Barney Semtner – Reflections

Posted in: Club Newsletter, Featured, Reflections Articles


Being a Rotarian for over 38 years, I have seen some really terrific programs. We have had Governors, Senators and US Cabinet Secretaries speak to Club 29 over the years. We have had great entrepreneurs speak about the businesses they created. We have seen military leaders who serve or served their country heroically. Many religious leaders, educators, sports personalities, actors and television personalities have spoken to Club 29. In many respects, people and organizations who want to speak to the movers and shakers in Oklahoma City have sought to speak at a Club 29 luncheon. We have been and continue to be the place to pitch stories and ideas to the best audience in town.
As I think back over some of the most interesting programs, I recall the meeting where our own member, Dr. Bob Raulston, a prominent urologist in Oklahoma City, presented a program on penile implants. It was a meeting held in the late 1980s at the Skirvin Hotel Ballroom, in the years just prior to the time when Rotary opened up membership to women. The talk was technical and informative, and he brought pumps and devices that were used at the time. The audience was interested, curious and a little squeamish. It was an edgy program but done with taste and respect. And, most of the attendees wanted to hear Dr. Raulston speak again.
Another memorable program was the meeting where Joan Embery from the San Diego Zoo spoke to the Club. Like on her many visits to the Tonight Show, Joan brought an oranutang monkey with her. She was an entertaining spokeswomen for the Zoo and the experience of seeing a very cautious Club 29 president Ron Powers hold the animal was priceless.
Every Rotarian has their favorite programs that they’ve heard over the years. Rotarian Ed Leslie had over 60 years of perfect attendance. He attended thousands of Rotary meetings. He once said that he learned something at each meeting he attended and was grateful for the opportunity to be a Rotarian.
I know that future programs will continue to be informative and entertaining. As Rotarians, I hope that each of us will work to identify interesting programs and speakers. Please do not be bashful in suggesting them to the Program Committee. My hope is that we will get to see Clay Bennett speak to the club holding the Thunder’s NBA Championship trophy in the coming months. See you next Tuesday.

1 Comments for : Barney Semtner – Reflections
    • Dick Hefton
    • May 26, 2016

    You reminded, Barney, the MWC club had in the same time frame an identical proxy penile presentation only we neglected to omit student Rotarians! Squeamish? On steroids!

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