For its first forty years the Club met every Thursday without fail, with business meetings followed by a tea always held on the first Thursday of each month. The tradition of holding the tea at card tables was later abandoned in favor of a standing tea that allowed members to better socialize.
Beginning in 1916, the third Thursday of March was set aside to honor the Club’s founders. The Sausalito News reported that over fifty members attended the first Founders’ Day Luncheon in the grill room of the Sausalito Hotel. They were entertained by the “sweet voices” of Mrs. Wyatt and Mrs. Laidlaw who accompanied themselves on ukuleles. Elizabeth Shoobert gave a report on the history of the Club, calling it “this three year old child now ready to stand alone, crying for a home of its own.”
The Founders Day tradition of paying tribute to past presidents, honored and honorary members provides an opportunity for members to honor the founders and all of the women who have contributed to the Club over the past century. Founders Day also initiates new members not only as caretakers of the beloved clubhouse, but as guardians of the Club’s history, traditions and ideals.
Each Founders Day, new members march through the main hall and onto the stage to sing “How Do You Do Madam President”. They serve lunch to the members and then perform in a satirical Jinks that lampoons contemporary issues. The new members are urged to sing, dance and act in front of a fully supportive and appreciative audience. More importantly, they begin to form the lifelong bonds that integrate them into the life of the Club.
The term “Jinks” was likely derived from the Vaudevillian song “Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines” that was popular in US dance halls around the turn of the century. The Club’s first Founders’ Day Jinks was staged in 1917, with Club members performing two “farcical skits”: “Mrs. Ruffle’s Christmas Party” and “Professor Dedio’s Studio.” In recent years, Jinks performances have been recorded on video to preserve an historical archive of Club life as seen through the skits, song and dance of its members.