and Paul Burkhart leads the singing. Jim Mead has an unusual attendance tale.

The former Westfield resident who now lives in California in the winter and Chautauqua in summer celebrated his 50th year in Rotary four years ago with the W/M club. When he and wife Jane lived in Syracuse, Mead was Rotary district governor.

Many readers will associate Mead with the Westfield Republican for which he was editor/publisher for 25 years. And, he says proudly, “We printed the Chautauquan Daily for many years, too.” (And, his wife was the daily editor several years ago.)

As for “coming to Chautauqua,” the five Rotarians boast their years in double digits starting with Mead with 55 years. Next is Jim Hall from Pittsburgh, a former oral surgeon who served two terms on the Institution’s Presbyterian Church board and counts 50 Rotary years, 23 of them at Chautauqua. Hall is the pianist who gets everyone singing in Westfield.

That’s when Paul Burkhart steps in to lead the singing. A Carlisle, Pa resident in the off season, he has been a Rotarian for 38 years and is a past district governor. As for Chautauqua, he has been coming there for years – a part-timer for 45 years and 23 of them all season. At the Institution, he has served two terms on the Presbyterian board, 43 with the Motet Choir and is a past commodore for the Yacht Club.

“When I’m at Chautauqua, I come here,” he said.

Coming from North Carolina is Bill Clark, an all summer Chautauquan since childhood – 19 of them “grown up” years and 52 years as a Rotarian.

A Chapel Hill resident, he says, “I thoroughly enjoy the Westfield/Mayville Club and recommend it to all (visiting) Rotarians.”

A Rotarian for 38 years, Steve Bethea from Atlanta, Ga., a retired orthopedic surgeon, also was president of the Buckhead Atlanta diving Olympics. He’s been coming to Chautauqua for 15 years, full time for 12 years and a few weeks this year.

“I love making up (attendance) at the Westfield Rotary Club,” he said. And, reflecting the same as many of the older population would agree upon about the Institution, he adds, “My grandkids love coming to Chautauqua.”

It should be noted that both Mead and Bethea have perfect attendance of their Rotary years.

After recently enjoying the singing of four Chautauqua student vocalists, whose scholarships were donated by the Westfield/Mayville Rotary, Mead, Hall, Burkhart, Clark and Bethea recommended that all Chautauquans who want to “make up” hometown club meetings should head for Westfield, a short distance from their summer home.