The Joseph A. Caulder Collection
Past Rotary International Director 1928-29   -  Regina, Sask., Canada

"Eyewitness to Rotary International's First 50 Years"


JOSEPH A. CAULDER - An eyewitness to Rotary International's first 50 years.


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The Rotarian of April 1955.

As written by Past International President Almon E. Roth of San Francisco Al Roth was President of Rotary International 1930-31.

After the first twenty sprouting years, the organization got growing pains. It hopped the frontiers of 44 lands; it learned to write letters in 12 languages. The first International Convention had been held in non-English speaking countries.

We will recall that the first Rotary Club was founded in Chicago in 1905; the second in San Francisco in late 1908. During the next seven years Rotary expanded to 186 Clubs located in six English speaking countries. By the end of the second decade Rotary had encircled the globe with a total of more than 2,000 Clubs and with a membership of 107,000 members scattered throughout more than 30 nations. During the second decade Rotary’s growth in the number of Clubs and in total membership exceeded that of any other ten year period.

By 1926 Rotary had proven that it could live and prosper in countries using many languages; worshipping in many religions; and living under many forms of government. As a matter of fact, at the end of the first 20 years Rotary had become, in 30 countries, a common denominator in human relations.

In this third decade, about which we are now writing, the Rotary movement grew to

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a total of 4,000 Clubs in 89 countries or geographical areas. The remarkable thing was that all this came about through voluntary efforts of its members and not by the efforts of paid organizers

Rotary had missionaries around the world and some Honorary General Commissioners. In 1921 two prominent Canadians made the long voyage to Australia and New Zealand to establish the first Rotary Clubs in these countries. These men were James W. Davidson of Calgary, Alberta and J. L. Ralston of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jim Davidson was an ardent Rotarian. Before coming to Calgary he had served the United States as Ambassador to Formosa; also had served in the Far East as a newspaper correspondent; and had made the long voyage to the North Pole with Admiral Peary. J. Layton Ralston later made a name for himself in war and in peace. In World War I hr was a Colonel. During World War II he was Minister of National Defence for Canada. These two men did a great job in Australia and New Zealand.

In 1928 appealed to Jim Davidson once more. This time to make a trip around the world. This was in answer to applications from any countries for the establishment of Rotary Clubs. This led to the Board asking Jim Davidson to make a long and what proved to be a very expensive trip for him, but a marvelous trip for Rotary International. He was accorded the title of Honorary General Commissioner and commenced his trip in October 1928. His

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first stop was at Athens, Greece, where he did a remarkable job. Then Turkey; Egypt; Palestine; India; Ceylon; Burma; Malay States; Java; Thailand; and Hong Kong. Jim returned home to Calgary, Alberta in 1931. He failed in his attempt to form a Rotary Club in Turkey but the seed he sowed there bore fruit later on. The story of his organization of Clubs in Athens, Jerusalem and Cairo make very interesting reading. Rotary International did not have much in the way of surplus funds at that time and Jim Davidson spent a fortune of his own on this three year trip. His very brilliant wife Lillian and his daughter accompanied him on the trip.

The tremendous growth of Rotary in so many countries caused many growing pains. Very wise direction was needed in order to steer clear of the troubles that could have occurred, and did occur, in some countries and much credit goes to the men who directed Rotary through this period.

Rotary ran into some language problems. Slogans and phrases used commonly in Rotary in America could not be translated into certain languages without distorting them. As a matter of fact, it was quite difficult for a Rotarian in Edinburgh, Scotland to understand the Rotarian from Oklahoma, U.S.A.!! By the end of the third decade Rotary literature was being translated into more than a dozen different languages. As this is written in 1955, Rotary literature is being translated into at least 30 languages.

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The vast majority of Rotary Clubs throughout the world have adopted a standard Constitution. Often it was extremely difficult to translate the Constitution as written in Chicago into another language, then to have it re-translated back to English without changing the meaning. Our motto first mentioned at the Portland Convention in 1911, adopted officially at Detroit in 1950, namely; "He Profits Most Who Serves Best", was translated into another language and then re-translated back into English, and read not "He Profits Most Who Serves Best", but "He Gets It Best Who Gets It First".

Special translation committees were set up in the various countries. This was first authorized in 1926. From then on fewer troubles were experienced.

