History Summary District 8

North America District 8 History

updated 5 July 2019 information is red is latest and/or unverified

District 8 covers 1 million square miles from Alaska to Idaho, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.

The oldest clubs in District 08 dates to the 1920s.

1920:The Confederation created three districts. The Northern-, the Southern- and the Western District

1923:ZC Seattle belonged to the Western District, which was the largest district.

1924:The district plan was revised to include a West Coast District; by the end of the year the original three Districts became five, designated A, B, C, D and E Mary E. Janes was  the first of the District Chairmen to be called upon to report upon the accomplishments of the year, and conditions in her territory. She said, in part: “It gives me great pleasure to present to you this brief report of my district. The Western District of the Confederation of Zonta Club is composed of sixteen clubs – Buffalo, Rochester, Jamestown Lockport, and Niagara Falls in New York State, Erie in Pennsylvania, Cleveland and Toledo, in Ohio, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint and Ann Arbor in Michigan, Moline and Ottawa, in Illinois, and Seattle, Washington…. We have a total membership of about 750. The clubs are very active, interested in civic, philanthropic and educational work…. We are proud to have added five new clubs to our district during this year and hope to add double that number next.” (D-VIII History Part I)

1926: Clara Shaw Herrick, Los Angeles (formerly an Elmira Zontian) Chairman. She found things difficult. Her report to the 6thConvention in session at Rochester, N.Y., May 14, 1926, which follows, is pretty explicit:

“I have no detailed report, and I will tell you why. Our nearest club is three train days away, and I write and write and write and get no report. I did get a report from the Seattle Club just a day or so before I left. It was mailed to me March 30,  and I don’t know why I didn’t get it until then, but I finally got it a day or two before I left. The Dallas Club I have not heard from, except that it sent in its vote for chairman, for myself as chairman for next year. I cannot get any word, we have no conferences, we cannot have. I wish you could appreciate our problems in the West. You people are close together and have the enthusiasm and inspiration of this close contact with other clubs and  you cannot imagine what this means to us. Our club in Los Angeles has practically gone to pieces, for no reason except we haven’t the inspiration of contact. The Seattle Club  is not growing either. Three of their members had joined another club and I understand since I have come here that the Dallas Club has had twelve resignations. I have not had these reports so I could not give you a detailed report. Honolulu I wrote to and the letter was returned. So you see we are up against it and we must have help or die. There is splendid material I n the west, loads of it…” (D-VIII History Part I)

1928:District E woke up under Mary Jane Dent’s (Seattle), Chairman leadership. Portions of her report to the annual convention in St. Paul, MI, June 14-16, 1928 follows:

“Before beginning my report  for District E I feel it wise to inform you, or remind you, of the size of the district. We are bounded on the north by the North Pole; on the east by the stets of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas n the southern border by Mexico, and on the wet by that part of the Pacific Ocean that lies west of the Hawaiian Island, where we have our last outpost, the wonderful club of Honolulu…. We have never been able to have a district conference because of the great distance between the cities until this morning when we had our first district meting and first election of a district chairman. We now have seven clubs in the district with a membership of 219. This is an increase of over 100 members in the last  year. (D-VIII  History Part I)


1930: Clubs from Oregon and Washington belonged to District VI.(D8 History says on September 21,1929, a “redistricting Plan” was adopted, establishing seven districts and District VI was born. It comprised the states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and “that part of Canada due north”.  (Although this was in quotes, it doesn’t unfortunately cite reference.) 

  “Marr Davenport was elected the first Chairman of District VI at the Fall Conference, held in Portland, in November 1929. At that time, the membership for he District totaled 150 in seven clubs, Everett, Olympia Portland, Laem, Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma, all brand new except Seattle and Tacoma.” (D-VIII History Part I.)

1933: Amelia Earhart visited the Pacific Northwest on a lecture tour. Both the Seattle and the Portland clubs entertained her. (D-VIII History Part I)

1938: Dr. Helen Pearce, Salem, OR, was elected international President at the Convention in Banff, Alberta, Canada. It was at this convention that “District VI is in favor of a suitable memorial to Amelia Earhart, and our  International President was asked to appoint a committee, having the International Service Committee Chairman as a member, this committee to report the expense of each form of proposed memorials at the convention in  June. (D-VIII History Part I)

1939: There were no new clubs formed. District VI still had its nine clubs in Washington and Oregon, with a membership of 226. Ann M. Johnson, Seattle, Chairman had traveled over 2,500 miles in order to visit each club and attend district conferences. At the Spring conference at Medford the district (was) strongly in favor of Zonta International deciding upon some definite service program and that the proposed Amelia Earhart Memorial Foundation seemed to be the answer. There was considerate discussion as to whether the fund be used to establish scholarships or be a revolving loan fund but no action was taken. “It was unanimously voted that District VI recommend that Zonta International continue with the Earhart Memorial Foundation, asking that each club contribute to it $1.00 per member per year. (D-VIII History PART I)

1940: Just a week after this Fall Conference in Seattle the Corvallis Club was added to the District’s roster, to give District VI ten clubs and a membership of 233.

