A Brief History

“Organised to promote, renew, and continue the friendships and fellowships of System employees of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation; to perpetuate the traditions and memories of these associations; and to encourage such meritorious objectives as are consistent with the foregoing, in order that the spirit of fellowship and good will may be developed to the highest possible degree.”

These were the aims set by ITT when founding the Quarter Century Club in 1953.

The Hernand Behn Chapter was organised on March 19th. 1953, as the first chapter in the ITT Quarter Century Club. Member companies of the Chapter were the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, International Standard Electric Corporation, International Standard Trading Corporation, International Telephone Building Corporation and Federal Telecommunication Laboratories.

The first Chapter to be organized in (December 1953) in Great Britain was the Henry Mark Pease Chapter for employees of Creed and Company. Other Great Britain Chapters became the Sir Thomas Spencer Chapter for the North Woolwich and Harlow plants, the Sir Frank Gill Chapter for Connaught House, Standard Telecommunication Laboratories Limited (STL), Kolster-Brandes and STC’s Industrial Supplies Division, the William T Gibson Chapter for Newport, Treforest and Ilminster and the Bertram B Grace Chapter for New Southgate and Boreham Wood. There was also a British Chapter for The Commercial Cable Company and the Cableships “John W. Mackay” and “Marie Louise Mackay”.

The first meeting of the Sir Frank Gill Chapter took place on 30th. December 1955 in the Connaught Rooms in London. The President was A. McVie.

In November 1963 club history was made at the Sir Frank Gill chapter dinner held at the Connaught Rooms in London when the first father and son combination attended. The father was A. E. (Bert) Povey, a pensioner from STL, where his son, A. E. Povey Jnr., was still working at the time. This dinner turned out to be the last for the Sir Frank Gill chapter.

In January 1964 numbers of members had risen to the extent that the Quarter Century Club was reorganized into eight Chapters, most now bearing location names and losing the references to the “Patron Saints”. The Harlow Chapter covered employees of all the Harlow components plants, site services departments and STL.

The first meeting of the Harlow Chapter took place on 16th. October 1964 in the Stone Cross Hall in Harlow. The President was E. S. (Ted) Wright.

In 1986 the Harlow Chapter split up into STL and Components Chapters. This was at the height of STC’s troubles and the split enabled costs to be reduced by holding the gatherings “in-house”.

The STL Chapter’s first dinner was held in December 1986 in the Restaurant at the Harlow Labs. It coincided with the retirement of Arthur Brown from the role of President.

On 23rd. November 1987 Brian Edwards presided over his first dinner which was held in the newly re-modeled Pavilion Restaurant.

In 1990 the Company withdrew direct financial support for the dinners whilst continuing to support them generously with accommodation and back-up facilities. The members now fund the dinners themselves and they are provided by an enthusiastic band of volunteers.

In 1994 the Headquarters Chapter was disbanded and the members of that chapter were able to choose to transfer to another chapter with which they had association in the past, some chose the STL Chapter.

The STL Chapter still meets every November at the Labs, now Nortel, in London Road, Harlow.


Sir Frank Gill Chapter
1954 – 1958 A. McVie
1958 – 1964 T. R. Scott

Harlow Chapter
1964 – 1968 E. S. Wright
1969 – 1980 G. L. Easteal
1980 – 1986 A. S. Brown

STL Chapter
1986 A. S. Brown
1987 – date B. A. Edwards

This history kindly contributed by Brian Prosser and Vi Maile.

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