In 1930-31 some complaints were coming from Europe that the United States was trying to Anglicize the world by the distribution of its literature in the English language. Immediately steps were taken to correct this situation.

At the 1931 convention held in Vienna it was determined that the official languages at the Rotary Convention held be English and French, plus the language of the country in which the convention was being held. This meant in Vienna the official language were English, French and German. In Havana and Mexico City they were English, French and Spanish.

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In the year 1932-33 Revista Rotaria, the Spanish language edition of The Rotarian, was inaugurated and was warmly welcomed by Spanish and Portuguese speaking Rotarians.

At the International Assembly held in Victoria, B.C. in 1932 the multi-lingual method of translations of speeches over earphones simultaneously with their delivery was, for the first time, employed with great success. Since that time this method of conducting International gatherings has been adopted by many organizations, including The United Nations.

From time to time there was a demand for a universal language. Much thought was given to Esperanto. At the Chicago convention in 1930 this was an important subject of discussion. At the 1931 convention held in Vienna a resolution was passed to the effect that Rotary International study this question of a universal language. At the 1932 convention held in Seattle the Secretary of Rotary International reported that a careful study had been made and that in the opinion of the Board of R.I. this project should not be undertaken.

It should be recorded here that when Honorary Commissioner Jim Davidson was on his three year trip around the world accompanied by his wife Lillian, this very talented lady wrote a book entitled "Making Friends in Rotary". It was beautifully done and any Rotarian today who has a copy is fortunate.

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At times there were some difficulties with' religious groups but again by careful handling this has been overcome and today Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Mohammedan and many other faiths, have mingled freely at Rotary meetings and engaged jointly in the activities of their individual clubs. On one or two occasions it appeared as though there might be real difficulty from opposition expressed by' official organs of the Roman Catholic Church and for a time this caused very deep concern. The International President in the year 1928-29, himself a Catholic, went to Rome and conferred with high authorities of the Church. As is usually the case, when men get together and discuss differences of opinion, these differences are removed in whole, or in part.

During the year 1930-31 when the convention of Rotary International was to be held in Europe, and when it was noted that a prominent Anglican clergyman from Leeds, England was to be one of the main speakers, there were objections from countries where the R. C. religion was predominant. Rotary International at once asked the Roman Catholic Church to send an outstanding Roman Catholic priest to appear on the programme. The Church accepted this challenge and the R.C. priest delivered a most entertaining talk on "The Use of Esperanto" as an auxiliary language and so by the use of good common sense and Rotarian principles, one by one, these difficulties have been overcome,

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The International Convention was held in Mexico City in 1935. Again there was some objection but discussions were held and the convention went ahead as planned and was very successful.

The ten Presidents of Rotary International during this third decade were: Donald A. Adams of New Haven, Conn; Harry H. Rogers of San Antonio, Texas; Arthur H. Sapp of Huntington, Ind; I. B. Sutton of Tampico, Mexico; M. Eugene Newsom of Durham, North Carolina; Almon E. Roth of Palo Alto, California; Sidney W. Pascall of London, England; Clinton P. Anderson of Albuquerque, New Mexico; John Nelson of Montreal, Quebec; Robert E. Lee Hill of Columbia, Missouri; and Ed. R. Johnson of Roanoke, Virginia.

Rotary' s growing pains again appeared and from some countries claims were received that Rotary was being built and operated with the idea of foisting the customs of North Americans on other countries. It was pointed out that Club singing was not common practice in most countries, but from the International office and in The Rotarian magazine, it was pointed out that Rotary is adapted throughout the world and not adopted. This was just another illustration of how successfully these objections were met and overcome. Just prior to the Vienna convention, however, objections came from that country that surely serious minded Rotarians should not be singing "I'm a Little Prairie Flower Growing Wilder Every Hour". It was understandable

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that in a great music loving city like Vienna such simple cities would not seem appropriate for serious minded Rotarians. However, at the Vienna convention the songs written by Vienna writers were freely used, also the melodies by U.S. writer Stephen Foster, and everybody was happy.

At this Vienna convention men from many clubs around the world were in attendance. These individual members varied greatly in their culture and in their opinion of what was proper. Soon, however, these different members from all over the world representing different creeds, and nationalities, and so on, were all enjoying the fellowship of a great convention.

