ROTARIAN OF THE WEEK
Editor’s Note: Rotarian of the Week is a weekly column that highlights RCSM members who are new, have been with us for a while or are past members who have made a big impact on the club and the community.
Archie Morrison – Club Member 1950-1998 District Governor 1988-1989
I Remember Archie – edited from a eulogy by Herb Roney – Reprinted from RotaMonica 1/30/98
I have had the great fortune of knowing Archie Morrison for almost forty years. As President, Governor, Doctor, Professor, Teacher or Golfer – to most of us he was simply Archie. Archie loved activities, events and celebrations – but most of all he loved people!
Those who knew him marveled at his love of his Scottish heritage, his great sense of humor, his energy and his ability to relate to others. While born in Hawaii, Archie declared Santa Monica his city of choice, which he loved with all his heart and soul. In asking Archie why he belonged to so many community organizations, he always gave the same answer: the community had given his so much and he wanted to give something back.
Archie didn’t just join an organization, he immersed himself in its challenges. In 1950 Archie joined the Rotary Club of Santa Monica and for years maintained perfect attendance. He held almost every office in our club and in 1982 was elected President. His outstanding work as club president made him the obvious choice for 1988-89 District Governor. Archie Morrison loved Rotary and lived its motto of Service above Self.
Archie’s greatest war story revealed how he almost failed to return from the conflict. While on a returning troop ship Archie in playful jest, stacked a deck of cards with everyone having an incredible winning hand. When he admitted his deed, he truly feared they were going to throw him overboard to the sharks.
With three university degrees including his doctoral from UCLA, Archie was a committed Bruin fan. As long as I can remember he had season tickets for every Bruin basketball or football season. Even on the gold course he would wear the blue and gold of UCLA and a Burin hat.
Archie loved golf and organized an eventful weekly game which we played abiding by two rules:
RULE ONE: Play the game according to Archie’s rules. Any questions? Always refer to rule one.
RULE TWO: Archie always keeps the score. Any questions? Always refer to rule one.
The winner of our gold match won a quarter and Archie would do anything to win that qurter. It was of little matter that he always seemed to win the match, for you see I always won the pleasure of his company.
If his wife Phyllis was playing at a nearby green he had everyone stop, wave, call her name and disrupt half the links. Golf days were always fun because Archie filled them with compassion, warmth and a grand sense of humor.
The Santa Monica College track is named after Archie M. Morrison, for it was his tireless energy that secured the funds for its construction and made it a venue for the 1984 Olympics. The brass plaque at the base of the flagpole is a fitting tribute to Archie’s leadership and reads in part:
“The Archie M. Morrison Track: dedicated to the commitment and contribution and faith of students, faculty, alumni and general community of Santa Monica College”