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Santa Cruz County History - In the 19th Century
Reminiscences of Old Bango Club
by Thomas Dykes Beasley
[The following article appeared in the Santa Cruz Evening News, September 14, 1921. pg. 3 col. 3. The photograph is from the Library's photograph collection.]
The idea of the Bango club originated at a meeting held in a room opening out of Mr. Effey's jewelry store on Pacific Avenue, at which were present Robert Effey and Thomas Dykes Beasley, forty-five years ago, [as of ] September 9, 1921. And it is a remarkable fact that the original five charter members - Robert Effey, Henry F. Kron, Humphrey Pilkington, Henry Heath and T. D. Beasley, are today alive, and going strong!
The ideals of the Bango club were good fellowship, love of the great outdoors, and sane and sensible interchange of views. There were no by-laws, or any regulations of any sort whatsoever; experience with other clubs and orders having taught the members that many laudable organizations are so swaddled in red tape that they not only become perfunctory in their expression, but meet - and for that reason - an untimely demise.
In this connection I take the liberty of quoting the introduction to some verse by the undersigned, written to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the founding of the club:
"A chosen band of comrades we,
Who each with each, and all agree;
Discard the 'seamy side' of life;
Abandon care and wordy strife;
Are not 'cabined, cribbed, confined',
By parliamentary rules, nor mind
Who 'has the floor' or who 'the chair'
Or what they say; nor do we care
For 'previous questions', 'motions made',
Or amendments on 'the table laid.'
No dues or fines our souls annoy,
Nothing sordid mars our joy;
Petty trifles such as these,
The Bango mind do sore displease."
Of necessity, the vicissitudes of life have caused a dispersion of the members of the Bango club (limited to ten), and several have passed the Great Divide; but the spirit of the club still survives and will persist so long as the old guard are able to meet "beneath the greenwood tree." To the love of the road and cross-country hiking, inspired by the old-time Bango tramps, I can truthfully say that my little book, "A Tramp Through the Bret Harte Country," owes its origin and inspiration.
Robert Effey, now living in San Francisco, conceived the idea that the forty-fifth anniversary of the Bango club ought to be fittingly observed, since the original charter members were all accessible. He accordingly arrived in Santa Cruz on the evening of the 8th, and since, his time has been at the disposal of his old comrades. On the 9th, in a secluded glen in the redwoods, the forty-fifth anniversary of the club was fittingly and decorously celebrated.
In the future, annual meetings will be observed, as of yore; but will be restricted to members of the club. As the years roll by, and a gray poll represents once abundant locks, the Bango club has instinctively adopted as its slogan: "Should auld acquaintance be forgot," in place of its pristine welcome to the world, "Vive la Compagnie"!
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