At Beirut in Syria (now Lebanon) the Club is naturally largely French and its President is French. It also includes Danes, Americans, Canadians and other nationalities. At Haifa in Israel the President is an eminent Italian surgeon. At Jerusalem the President is an Arabic Christian. At Port Said he is an Egyptian Pasha, and at Cairo the club is ably led by His Excellency Mohammed Shahine, another Egyptian Pasha and the personal physician to the King. The Cairo Club has 18 nationalities. The small club of Tangier in Morocco with less than 30 members, has l0 nationalities. The President of the Vienna Club is a Jew.

By the end of the second decade of Rotary’s history the very troublesome task of integrating, the administration of the Rotary

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movement in G. B. and I. with the administration of Rotary throughout the other countries of the Rotary family had been accomplished. At the 1922 convention at Los Angeles the new Constitution and By-Laws of Rotary International was adopted with the high hope of consolidating administrative matters. The schism which had at one stage threatened to divide the movement into at least two and potentially more parts, was, after long travail, dissipated and consolidated and unity secured for Rotary International.

Of course everything did not work out as smoothly from time to time as had been hoped for. There had been suggestions for some years that Rotary International should be decentralized and that there should be national units. It was the feeling of the best informed men in Rotary that this would be a disaster. The basic question involved was whether Rotary should continue as a worldwide organization with a central Board of International Directors and International Committees, or whether Rotary's administration should be decentralized into area units, with greater autonomy and less co-ordination from a central authority.

This is all past history now, and in this year of 1955 we hear very little discussion on this one-time much discussed subject. During all these discussions, of course, there were often sharp differences of opinion but they were always discussed with the utmost frankness and in the spirit of good fellowship. In the end, of course,

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the decision was the continuance of the centralized system of administration with local autonomy in the individual clubs.

After the new Constitution had been written and the clubs of G. B. and I, brought into the Rotary family, and with the creation of Rotary districts in Europe and elsewhere, worldwide Rotary International was consolidated. Each year the District Governors from all the Rotary world, except G. B. and I. and in that case the District Chairmen, were brought to the annual international Assembly.

Since Rotary had started end had developed in the North American continent, it was only natural its affairs, during its early history, should be administered for the most part by North Americans. With the spread of Rotary Clubs around the world it soon became evident that these Clubs from far afield must be fully represented in the Councils of Rotary. During the third decade much progress was made in this direction.

At the Denver convention in 1926 the number of Rotary International Directors was increased from 10 to 12 with the provision that the additional Directors should be from outside North America, Britain and Ireland. In Vienna at the 1931 convention the number of R. I. Directors was again increased from 12 to 14. Once more the additional Directors were to come from outside the U.S.A., Canada, Britain and Ireland. This meant that at least five members of the Board would always be from other countries.

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During this decade also much progress was made in the internationalization of the personnel of the various Administrative Committees of Rotary International, and also in the headquarters staff.

As more and more Rotarians from countries other than the U.S.A. were brought into active participation in the affairs of R.I. the fear of "Yankee domination" became less of a problem. The flow of ideas between headquarters in Chicago and the Rotary Clubs of other countries became a "two-way street". An increasing number of suggestions from Clubs in other countries were adapted to Rotary procedure.

The "Aims and Objects Plan", with its new terminology for broadening the scope of vocational Service, and the balancing of all phases of activities by Rotary Clubs and Rotarians, originated in G. B. & I. and was readily adopted at the 1927 convention held at Ostend, Belgium.

One of the perplexing problems which confronted R.I during this period was to find the solution to the following questions: -

"What official action, if any, should R.I. take with respect to dealing with the economic problems which divide humanity?"

There was a feeling among some Rotarians that Rotary was too conservative in its approach to the solution of economic and political ills.

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These enthusiasts, called for more positive and corporate action on such vexacious problems, as trade barriers, war reparations, and other inter-governmental and political issues. Some even expected Rotary to find a cure for the world depression. It is fortunate that during this period Rotary was very capably led by men who understood world affairs and the Board, backed up by convention action, refused to adopt these pretentious programmes, and instead it held firmly to its policy of encouraging the objective study of the issues involved with individual Rotarians and local communities. Resolution 31, adopted at the 1932 convention at Seattle, reaffirmed this policy in the following language:-

"Whereas the following resolutions are presented chiefly with a view to the enlightenment of the individual Rotarian, and are not intended to favour any specific plan for corporate action touching upon the matters involved,

now therefore;

it is RESOLVED THAT Rotary International assembled in its 23rd annual convention representing 153,000 members engaged in business and professions in 75 regions of the world, that Rotarians favor every effort to effect an equitable solution of the serious economic problems today confronting the peoples of the world, which effort may be made by Governments either individually or in concert and

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that Rotarians be encouraged to study the problems of inter-

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national restrictions and barriers and international finance and trade, viewing them from the standpoint both of capital and of labour, and in the spirit of international co-operation, so that economic warfare between peoples may be replaced with cordial, co-operative rapprochement of peoples leading to the welfare of all mankind, and

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of Rotary International is urged to continue and, if practicable, to intensify the policy of supplying to Rotarians throughout the various Rotary Clubs such information upon the foregoing subjects as may be conducive to a better understanding of the problems involved and to the encouragement of such efforts by Rotarians individually as may further the happy solution of these problems".

Although the 1921 convention held in Edinburgh, Scotland was highly successful, many members throughout the world were of the opinion that as Rotary grew larger and spread around the world, it would be impossible to transport people from such far away conventions to cities in the United States where a convention would be held. This fear seemed to vanish as three very successful conventions were held outside the U.S. during this third decade.

For the Ostend convention in 1927 and the Vienna convention in 1931, three thousand (3,000) Rotarians and their families from North America were transported to Europe in

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a fleet of six Liners exclusively for Rotarians. Those who made the trip on these ships were afforded a never-to-be-forgotten experience in Rotary Fellowship.

Both at Vienna and at Mexico City in 1935, the problem of housing the delegates to the convention was one of great concern to the Convention Committee. In each case the problem was solved; in Vienna one third of the visiting Rotarians were put up in private homes. Then it became the habit of the convention to house the visitors from far away countries in the best and most centrally located hotels.

At Mexico City about 3,000 visitors from the north were provided with comfortable sleeping accommodations and familiar foods in a "Pullman Garden City". 27 special trains in which they came were held in "The Pullman City" during the convention week. This Pullman City had 243 sleeping cars and 44 dining cars. The National Railroads of Mexico constructed four miles of tracks and two miles of roadways and more than 100 service buildings; from bath houses, dressing houses, barber shops, beauty salons, etc. When the International Rotary Convention was held outside the U.S, it attracted tremendous attention. At Ostend the King of the Belgiums personally attended and opened the first session. In Vienna and Mexico City the Presidents of each country and other high officials participated in the proceedings. One of the most significant aspects of each of these conventions was the favourable impression which Rotarians made upon the non-

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Rotarian segment of the population. These people saw that the Rotarians assembled were there for a serious purpose their exemplary personal conduct did much for Rotary’s standing. In each instance local editorial comment was moat favourable to Rotary.

Rotary, like all human institutions, felt the full impact of the world depression which started in 1929 and kept right on through until 1933 or 1934. By the end of 1935 a total of 107 clubs had surrendered their charters, but even during these most difficult years, Rotary showed a net gain in clubs and membership, and each year added new countries to the Rotary family. These stories of how Rotary grew and lived through these difficult years makes inspiring reading. The suggestion that the annual dues be reduced in the interests of economy were rejected. We now see that had such suggestions been adopted, Rotary would have suffered.

Rotary needed a large amount of money to finance the travelling expenses of the official family which included the District Governor and District Chairmen from all over the world. In many countries it was impossible for these Rotarians to secure funds to travel to other countries. These problems caused serious concerns but eventually were overcome.

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By the end of the third decade the number of Rotary Clubs in the world had grown from 2,000 to 3,847. The number of countries and regions represented had grown from 36 to 80. The total membership grew from 108,000 to 162,000. In the brief period of ten years Rotary had almost doubled the number of its clubs. It is all the more striking when we realize that in this decade the world passed through the worst depression in history.

This period proved that Rotary could grow and operate successfully under all kinds of conditions; made up of people of all languages, creeds and nationalities. The International Conventions became more and more successful. Also the Regional Conferences had proved to be of great value.

