News And Events

News And Events

December Auction

As we prepare for a larger silent auction with more space available, we ask you to consider donating some of your Christmas decorations that you are no longer using but might be a "treasure" to someone else.

Remember, all monies raised by the auction support ESU scholarships. Make arrangements with Fred Kleinschmidt to deliver your gently used decorations. Or if you are on the Eastside, contact Sandra Boyd who will be happy to accept them.

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Our President Needs Your Address and Phone Updates—Now!

Please send any address, phone or email changes immediately to Bill Maschmeier so that the next Membership Directory will be up to date. This is quite a task so let's make it as easy as possible for Bill. We all enjoy having a current roster.

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The Shakespeare Committee...

would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the committee for all of the hard work they put in this year.

This year's winners were:
First place: Phoebe Wall, The Overlake School
Second place: Jessica Zarkos, Skyline High School
Third place: Sophie Kelly-Hedrick, Mercer Island High School

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Ride Share Referral Service

The January reception at Eli's proved to be a successful experiment in holding a mid-day event, and this will probably be repeated next year; the change of time during our darkest months may even be extended to November and February to accommodate those disinclined to drive at night.

Now that we have returned for this year to our evening reception schedule, the Branch would still like to encourage all members (and their guests) to attend our monthly receptions whenever possible, as these are the principal venues for getting to know each other and supporting our general operations. To that end the Board is setting up a Ride Share Referral Service, to be generously coordinated by former Board President, Jerry Rockhold. Jerry has agreed to be a point of contact for those who either need a ride to a specific reception or are willing to provide one.

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ESU Scholars Introduced at February Reception

The February reception at the Maschmeier-Haggerty penthouse included an opportunity to meet two of the 2017¬2018 UW English Department's ESU scholarship winners, Kaelie Giffel and Caitlin Postal. Kaelie and Caitlin were able to chat with many Seattle branch members, including Dr. Marina Tarlinskaya, with whom at least one of them shares scholarly interests. A happy consequence of one of these conversations is we are now aware that new member, Brian Alkire, has an interest in both Chaucer and Shakespeare. Caitlin is currently mentored by Sarah Faulkner, whose successful Jane Austen Festival was aided by a grant from the Seattle ESU. The scholarship winners look forward to attending the AGM dinner this June at the Museum of Flight. Thanks to board members Barbee Tucker-Pigott, Peter Phillips, and Alan Waggoner for underwriting their attendance at the reception. Our scholarship funds accomplish great things indeed!

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Region VIII Meeting in Seattle

Seattle welcomes Region VIII members for our annual Spring Conference, June 15—17, 2018, held in conjunction with the Seattle branch Annual General Meeting the evening of Saturday, June 16. The conference will be at the Ramada Inn, 15901 West Valley Highway, Tukwila, WA. Room rates (tentative) are $149 per night (+tax, includes breakfast and airport shuttle); be sure to ask for the ESU Conference rate.

Conference events include a hosted reception on Friday evening, meetings Saturday and Sunday (with lunch), and the Saturday banquet at the world famous Museum of Flight. All-day admission to the museum is included for conference attendees and anyone attending the banquet. Conference registration is $165; Seattle AGM on Saturday (banquet and museum admission only) is $70. Registration forms will appear in future newsletters. Contact Fred Kleinschmidt for further information at (206) 325-7237 or

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Auction Items are Needed...

Loveday reminds us that we need auction items for both the 2018 Summer Party and the December Holiday Ball. We rely on these auctions to fund our scholarship program. It was suggested that you might ask your favorite restaurant, personal care provider, or other favorite haunts if they would be willing to offer free services we could auction. Also wine baskets have sold well at other auctions. Start thinking now and contact Loveday or Fred if you have an item to donate.

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News from the Shakespeare Committee

The Seattle Branch Shakespeare Committee has been busy preparing for our upcoming competition on March 4, 2018, at the Frye Art Museum. The competition starts at 1:00 pm and, as usual, the museum is FREE to enter which can give you a double reason to come see our great batch of schools this year reciting and view what is on show at the museum.

We have 10 high schools competing this year for the opportunity to represent our branch at the National Competition in April. The schools range from the South in Olympia to the North in Oak Harbor and many schools in between.

Our committee works very hard every year to put on a great competition and as usual they have done a great job-again! Hope you can come and support the students! Thank you! —Susan Wilson, Chairperson

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Obituary - Stephen Saunders

News Photo

Longtime ESU and Britannia Club member Stephen Saunders died in January, just short of his 95th birthday. He will be missed for his good nature, charm and stunning hats, for which he won several garden party "Hat Contests".

He was born in Tynemouth, England, attended Gloucestershire Technical College for Design Engineering and during the Second World War was in the home guard and worked on warplanes. Following the war he worked on the Concorde at Gloster Aircraft Company for 23 years and at Dowty's for six years. After the war, he married the love of his life, Gay, the long-time voice of the ESU volunteer request call. They lived in Cheltenham, England and had two children. In 1968 they immigrated to work for the Boeing Company on the Super Sonic Transport. His work included designing for the 747 and 767 airplanes. Steve focused on his family, home, gardening, dancing, travelling and his involvement in the Britannia Club, ESU and church. He is survived by Gay, his children, and grandchildren.

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Liz Bagshaw died on December 6, 2017, just one week after being diagnosed with a severe illness. She is survived by four children: Margaret, Paul, Michelle, and Ann. Sympathy notes may be sent to a special email account setup for the purpose:

Liz was the kindest and the most sociable person many of us knew. That was one of the reasons she joined ESU, to meet people united by a worthy cause. She quickly made friends in the group, and became involved in many of the activities that keep the branch going. Liz was often the first person I that you saw upon coming through the door at special events and receptions, as she was frequently the receptionist and toll-taker. She was also active in the Seattle Opera Guild, in which she held the positions of V.P. of Nominating and Chair of the Bellini Preview Group.

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The English-Speaking Union

Seattle Branch

Seattle Branch Landmark Photo

Welcome to the ESU

The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.

To find out more about our programs click here.