The Progress Club met on April 4, at the home of Sharon Jones. Co-hostesses were Maxie Hinkson and Sharon Jones (substituting for Jackie Curtis). Treasurer Darlene Mathers reported a donation of $100 to the Great Bend Community Foundation for the Prairie Godmothers Funds. A letter from the Foundation thanking Progress Club for the donation was read.
Pat Klusener announced the nominating committee’s slate of officers for 2016-17: President, Judy Fox; Vice-president, Judy Turner; Secretary, Jeanne Gotsche; and Treasurer, Darlene Mathers. Jeanne Gotsche presented final plans for the May 2, at 11:30 a.m. at the Classic Inn for lunch and then to the West Fire Station by 1:30 p.m. for a tour.
Pat Halbower presented the program, “The Story of Language.” The term pre-historic refers to the time before written language. According to Berlitz, there are 2,800 languages in the world. Esperanto was an attempt to combine all European languages into one common language, but it did not work. China was always separate from other countries until Marco Polo traveled there, so the Chinese language developed differently. Some languages that were once very important, such as Latin, are now dead. Aramaic, the language of Jesus, will be dead by 2030 as the few people who still speak it pass away. Recorded history began 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) when a form of writing, called Cuneiform, was developed. It consisted of marks pressed into clay tablets. The Sumerians started schools and had laws. People began traveling more, as recorded in the Legend of Gilgamesh and the travels of Homer’s Odysseus. In Egypt, hieroglyphics, picture writing, was mainly for the priests. The Phoenicians developed an alphabet by making symbols for sounds. Discovery of the Rosetta Stone by Napoleon’s soldiers, containing text in three languages (dating back to 196 B.C.), allowed scholars to translate hieroglyphics. The universal language used to be French, but today it is English.