In honor of Rotary’s anniversary, Dave Colton wished everyone a happy World Understanding and Peace Day. He also brought a cake for the occasion, and went on to share some Rotary Facts:
1905: Paul Harris and three other gentlemen started Rotary in Chicago. Its name is derived from the fact that the meetings rotated between four locations. Paul Harris’ wife, Jean, may have been the “real founder” of Rotary as her diary notes that “Paul and his friends need to find other places to drink and smoke cigars.”
1908: The second club was formed in San Francisco.
1910: The first international club was started in Winnipeg, Canada.
1914: The first Rotary Convention took place in Houston.
1918: The Rotary Foundation was started after $26.50 was left over after a Convention.
1921: Rotary is now in six continents and the name Rotary International was adopted.
The first Rotary float in the Rose Bowl Parade took place in 1923 and has been a constant since 1980. Admiral Perry took a Rotary flag to the South Pole in 1922.
Worldwide there are 1.4 million Rotarians in 33,000 clubs, which fall into 535 Districts. Our District 6400 has 52 clubs. When Jennifer Jones becomes RI President in 2022-23, she will be the third one from our District – Dick Hedke (Detroit) in 1946-47 and Hugh Archer (Dearborn) in 1988-89. One RI negative: women were not allowed to become members until 1989. It required the Supreme Court to step in to make this happen.
Dave is a huge fan of the youth exchange program, with he and Kim having hosted six students. The first exchange took place in 1927 and became an official program in 1972. The hope is for the exchanges to start back up in the next couple of years.