Review of the history of the Public Service Club of Northwest Indiana

1928 – Was the first formally organized year for the Hammond Division of the Public Service Club. The Club began as a men’s club named “Employees Social and Athletic Association.” The year began with a Stag Party chaired by E. A. Longgood. Boxing Bouts were offered and Charlie Chaplin Movies were shown.

1930 – First all-girls’ (women) Basketball Team was coached by Walt Hathaway. The Annual Dinner Meeting was held at Hammond High School.

1931 – The Club had an Educational Committee which sponsored trips to the Chicago District Electric Generating Corporation plant and through Gary Works of U.S. Steel.

1933 – Although the banks were closed, despite the dark days of the depression, the Club held a variety of functions. Prohibition came to an end. The Men’s Golf League got started.

1934 – The Club held two Beach Parties, Movies, Dances and Card Parties. Dean Mitchell played short-stop on our Baseball League.

1935 – Girls’ activities got moving with new activities such as a Knitting Club, Dramatics and Monthly Luncheons.

1937 – Westinghouse put on a demonstration for the Club entitled “Adventures in Electricity.” The Annual Dinner was so large the overflow crowd was divided into two dinners held at Phil Schmidt’s and Lundgren’s. Both groups met for entertainment which featured the Dancing Darlings and the Sales Department Thespians.

1938 – Dean H. Mitchell was elected to the Presidency after the death of John Shannahan.

1939 – The ten-year Anniversary Dinner was held at the Masonic Temple in Hammond, Indiana.

1940 – On October 16, men began registering for the draft.

1941 – Several new outings were organized including a Wrestling Match and a Moonlight Cruise on Lake Michigan. NIPSCO was victorious in a “Battle of the Brains” over W.J.O.B. radio. Their competition was the telephone company.

1943 – A Hard Times Party was held at which John Powell won a black kitten.

1945 – Dates to remember:
April 12 was the death of F. D. Roosevelt, President of the U.S.
May 8 marked V.E. Day
August 14 marked V. J. Day

1946 – Lifetime membership in the Club was extended to the annuitants in the Calumet Division.

1947 – Mr. Mitchell dedicated a plaque in honor of the eleven former employees of NIPSCO who lost their lives during World War II and paid tribute to the 496 who served in the Armed Forces. NIPSCO’s basketball team defeated the American Steel team and won the Industrial League Basketball Championship.

1948 – The 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting was held at the Shoreland Hotel.

1950 – Herb Plowman, C. R. Johnson and Bill Schank did a masterful job of revising and modernizing the Constitution and By-Laws of the Club.

1951 – Hammond was 100 years old in 1951. We were all proud to have had a part in the Hammond Centennial.

1952 – Some of the events were the Shrine Circus, an exciting night game of the “Go-Go” White Sox and a Spring Dinner Dance held at Marquette Park with Bud Pressner’s Orchestra.

1955 – With Halloween as its theme, the 1955 Annual Meeting was held at the LaSalle Hotel.

1958 – The Harlem Globetrotters and the Stateville Prison Tour were some of the well attended activities put on by Joe Pelletier and his committees.

1959 – Mary Bubalo presented another fine year of activities for members. Such as the Ice Follies, a Photography Course, Travelogues, an Ice Skating Party, a Fishing Clinic and Theater Parties.

1964 – Aloha Kakou (“Greetings to All”) to the members attending the Annual Meeting at the Dorchester Club in Dolton, Illinois.

1966 – The activities included this year were Harness Racing, a Drury Lane Theatre Party, Ice Capades, a Christmas Party and the Hamburger-Corn Bust–being the most popular. The Annual Meeting had a Carnival theme this year.

1967 – The Club celebrated its 40th Anniversary with Steve Yuritic as acting president. The incoming president was Darrell Doris. During a short business meeting, Mr. Mitchell promised continued Company support of the Club.

1969 – An Oriental tribute was given to the officers of 1969 at the Annual Dinner Meeting which was held at Vogel’s Restaurant.

