Dedication Speech of Alice H. Taylor, President of The Shakespeare Club
October 7, 1924
“Members of The Shakespeare Club — We are gathered today to celebrate the third of the great occasions in our Club’s history. Three occasions which have been marking stones in our progress through the years. They are but the material signs of growth in power and influence and (let us hope) the grace of spirit which will make of all our effort and sacrifice a noble, pure, uplifted soul.
The first of these great occasions was when the twelve women met in a private living room on Palmetto Drive some thirty-six years ago to form the Woman’s Reading Club of Pasadena. This was the newborn infant whose name was afterward changed to The Shakespeare Club. If those women, all of whom have passed on to the higher life are with us in spirit today, they are rejoicing and hoping for us the great things which their thought and action in those faraway days have not only made possible, but obligatory to us.
The second of those great occasions was when The Shakespeare Club met for the first time in its own home in the little building next door. Miss Meeker has told at different times how great was the rejoicing and how high the hopes then, coupled with the thought of the great responsibility which they had assumed. I think that, we, today, owe a deep debt of gratitude to the wisdom and splendid foresight of those leaders of the Club, that they built so well that not one brick or board of their work has had to be undone but that their plans and building have simply been added to and the whole incorporated into a grand and beautiful structure which for a long time to come will fill a need in Pasadena.
And now we have come to our day. Before you stands the building which we offer for your acceptance. No one will know or appreciate what long and faithful hours of thought and labor have been spent by the group of women to whom you have entrusted the details. It has been a labor of love. They are proud that they could have been of service and are happy only in your happiness and approval.
As you go through the building, I am sure you will find much of artistic beauty to admire and will observe in both old and new that every modern convenience has been provided. We are grateful to the friends whose gifts have made it possible to have so many lovely furnishings, and in choosing them, the Board has followed the policy of going without, where we could not buy what would be of permanent joy and usefulness. For that reason, you will see that there are some needs yet to be filled and we are hoping for generous contributions toward our building debt and furnishing fund. As I said before, this building is the joyous expression of womanhood in Pasadena and by joyously working together for a long time to come, our dreams will materialize. . .
. . . As we stand now upon the threshold of a new year, looking for what the next few months have in store, let our hearts be filled with gratitude for the blessings which are bestowed upon us. Let us pledge our devotion and dedicate this property to the upbuilding of the finer, better things in Pasadena, so that those who come to inherit it from us will find that age and time have only added to its splendor and that while we have been building this material structure, we have also by our striving, by our forbearance, by our love for each other, also been rearing a house not made with hands.”