1945:“During the year District VI made a net gain in membership of 23, making our total for the year 284 members.” Considering the extension of the number of clubs, ZI Board requested the re-districting committee to make a new district plan. The Wyoming was transferred from District VI to District IV. This plan was effective from 1947. (D-VIII History Part I)

1947:The plan encompassed eleven districts, all in North America. District VI became District VIII included clubs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Canada to the North”. It encompassed 12 clubs from Oregon and Washington. District VIIIcomprised clubs in

  • Canada
    • British Columbia (First club chartered 1949)
    • Alberta (First club chartered 1953, last club disbanded 2005)
  • USA
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Oregon
    • Washington
    • Wyoming

1948: “While we did not reach the 20% goal per club (international objective, the district made more than the percentage with three hundred twelve (312) members in 1947 and three hundred seventy nine (379) members in 1948.” (D-VIII History Part I)

1952:ZI Board decided to add a new district, District XII, to the eleven districts organized in 1947. District XII to comprise among other clubs, clubs in east Montana and Wyoming (see District XII). Clubs from Wyoming and 1 club from Montana moved from D VIII to D XII. “District membership passed the 500 mark for the first time with advent of the 18-members Billings Club. Eighteen clubs and 544 members on September 1, 1952.” (D-VIII History Part I)

1952:District VIII encompassed 18 clubs from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.

1953: Another District VIII “first” was its sponsorship of the visit to the United Sates of a Zontian from our friendship country. An excerpt from the minutes of the Spring Conference in Seattle, April 1953 show how it all started: “Mrs. Mary Thomas, of Salem, Oregon, spoke on our International Relations Project – the Zonta Friendship Project between sister clubs in foreign countries. She said it is hoped that this will be a two-way project, working for the mutual advancement of all countries….This as suggested as a possible District Service Project, but we were reminded of a possible rotation of countries among the district, with Oslo being our sister club only until June, 1954…Moved that District Governor appoint a committee to prepare a suggested program to be referred to our Zonta clubs for the visitation by a  young woman from our International Friendship Club to District VIII.” Passed. Final result: “Moved that as the first step toward consideration of a traveling scholarship from our friendship country we extend an invitation to the delegate form the Zonta Club of Oslo, Norway, to visit District VIII as it guest in conjunction with 1954 International Convention in which District VIII will assist with this project in expenses not to exceed $2.00 per capita.” Motion passed. District VIII thus became the first district of Zonta International to invite a member of a club in tis friendship country to be its guest in the district and at the international convention. (D-VIII History Part I)

1957:District VIII encompassed 26 clubs

1960: District VIII encompassed 28clubsMembership Chairman Hazel Cook “At the end of 2 years – September 1, 1958 to September 1, 1060 – we had added only 90 members, and 3 clubs. “ “Amelia Earhart Scholarship Program – the response to this program for each of the two years has been 100% for  the first time in the history of District VIII and of the Amelia Earhart Scholarship Program.” (D-VIII History Part II)

1961: ZC Anchorage was founded with 51 members, one still active in 2016. 1962, the club newsletter was initiated, called Oonipak, an Eskimo word meaning “carrier of messages”. (D-VIII History Part II)

1962: District VIII encompassed 31 clubs

1964: “during the ZI Convention in San Francisco< CA, USA, “a signal honor was paid District VIII when it was presented with a special banner. At the 36thBiennial Convention it had been announced that the membership goal for the eighteen month period, September 1962 to March 1964, was “10 percent more for ‘64”. Results showed that District VIII was the only one of the fourteen districts to have achieved this objective. As our District objective we had hoped to bring our membership up to the 1000 mark, for the first time in our history, and it was a pleasant surprise to find that our 1021 total qualifies us internationally for this award. (D-VIII History Part II)

1974:District VIII encompassed 31 clubsorganized in 4 areas designated: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest.

1980:District VIII had 31 clubsgrouped in 4 areas, designated 1 (Northeast), 2 (Northwest), 3 (Southeast) and 4 (Southwest). For computerization purposes areas were designated by Arabic numerals.

1990:ZI Board decided to abandon Roman numerals. District VIII became District 8

1990:September, District 8 counted 29 clubs and 1,130 members(Source: The Zontian 1990-92 program issue)

2002:District 8 encompassed 30 clubsin 5 areas

2004: District 8 encompassed 29 clubsin 5 areas

2006:District 8 encompassed 22 clubsin 4 areas designated, area 1, area 2, area 4 and area 5

2008: District 8 encompassed 19 clubsin 4 areas

2016, As of June, District 8 encompasses 16 clubs,grouped in areas 01, 02, 04and 05 (currently, there is still no area 03). The clubs are located in

    • British Columbia, BC, Canada, area 05
    • Alaska, AK, USA, area 02
    • Washington, WA, USA, area 02, 05
    • Oregon, OR, USA, area 04
    • Idaho, ID, USA, area 01

2018: District 8 counts 475 members

2019: District 8 counts 468 members as of March 31, 2019 (latest information from ZI)