February 27 – Safe Harbor Toastmasters

Tuesday, February 27 at 6pm will be our the meeting and program featuring the Safe Harbor Toastmasters of North Pole, Alaska. Learn about who the Toastmasters are and how it came to be, and hear them present their speeches related to family history and genealogy.

The meeting starts at 6pm, then we break for light refreshments. The speeches begin at 7pm.

We meet at the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame. It is located at 406 Cushman St next to McCafferty’s Coffee. Park at Sadler’s or across the street. Please enjoy the museum displays before or after the meeting.

History of the Fairbanks area Toastmaster Clubs by Amy Stratman

The first official Toastmasters club meeting mentioned in the newspapers in Fairbanks was
in 1942. Sgt Earl Dusenbery was the founder of the first local club which met twice a
month at the USO. Officers, enlisted, and civilians were all welcome (men only though!).
Earl was only in Fairbanks a short time during a stint in the Army. The local newspapers
forgot about the 1942 Toastmasters, as they claimed the Yukon and Golden Heart were
the first clubs in 1952.

Don McCune and Tom Miklautsch started the “Golden Heart” Toastmasters. They began
the club after attending the “Yukon” Toastmasters on Eielson Air Force Base. Another club
popped up a year later named “Burnt” Toastmasters. “Aurora Borealis” and “Polaris” clubs
popped up a few years later.

The original clubs were large, close to 50 members each, and prominent citizens were
members. One did not miss a meeting. Meetings were held in various locations, including
the Model Cafe, the Polaris dining room, the Switzerland, Traveler’s Inn, and the Fireside
Club. Even the Elbow Room bar hosted the Toastmasters, the speaker being on the stage,
and the members on barstools. After TV arrived in Fairbanks in 1955, speeches were
recorded and televised on KTVF Channel 11 for the whole city to watch.

Separately, women formed their own clubs called Toastmistresses. “Icebreakers
Toastmistresses” and “Tundra Toastmistresses” competed with the men’s clubs in
Fairbanks. In 1973, Toastmasters International allowed women to officially join, and many
clubs merged. In 1978, gender only clubs were banned from forming. All clubs now accept
men and women.

Today in 2024, 3 clubs are active in the Fairbanks area. The Tundra Talkers, the Fairbanks
North Star Borough, and Safe Harbor.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *