"Grand Old Party" will throw a grand party tonight, toasting distinction of being the oldest, continuously active, volunteer Republican club in the United States
Published : Thursday, March 21, 2019 | 4:54 AM
The Pasadena Republican Club will celebrate its 135th annual dinner on Thursday night with a presentation by Dirk W. van der Vaart, a top national security expert.
In his presentation called “A unique perspective on current U.S. National Security Issues,” van der Vaart is expected to discuss technology and its use in defense and homeland security.
“This year we celebrate the 135th anniversary of the Pasadena Republican Club, a tremendous achievement by and for the Pasadena community,” Andrew Yeghnazar, a Club board member. “The PRC is committed to see that our citizens explore and engage in all that our city has to offer. We are a city with a rich heritage and national prominence. And as the oldest continuously running club of our kind in the country, we want our little conservative group at the PRC to be an example to others.”
At 135 years old, the Pasadena Republican Club is believed to be the oldest, continuously active, volunteer Republican club in the United States.
Ben E. Ward, who served as secretary in the club’s early days, published Pasadena’s first newspaper, The Chronicle. Colonel Jabaz Banbury, one of the original stockholders of the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association that purchased and settled Pasadena, served as the president of the club in the beginning.
The GOP outlet will present a defense expert at the special dinner.
“Our keynote speaker will be addressing the topic of cyber security as this year’s topic,” Yeghnazar said. “It is an area that is and will continue to affect each and every one of us and our institutions. While we have many topics of great importance this is one that all Americans and freedom-loving people should be united on.”
Dirk W. van der Vaart’s coming of age politically occurred during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the Club said.
After studying journalism and political science at University, van der Vaart enlisted in the US Coast Guard and had a frontline view of the burgeoning war on drugs and illegal immigration.
His path would eventually lead him to be recruited by the CIA where he went on to serve in one of the nation’s most elite and secretive paramilitary operations units.
After a decade in the clandestine service, van der Vaart made the transition to civilian work in the Defense sector. He formed and led companies in the US, Israel, Iraq, and Afghanistan, spanning the gamut of security services and products.
Today he leads a globally recognized firm specializing in the cybersecurity of physical and industrial control systems.
“This truly “American Son” brings a uniquely inspired and informed perspective on US National Security issues and what it means to be an American in the world today,” the evening’s program says.
The Pasadena Republican Club’s 135th annual dinner takes place Thursday Thursday, March 21 at the Altadena Town & Country Club, 2290 Country Club Drive, Altadena, Calif., the Reception is at 6 p.m. and dinner and program is at 6:45 p.m