On Jan. 12, 1952, the Western Steam Fiends Association was officially introduced at the organizational meeting in Yakima, Wash.
It has long been the contention of the loyal brothers of steam that such a regional group was long overdue. The result of a canvass made of perspective members was very heartening and showed that such a group will meet with success in the Western states and provinces.
A good share of the credit must go to Chris Busch, of Colton, Wash., for spark plugging the new association, as he noted the extreme enthusiasm and interest shown at his annual Threshing Bee which he conducts each fall.
He was, therefore, elected president of the new association by unanimous vote. A.W. Barley of Des Moines, Wash., was elected vice president, and Ted Middleton of Aberdeen, Wash, was elected secretary-treasurer.
Directors for each state and province were appointed as follows: Dave Schwarz Miller, Washington; Ray Burnett, Oregon; James W. Alexander, California; U K. Wood, Utah; Bud Osterman, Idaho; E.L. Stinson, Montana.
Directors for the westernmost provinces are Cliff Blackstaffe, British Columbia; W.A. Spreeman, Alberta; and E. R. Potter, Saskachewan.
Anyone interested in steam power, whether traction, locomotive, steam automobile or stationary, etc., may belong. The owning of an engine is not necessary, and makers of live steam models, or collectors of literature on the subject will be welcome.
It is the idea of the Western Steam Fiends to form an association featuring the maximum of fellowship among members, and while the association is still in the diaper stage as far as the time element is concerned, it is hoped to have many interesting meetings and to put on some engine demonstrations at a later date. A small newsletter is also planned, and it might well be that the Busch Reunion in the fall will be the club’s Grand Finale. The preservation of old engines will definitely not be neglected.
The inaugural meeting will be held the evening before the Reunion at the Busch home in Colton, and the exact date will be announced in the future.
Dues are $2 per member, payable from January 1 to January 1. As the title Western Steam Fiends shows, the organization is a regional group, much as the Eastern and Midwestern clubs are likewise regional, but this does not bar anyone not living in the Western states or Western Canada from joining, as they will be welcomed.
Likewise, it is not the purpose of the new organization to compete with currently existing groups, but to date, the Western region has been rather left out of the steam game as compared with other regions. It was with this thought in mind that the Western Steam Fiends Association was born to take its place side by side with the other successful groups of steam enthusiasts. IMA