Through International teamwork in the conduct of its administrative processes, Rotary had given the world an outstanding example of successful international co-operation.

By the end of this third decade Rotary had demonstrated its ability to outgrow and to conquer the growing pains and aches incidental to its unprecedented worldwide expansion. Despite differences in language, religion, customs and scores of political upheavals, Rotary had proved beyond any doubt its true worth as the universal common denominator in human relations.

NOTE-In this condensed note I have tried to express the thoughts and opinions of past International President Al Roth who has done a splendid Job. There is a great temptation

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for me to comment on personal association with all of these fine men who acted as International Presidents during the ten year period. I served on the Board of Rotary International 1928-29 with Arthur Sapp and with I. B. Sutton of Tampico, Mexico as International President. I also served on the Board with Eugene Newsom and with Al Roth; also with Bob Hill of Columbia, Missouri. It is interesting to note that exclusive of President Sutton, four members of that Board later served as President of Rotary International. (J.A.C.).


"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." -Abraham Lincoln-

"Criticism is something you can avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing." -Author Unknown -

"Many a man fails because he never tries".-Norman MacEwan-

"There is no philosophy by which a man can do a thing when he thinks he can’t.'' -Author Unknown-

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From: The Rotarian July 1963.

On page 50 a picture of a fine memorial cairn in honour of the late Sir Angus S. Mitchell of Melbourne, Australia.

Angus, as he was affectionately known to all of us, was President of Rotary International for the year 1948-49. No president of R.I. was ever more beloved with perhaps the exception of our founder, Paul P. Harris.

This monument was erected on top of Mt. Tassie in Southeastern Australia by the Rotarians of clubs in the Gippsland area.

The inscription on the plaque reads as follows:-

Erected by members of Gippsland in grateful memory of

Rotarian Sir Angus S. Mitchell, Kt.

First Australian President of Rotary International 1948-49 - Died 16-8-1961.

"Rotary has no bounds."

Officiating officer Roland. Hill, President of the Rotary Club of Traralgon 1962.

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Condensation of the article written by Past International President Walter D. Head in 1955, and published in the May issue of The Rotarian of that year.

Walter D. Head was President of Rotary International for the Rotary year 1939-40 and lived at Teaneck, N.J. Hundreds of clubs were casualties of and Dictators but Rotary grew in size and service. This is the story of the fourth dramatic decade.

As the fourth decade in Rotary’s history opened on July 1st, 1936, the great world depression was nearly over. Most of the world had gone through six or seven years of almost intolerable conditions. As recorded in the previous article, by Al Roth, Rotary had continued to grow through all these terrible years of suffering.

The beginning of the 1936-1945 decade found Rotary in a period of rapid expansion. 2,096 in 1925 had grown to 3,642 clubs, with new clubs being established every week. This is best shown by noting that the year 1935-36 had 170 new clubs; 1936-37 - 348; 1937-38 - 445; and in 1938-39 - 301 clubs.

At this time the optimists were prophesying that within the foreseeable future there would be 2,000 Rotary clubs in China alone, and probably at least 1,000 in India. Men were beginning to talk of l0,000 to 20,000 clubs within the next 25 or 50 years.

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The other of countries or geographical regions in which Rotary clubs had been established was, by 1935 - 77; by 1936 - 80; by 1937 – 82; and by 1938 - 90.

Most of the earlier critics and scoffers had lapsed into silence. Some, like Sinclair Levis, had even recanted. No doubt he wanted to forget the time when he had, in one of his books, criticized Rotary severely.

Now it was proven that the Convention at Dallas in 1929 had shown good judgment when there was a very strong plea for Rotary ‘to do something’ and of course doing something meant lending Rotary's name and influence in support of various good causes. The resolution adopted was as follows—

'Through co-operation and fellowship between the representatives of the various business and professional lines. Rotary affirms the duty of every citizen to address his activity toward the general interest and first of all toward the progress and prosperity of his country. Rotary has no political or religious character and as such it never intended, nor intends, to form any party or any sect nor to adopt a particular moral code. As men of different religions may belong to it, Rotary has absolute respect for the religious faith of all its members.

