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Vista Historical Society Inducts Nine New Members Into Vista Hall of Fame

By   /  May 21, 2024  /  No Comments


TR Robertson – Saturday, midday, the Shadowridge Country Club Ballroom was the location for the Vista Historical Society Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Introductions for 2024. Close to 150 Historical Society members, guests, and invited dignitaries enjoyed a luncheon and the Historical Society meeting. Historical Society President Eleanor Hutchins welcomed those in attendance and introduced Historical Society Hall of Fame member Carol Herrera who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Eleanor introduced dignitaries in attendance including Vista Mayor John Franklin, Deputy Mayor and Council Member Katie Melendez and Council Member Dan O’Donnell, Former Vista Mayors Judy Ritter and Morris Vance, and Vista Chamber CEO Rachel Beld. Following the luncheon Master of Ceremonies TR Robertson began with the introduction of the newly selected Hall of Fame members and the individuals that would be speaking about them. In order of the presentation:

  • Historical Society President Eleanor Hutchins welcomes those in attendance.
  • Barbara Mannino-Harris – (1950-2023) – long time CEO of the Vista Community Clinic and member of numerous other organizations. Reading Barbara’s involvement with VCC and other activities was husband Syd Harris and speaking about Barbara was Rita Geldert.
  • Jean Cole – (1937-2016) – Active Vista resident, founder of Operation Hope and started the Vista Soccer Club. Speaking about Jean was daughter Tracy Lyons.
  • Jack Delphy – (1902-1980) – One of Vista’s first postmasters, founded Vista’s first Chrysler-Plymouth dealership and Life Member of Vista Elks Lodge. Speaking about Jack was daughter Lisa Delphy Neirotti.
  • Paul E. Dorey – (1948-2022) – Worked with Vista Irrigation District from 1971-2004, served as Water Resources Division Director and was on the VID Board after retirement.  Active member of the Vista Kiwanis Club. Speaking about Paul was VID President Richard Vasquez and daughter Cindy Herreta.
  • Rita Geldert – Former Vista Assistant City Manager and Vista City Manager. Created the Vista Citizens Academy and the Vista CARES Business Retention Program. Led successful campaigns for the passing of Proposition L and Proposition C in 2006. Speaking about Rita was former Vista Mayor Judy Ritter and Hall of Fame inductee Cathy Brendel.
  • Neva Clement – (1880-1979) – Planted passion fruit and produced juice and jams for numerous businesses. A member of the Vista Garden Club, a Life Member for the Woman’s Club of Vista. Speaking about Neva was Jack Larimer, proprietor of the Vista Heroes of Vista.
  • Dr. J.E. Colt – (1880-1976) – Professor of Horticulture and wrote numerous books and articles about agriculture, opened the largest avocado nursery in Vista, organized Calavo Growers and planted carob trees in the area. Speaking about Dr. Colt was Jack Larimer.
  • Margarita Fischer Pollard – (1886-1975) – Silent film star and was instrumental in refurbishing the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and charter member of the Board of Directors of the Vista Ranchos Historical Society. Speaking about Margarita was Jack Larimer.
  • Janet Sucro – (1937-2002) – Started the Faith and Love Ministries soup kitchen helping the homeless. Received The Hope Award from Tri-City Hospital Foundation. Speaking about Janet was Jack Larimer.

Next on the agenda was the reappointment of six board members for the Historical Society Board of Directors – John Aguilera, David Larkin, Alan Harvey, Pat Richardson, Russ Harvey. Anita Hutchins, Carlotta Malone and Janice Klafehn – and the appointment of new board member Denisse Barragan. All were unanimously approved. A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Carlotta Malone in recognition of the involvement of husband James Malone, former Historical Society Board Member, who passed in 2023. Eleanor then gave a short State of the Society pointing out several upcoming Historical Society events – the Let’s Celebrate America Big Band Jazz Hall of Fame Orchestra at the Vista Historical Museum on June 29, the Ice Cream Social on July 20th at the Museum and the Annual Old-Fashioned BBQ at the Museum on September 7th. The annual Christmas Party December 8th.For more information go to www.vistahistoricalsociety.com .


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  • Published: 4 weeks ago on May 21, 2024
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  • Last Modified: May 21, 2024 @ 1:17 am
  • Filed Under: Local

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