The Optimist Club has had several branches of Optimist International, which is a worldwide volunteer organization "whose Members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves." 1

The Oakland Optimist Club started in 1921. WWI flying ace Captain Eddie Rickenbacker and L. F. Dinkelspiel of H. C. Capwell's were charter members. 4 R. C. Bitterman was the first president. Abe Bekins of Bekins Storage was the first sergeant-at-arms. 5 Their regular meetings were held at the Hotel Oakland. When that was converted to a U.S. Army hospital during WWII, the club met at the Leamington Hotel,

from 1921 Tribune ad 4

The East Oakland Optimist Club first met February 5, 1925. 3 Clarence N. Cooper was the first president.

The North Oakland Optimist Club was chartered February 27, 1947. 2 Conrad J. Lund was the first president. 6 Their regular meetings were at 6533 Telegraph; by the late 1950s their regular meetings were at Art's Buffet at 4031 Broadway.

Eng family collectionEng Family collection

Links and References

  1. Optimist International website
  2. New Clubs Built in 1946-1947 optomist.org
  3. East Oakland Optimist Club Unfurls Its Colors Oakland Tribune February 6, 1925
  4. Laughter, Love, Life, Object of Optimist Club Oakland Tribune May 17, 1921
  5. Optimist Club Gets Its Charter; Given Welcome Oakland Tribune May 18, 1921
  6. Optimist Club Gets Charter Oakland Tribune February 25, 1947