The Theosophical Society in America

President's Diary

January - February 2006

Betty Bland

Quite a few changes in personnel arrived with the New Year. First of all, December 31, 2005 was the retirement date set by Elisabeth Trumpler, our head librarian of thirteen years. She dedicated her years here to heightening the professional level of our library and establishing an automated system which is nearing full implementation.







Elisabeth has been a staunch community member, always willing to lend a hand, particularly to her two pet projects of tending the entry garden and filling in on cooking duties when needed. Her departure will leave an empty place, but she assures us that she will be available for consultation with libraries around the country as well as at Olcott—after she gets settled and catches up from the long hours she has spent in preparing for this move.

Elisabeth Trumpler

Marina MaestasNew head librarian, Marina Maestas, coordinated a staff party for Elisabeth, where Elisabeth’s unusual turtle collection (which includes tiny turtles made of pebbles to larger blown glass models) was displayed. Hiding among the balloon decorations were several green turtle balloons fashioned by library assistant, Gary Belgarde. Everyone wished Elisabeth well and signed a page in her memory book.





At the same time, Donna Wimberley decided to retire from full-time work as secretary to the president. She is now working part-time and thoroughly enjoying her more leisurely lifestyle. Since she is here two days a week, she stays in touch with staff and activities at Olcott, but I tremendously miss her efficient management of day to day affairs.

Donna Wimberley

Eileen SetoJeff Gresko took over the management of National Lodge records and mailings from Eileen Seto, who has decided to leave us this summer, in order to return to school full time. She plans to become an acupuncturist and natural healer. During her three years here, Eileen has been invaluable in sharing her many talents from computer technology to artistic sensitivity.




Jeff, a stalwart staff member of over twenty years, continues in his many essential roles preparing meals, managing housekeeping and dining, coordinating guests and travel, and being our all around “Fellow Friday.”

Jeff Gresko



Janet Kerschner and Glenda GingrasContinuing with staff news, I also welcome Janet Kerschner to work with Glenda Gingras in our Archives. Having recently received her Master’s degree in Library Science with concentration in archival administration, Janet, a former systems analyst, has joined us especially to work with the new Kunz Collection recently donated by David Kunz and family. This large project has the potential of bringing to light heretofore hidden treasures of our Theosophical history. The progress of this project will be noted in occasional updates.



Quest Book Shop signWith the arrival of milder than usual January weather, we were able to install the new Quest Book Shop sign as an extension of the Mills Building renovation project. Tom Ockerse designed this eye-catcher which we hope will contribute to an improved image and more business for our thriving bookstore.



Speaking of eye-catchers, Chris Bolger, our 6’6” gentle giant who works in the Audio/Visual Department with Steve Schweizer, won a lead role in the local production of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. With his usually-fair hair dyed black, Chris portrayed “Chief Bromden” with aplomb. When the Board was here in early February, we all trouped over to see this excellent production and to add our bravos to the well-deserved applause.

Chris Bolger

Glenda Gingras and Diana CabigtingDiana Cabigting, who works on the grounds and in the kitchen, seems to have assumed the role of social director for our staff lunches. On a fairly regular basis, she transforms our dining room into anything from a cabaret to a banquet hall. The Adyar Day theme for February enabled her to showcase a variety of historic photos, as well as display many of the items she had purchased while at Adyar this past December.

Diana, along with Glenda, spent an afternoon sorting through the archival photographs choosing formal and candid pictures of our international presidents—past and present, making for an informative and interesting photographic timeline. Theosophists traditionally contribute to the upkeep of our international headquarters on the anniversary date of Henry S. Olcott’s passing, February 17; however contributions designated for Adyar may be sent to your national center any day of the year.