Our History

On April 30, 1959 a meeting was called to discuss setting up the Southern California Branch of AALAS. Those attending were: Norman Bleicher, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); Lester S. Skinner, UCLA; Gus Breuer, UCLA; Clark Ward, Cedars of Lebanon; Niles Hoag, University of Southern California, (USC); Arline M. Herman, UCLA, Bennett J. Cohen, UCLA; Thelma J. Dean, West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center; Bob Constable, UCLA; and Sam Spillars, Mission Laboratory Supplies. On May 11, 1959, Norman Bleicher wrote to Robert J. Flynn, the Secretary of the Animal Care Panel, informing him of the effort to form a Branch. The first meeting of the proposed Branch was held June 23, 1959 at the University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles. Bennett J. Cohen addressed that meeting. ​
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Sidney Sobin, College of Medical Evangelists (CME), suggested that the group be organized as the Southern California Branch of the Animal Care Panel. Ralph D. Gann (California Clinical Animals) moved that the constitution be adopted as presented. Otto E. Lobstein (Chem-Tech Labs) moved that the Organizing Committee continue and have the authority to screen the members to have a better representation from the Southern California area. Otto E. Lobstein moved that the organizing dues be $1. At the next meeting on September 17, 1959, at the UCLA Medical Center the following officers were elected: president, Marietta Voge, UCLA; vice-president, Sidney S. Sobin, College of Medical Evangelists; secretary/treasurer, Norman Bleicher, UCLA; and national representative, Norman Bleicher, UCLA. The Branch was affiliated on September 17, 1959. On October 15, 1959 the president appointed the following members to the council: Sam D. Spillers, Lester S. Skinner, J. Knox Smith and Karl W. Hagen. Thelma J. Dean was appointed chairman of the Program Committee and member of the council. The first dues were $1 until January 1, 1960, when dues were raised to $3 for members and $1.50 for associate members. The membership list on April 8, 1960 listed 51 members. Twenty five were members of the Animal Care Panel.