Who Wore These Snazzy Plaid Jackets?
The President’s Club was established in 1958, but not much was mentioned about it in the early board minutes. A nondated Policy and Procedures document says the McPherson Chamber of Commerce President’s Club was a committee of the Chamber organized for the purpose of “maintaining progressive investor programs and continual public relations.” The President’s Club held annual membership drives and hosted ribbon-cutting ceremonies for new businesses. They were also responsible for the Chamber plaques edged in “MacPherson” tartan plaid on a walnut base. Some local businesses may still have these plaques displayed!
Then a Contact Club was mentioned. In the April 1974 board minutes, Chairman Norvin Rolander “reported to the Board that Contact Club member Tom Harms is the first member to win a blazer under the new point system.” Points (according to the President’s Club Policy and Procedures) were obtained by attending meetings, ribbon cuttings, contacting members and recruiting new members, with various incentives including “a distinctive blue blazer” (not plaid) “to each new President’s Club member who earns a total of 750 points.” I am a little confused, but am going to assume that the Contact Club was another name for the President’s Club?
The Ambassador’s Club was formed in 1970 and took the place of the Public Relations Committee (not the President’s Club). The President’s Club and Ambassadors Club were both listed in the 1980’s minutes so they must have co-existed for a while. The Ambassadors Club “would act strictly in matters of good-will for the town.” They were the official hosts for the Chamber at all Chamber meetings. The Ambassadors also planned and carried out the annual meeting each fall. Back in 1970, the Ambassadors were appointed by the Board President, and board minutes stated that “each member would furnish his own blazer with the emblem patch furnished by the Chamber.” Today the Chamber Ambassadors are a volunteer group that assists with ribbon cuttings and public relations.
Now you want to know who wore the plaid blazers? A report from 1982/83 includes a line item for Ambassador jackets; genuine “MacPherson” tartan plaid sport jackets tailored in Scotland! So, although I have yet to confirm this, I am going to assume the picture is of the Ambassadors Club. Does anyone still have one of these prestigious jackets?