Washington Women's History Consortium
Women's Clubs and Organizations
Maxine Thomas, President, 1941-1943
Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs
Mrs. Bertram Thomas (Maxine Miles) was the twenty-fifth President of the WSFWC. Before her marriage, she taught in the public
schools of Tacoma and Montana.
Her three children attended the University of Washington.
In her club life, Mrs. Thomas served as President of the Woman's Club of Tacoma, a member of Arequipa Club and President of the
Tacoma Presidents' Council. In the State Federation she served five years as Credentials Chairman and as Chairman of Legislation.
Elected at Seattle in 1941, the breaking out of World War II determined the direction club activities must take during her term.
The Mid-year Board meeting was in Ellensburg where National Defense was made a department of the State Federation, with
divisions to cover all phases of our war work.
The purchase and selling defense bonds and war savings stamps were stressed.
The convention in 1942 was scheduled for Pullman. Many of the arrangements were made when the campus and college were
turned over to the military branches of our government to use.
With great reluctance, the Pullman clubwomen had to withdraw their invitation, but Spokane came forward to entertain the
convention at the Davenport Hotel. At this convention, a change was made for the State Federation President to also serve
as General Federation Director during her term as President. To accomplish this change, Mrs. Kulzer, Director at that time,
voluntarily gave up one year of her term. Mrs. Ludwigs already elected Director for two years, gave up one year, and Mrs.
Thomas could be elected for only a one-year term, thus taking up the former three-year interval between election as President
and taking office as General Federation Director.
In the war effort, a nursing scholarship fund was set up to provide grants to girls unable to finance themselves in a
nursing course so desperately needed nurses might increase in number more rapidly. Soon the need of influencing girls to
take up nursing became an objective of clubs as the needs grew so much more rapidly than the supply.
In Consumer problems, Victory Gardens were stressed.
The Mid-year Board meeting was streamlined. It was in the Seattle Federation Club House, with the Seattle Century Club
assisting the Seattle City Federation in entertaining. Plans for further war work were the chief features of the meeting.
Because of growing transportation and housing difficulties, the government discouraged all conventions and the GFWC convention
was cancelled. The State Federation felt it necessary to meet to hold elections. A two-day war-time convention was in Seattle
at the New Washington Hotel.
A subject stressed was the "Keep Washington Green" movement.
In the state, Mrs. Thomas was appointed the only woman on the State Advisory Committee of the American Red Cross.
In legislation, clubwomen helped in work for a better adoption law, which passed. A bill to license maternity homes also