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"Organized in 52 countries, Rotary in each of them conforms its action to sincere respect and regard for the political and religious institutions of the nation and expects its members, while co-operating toward a cordial international understanding, to be thoroughly loyal to their religious and moral ideals and to the higher interests of their particular country.

This Resolution clearly set up Rotary's beliefs and helped to make it possible for Rotary to become established in every civilized country in the world.

In June 1936 the attendance at the Atlantic City convention almost reached the 10,000 mark. New Districts had been created. In l935 there were 80 Districts; in 1936 - 91; in 1937 - 114; in 1938 - 144; and in 1939 - 151.

Quite early in this decade dark clouds developed on the horizon. The world had entered another troubled time. The Dictators were asserting themselves more positively. The Rhineland, Ethiopia and China were invaded. Pressure was being put on Austria and Czechoslovakia. There was civil war in Spain. The "New Deal" was established in the United States and the people felt they were climbing out of the depression. Then due to changes in world conditions the picture altered rapidly. The second half o£ this decade proved to be the most severe test to

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which the organization had been subjected; one which even raised in the minds of some doubts as to its ability to survive.

Rotary remained optimistic and continued to grow slowly and to be hopeful that things were not as bad as they seemed. The third Convention on the Continent of Europe was held in Nice, France in 1937 and in spite of growing political unrest, was eminently successful. It was attended and opened by the President of the Republic. He was accompanied by several members of his Government.

Again a fleet of ships brought several thousand Rotarians and their families from the Americas but the numbers were equalled by the attendance from Europe and other parts of the world. The International character of this Convention was very much in evidence. There was an International Round Table at which Rotarians from a dozen countries discussed "What Rotary Means to My Country". There were joint luncheons of Rotarians of various countries, including one of several hundred French, German and Austrian Rotarians, and a German Rotarian placed a French Rotarian in nomination for the Presidency of Rotary International.

Not many months after this very successful Convention news was received that the

Nazi Party in Germany announced that all

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German Rotarians must resign from Rotary or from the Party. They were given 90 days in which to make the decision. This ruling was a great shock to the German Rotarians. About 20% of the Rotary membership in Rotary belonged to the Nazi Party. They tried earnestly to have the ruling changed but were unsuccessful. Then articles began to appear in the newspapers criticizing the Rotary Clubs as unpatriotic groups and classing them as secret societies.

The German Rotarians concluded, that as a matter of policy, it would be best to disband their clubs which they did in an orderly manner.

Meanwhile, the Rotary clubs of Spain had found themselves trapped between the two contending forces of the civil war there and gradually disappeared.

Ironically, both sides in the struggle accused the Rotarians of belonging to the other side.

A branch office of Rotary International Secretariat was opened in Singapore to provide service to the increasing number of clubs and District Governors in Asia.

Owing to the rapid spread of Rotary throughout the world, a special Commission was appointed to study the world situation from a Rotary viewpoint and to make recommendations.

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This Commission made a lengthy report at the Nice Convention with various recommendations but the convention decided that such recommendations were not to be considered at this time. Some of the minor recommendations were put into effect at the next convention.

Not withstanding the disturbed conditions in the Far East, the first Middle Asia conference was held in Pohang, Malaya in April 1938. The President of the Rotary world and his wife attended and they also attended the District Conferences in that part of the world. Early in the year they had visited the Conferences in South America.

When Germany annexed Austria, 11 clubs there followed the example of the German clubs and resigned from Rotary International.

Because of the difficulties and the apprehensions of Rotarians in many countries the Board of Rotary International prepared an advisory statement for the guidance of Rotary Clubs in all countries during any period of international emergency which read as follows:-

"In the event of a national emergency arising in any country, whereby Rotary Clubs of that country find it impossible or inadvisable to maintain their usual Rotary contacts outside the country, it shall be the duty of the actual Governor or Governors and-or

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"all Past Governors, who are nationals of the country, to take such steps as

seem to them feasible and advisable to preserve Rotary within the country during such period of national emergency, recognizing that it is the first duty of a Rotarian to be, always, a loyal and patriotic citizen of his country".

At this time there was organized what was known as The Institute of International Understanding and this organization served to bring chiefly to small communities in the U.S.A. and in Canada, a wider view of international problems and so helped lay a background for the popular acceptance of the United Nations in 1945.

