The Past is the Present, As Pasadena Museum of History Fetes Contemporary History Makers

Published : Friday, November 8, 2019 | 6:21 AM

Pictured, left to right: Helen Baatz, Larry Jones, Mireya Jones, and Jack Scott. Photo by Aaron Gil.

The Pasadena History Museum will name six people to the roster of Contemporary History Makers at a Black Tie Gala Dinner at The California Club in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Helen Baatz, her late husband John Baatz, Mireya and Larry Jones, and Jack and Lacreta Scott will be honored for their commitment to Pasadena for civic service, dedication to supporting the arts, music, and education and involvement in the field of medicine.

After all these years, the role of history in society has not been lost, said Jeanette O’Malley, executive director of the Pasadena Museum of History. The team behind the museum honors those who help communicate the importance of the past on today.

“The knowledge of our past, whether it is what happened yesterday, a year ago, or in past centuries, provides the basis for how we move forward in each and every aspect of our present-day lives,” O’Malley said. “It is thrilling for PMH to shine a spotlight each year on ‘Contemporary History Makers,’ some of the remarkable individuals who are shaping today’s history through their superlative endeavors in the community.”

All museums play an important role in chronicling what came before. However, today there are different technologies at play in how that history is relayed.

“The history museum provides the background knowledge to understand how and when different societies developed and utilized technological advancements through the ages,” O’Malley said. “Importantly, it will continue to document, study, and assess future technological developments.”

As technology continues to evolve so do research and the means by which history is relayed.

“Today the museum benefits from the ability to share information electronically on all aspects of our programs, exhibitions, and research,” she said. “It is reaching a large and diverse audience that will continue to grow.”

Is it still true, as they say, that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it?”

“Absolutely,” O’Malley said. “We learn from our own experiences and those of others. If we lose that memory, we lose the ability to make knowledgeable decisions.”

The Pasadena Museum of History has enjoyed a strong year with educational exhibitions and works. O’Malley said her team is making plans for the years to come.

“Each day Pasadena Museum of History’s staff and research volunteers discover new and fascinating details about our region’s extraordinary past that we vigilantly document, preserve, and share with the public,” she said. “Likewise, each day a new legacy is forged in all sectors of the City’s ongoing narrative.”

Saturday’s Contemporary History Makers Gala begins at 6:30 pm with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Fine dining and the program portion of the evening starts at 7:30 pm. Carol and Bill Thomson are the event chairs.

For additional event details and information about the Contemporary History Makers, please visit the Gala page of the website.

Tickets start at $400; sponsorship opportunities are available. To request an invitation, please call 626.577.1660, ext. 26 or email

2019 Contemporary History Makers Gala will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. For more information call: (626) 577-1660.

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