1970 – Denny Laszlo, entertainment chairman, did a swell job. This year’s highlights were the Singing Hoosiers, “Funny Girl,” Enchanted Forest, a tour of the Bailly Generating Station, a Pro-football and Basketball Game.

1972 – Bill Irby went all out with entertainment at the Annual Meeting, which featured “Dahlene, the Exotic Belly Dancer.”

1974 – The Club expanded to add Group 9: Teibel’s Plaza.

1976 – The Annual Dinner Meeting was held at Wicker Park Social Center with the theme of “Happy Birthday America” as our nation celebrated its 200th birthday!

1977 – Our 50th year was full of golden memories for many members. The Club grew from a scant membership of 200 to well over 1,000 members, from a few activities, to a record year of 39 activities, and from a “Men’s Only” to an “All Employee” organization. This 50th Anniversary Meeting was held at Condesa del Mar, Alsip, Illinois, with over 600 members in attendance. The meeting, honoring our past presidents, began with a “Parade of Presidents” and a talk from our first president, and one of the founding fathers of the Club, John H. Clark.

1978 to 2000 – During these years many changes took place among corporations and the nation. The Children’s Christmas Party and Annual Dinner still live on along with Men’s Nights, Women’s Dinners, Bingos and Shopping Sprees, Men’s Golf Outings and Leagues. The club now has fun with co-workers and families at the Deep River Water Park instead of Corn Busts at Sauzer’s Kiddie Land and Wicker Park. The Annual Dinners have been moved to various places such as the Radisson Hotel, Wicker Park Social Center, Villa de Bruno and other banquet halls and restaurants. Our original sponsor company, NIPSCO, is now a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. Employees continue to socialize with each other, and their families.

2001 – Marked the 75th “Diamond” Anniversary of the Public Service Club. The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, led to the bankruptcy of many individuals and companies. People lost their jobs and the membership of the Public Service Club stumbled. The Annual Dinner was held at Villa Cesare in Schererville, with various raffle prizes including a Diamond Pendant.

2003 – Annual events such as the Men’s Nights, Women’s Dinner continued. The Children’s Christmas Party moved to the Southlake Complex and helped to put everyone in a Christmas Spirit. The Annual Dinner was held at White Hawk Country Club in Crown Point.

2004 – The Public Service Club of Hammond changes their name to The Public Service Club of Northwest Indiana (PSC-NWI) to reflect the changes of its membership.

2005 – Due to the summer heat wave, the Deep River Water Park outing had its largest attendance ever. Added events this year included Moonlight Bowling, Medieval Times and a Chicago Ghost Tour. Due to the partnership with IBM, NIPSCO President Mark Maassel agreed to the company’s sponsorship of IBM employees. The club’s Constitution was amended, which made Indiana based IBM employees eligible for membership.

2006 – The 80th Annual Meeting and Dinner was held at The Avalon Manor. The regular annual events held during the year included the Smelt Fry, Theatre Events, Men’s Nights, Women’s Dinner, Women’s Bingo, Men’s Golf League and Outings, Sports Outings, Children’s Hayride and Children’s Christmas Party.

2007 – The year’s events included the regular annual events along with the revival of some old event in addition to some new events. These included Medieval Times Outing, Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, Michigan Winery Tour, Fair Oaks Dairy Farm, and Balmoral Racepark Outing. The Annual Dinner was held at The Avalon Manor with the Musicmen once again providing DJ and karaoke services. Some of our members should be contestants on Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

2008 – Some new events were added this year. These included Mystic Blue dinner cruise, Breakfast with the Bunny, Women’s Bunco and Jump Central. The Michigan Winery Tour was back and such a great hit we had to order a second bus, and Balmoral Racepark Outing was another popular event. The Annual Dinner “Dancing With the Stars” was held at Tiebel’s with The Relics once again providing music for dancing. ESIS employees were allowed to become Active Members.

2009 – Six Flags Great America, and Six Flags Great America Fright Fest, were added to this year’s group of annual events. The Deep River Water Park Outing set a record for the most people in attendance ever for this event! The Annual Dinner “A Night to Remember” was held at The Halls of St. George with Takabyte providing the dance music.