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Northwest Citroën Owners Club
History

History of the Northwest Citroën Owners Club

by Henry Reed (Seattle, WA)

Our history started officially on November 28, 1989 in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. On this date the Articles of Incorporation as a Nonprofit Corporation were officially filed with the Secretary of State, in the State of Washington. But, before this "birth date" there had been years of activity relating to Citroën Cars in our region. In the 1960s when there were Citroën dealers in Seattle, there was an active Club. Many enthusiastic new Citroën owners were members, and a few of these "old timers" continue as members in our present club. However, it is not known whether this original club was ever incorporated. It became dormant during the later 1970s and early 1980s, and was finally superceded by a new generation of enthusiasts who rediscovered the attractions of the Deesse and other models; this new group led to the organization of our present club.

As early as 1975, junior high school shop teacher Jack Hillyer was inculcating a few of his more radical and bright students with the Citroën mindset. Of course, this meant that they were helped to become independent thinkers, to appreciate the utility of functional design, and not to fear the reprisals of inferior students of GM, Ford and Mopar persuasion. Along with Jack Hillyer, these special students are active leaders in our club today. Chris Dubuque, Peter De Boldt, Kevin Crandall, and Chris Middleton are well-recognized names!

By 1982 this small group all owned Deesse and other models of Citroën in the Seattle area. They had their own workshops and spare parts collections, and had constructed some of the special tools necessary to care for the cars. They were helping other Citroën owners to keep their cars on the road, and on any given Saturday morning one would find a steady stream of Citroëns migrating to the storage shed area just west of Issaquah, where some of these young men had their hobby shops. Citroënists would all hang around, kick tires, drive their "D" models through the mud-filled pot holes of the parking area, and swap stories of driving the hydraulic vehicles. From 1982 until 1989 this was the only Citroën "club" in the Northwest.

Meanwhile, in Vancouver B.C., Chris Adshead had become the recognized Deux Cheveaux and general Citroën organizer for western Canada. Having owned a 2CV since 1974, and published a 2CV register and newsletter since 1985, he had been the center of club activity for the Vancouver area. As the cost of this work became greater (both in time and money), the idea of creating a "Northwest" club that would include the Vancouver area membership and combine Chris Adshead's newsletter as a wider area publication became attractive. Discussions began, following a successful combined meeting of the two groups at a State Park in Sequim Washington in 1987, to create such a regional club.

Preparation of the statement of Bylaws of the Northwest Citroën Owners Club began in early 1989, and resulted in the document that is still the "constitution" of our Club. The original signatures of the Bylaws were Henry Reed (who became the first President), Dr. Robert Kaufmann, Peter De Boldt, Dan Hughes, Greg Bruninga, Christopher Dubuque, and Garth Thompson. These Bylaws set forth the rules of governance for the Club, are summarized in the following paragraph.

The regular decisions of operating the Club are made by a seven-member board of directors, that is made up of the officers (President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, and three members-at-large). This group meets at least quarterly, but usually monthly. It has an annually rotating election, so that each year two board members' three year terms expire, and two new members are elected for three year terms. In addition, there is one board member who serves a one-year term (one of the members-at-large), and this person is elected annually. The entire club membership performs this election duty annually, and provides three new board members. The remaining four board members provide continuity of leadership for the newcomers, and stability of the administration is assured. The types and costs of club membership are set forth, the process for terminating members provided, and a process for filling unexpected vacancies on the board is described. Powers and duties of the officers are presented, and the Bylaw amendment process is set forth. And finally, the Bylaws present the General Objectives of the Club.

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