The attendance at the San Francisco convention in 1938 was more than 10,000. This convention saw a number of progressive steps taken. A General Campaign Committee to seek $2,000,000.00 for the Rotary Foundation was authorized. Sentiment was clearly expressed in line with the internationalizing of the movement that the President of Rotary International should not come from any one country more frequently than in three consecutive years, and during this decade there were Presidents from France, Brazil, Peru, England and the U.S.A.

The long sustained efforts to bring Rotary International in Britain and Ireland into closer relationship with Rotary International continued and gradually good results

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were accomplished. The administrative districts in G. B. and I. became Districts of Rotary International and their Chairman and the general officers of Rotary International in Britain and Ireland were recognized as Rotary International officers.

About this time steps were taken to devise a more satisfactory method for the annual selection of the President of Rotary International. There had been some political campaigns carried on that did not reflect to the credit of Rotary. At the Cleveland convention in 1939 legislation was adopted that related an official International Nominating Committee whose nominee it was hoped would be unanimously acceptable and no contest would be necessary. However, at the same time the right of any member of the club to present another candidate was preserved. In 1940 the first President was chosen under this plan.

Another change was made at the 1939 Convention with regard to the election of members of the Rotary International Board by the Clubs in the United States. They had been electing five members at large which permitted a possibility of some political horse-trading and did not always result in a satisfactory geographical distribution of the Directors from that country. Consequently, five electoral zones were established in the United States with the clubs in each zone to select one Director.

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A study of a new type of membership was authorized. Membership in a Rotary Club has always been limited to one man in each classification of business or professional work. By the end of the fourth decade many Rotarians had held membership for 20 or 25 years, during which time membership in their clubs was closed to younger men who were in the same business or profession. Realizing of course the importance of making it possible for them to join Rotary Clubs, the 1939 Convention created a new classification of membership, being known as ‘Senior Active’. Acceptance of this type of membership was to be entirely voluntary but many older members readily accepted thereby making room for younger man.

During this decade the Presidents of Rotary International were as follows:-

Ed. R. Johnson of Roanoke, Virginia; Will R. Manier, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee; Maurice Duperrey of Paris, France; George C. Hager of Chicago; Walter D. Head of Montclair, N.J.; Armando de Arruda Pereira of Sao Palo, Brazil; Tom J. Davis of Butte, Montana; Fernando Carbajal of Lima, Peru; Charles L. Wheeler of San Francisco; Richard H. Wells of Pocatello, Idaho and T. A. Warren of Wolverhampton, England.

In September 1938 the Fourth Regional Conference of Clubs in Europe, Africa and Asia Minor was held in Stockholm, Sweden and was attended by the Rotary International President and his wife, who also attended District Conferences and visited

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clubs in the region..

Up to this time the Rotary Clubs in Europe and Asia, notwithstanding the great local difficulties, had been able to carry on the usual activities to a fair degree. Conditions, however, were worsening and soon a great change was to take place.

In Brazil, Rotary Clubs were required by the Government to become not-for-profit corporations under Brazilian laws and to incorporate certain provisions in their Constitutions. About the same time, an Assembly of the Clubs in Japan declared that Rotary International should not be governed by a central administration bug that clubs in each region should have an autonomous authority to govern themselves and that national or racial consciousness, customs, traditions, and culture should be respected. Fortunately, they did not insist on carrying this out, as for a time it seemed would be the case.

In November 1938 in Italy there was a desire to make a patriotic gesture of solidarity with the Fascist regime by disbanding their clubs. The Italian government advised them it was not necessary for them to do so. However, they carried out their decision but conducted the moves in an orderly manner and sent greetings and good wishes to all Rotarians.

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As world conditions grew steadily worse during the late 30' s, Rotary's worldwide dream of the early 30's seemed to be falling apart like a house of cards. In April 1939 it became advisable to close the branch office of the Secretariat in Singapore. In a few months, however, a new office was opened at Bombay in India.

At this time there were compensating factors because of the growth in number and in importance of clubs in Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

The year 1939 was one of great tensions. One after another happenings in Europe reflected in the Western Hemisphere, even though the United States was holding two World Fairs in the same year. Finally came the fateful September 1st and World War II began and the president of Rotary International had to confine his travels to the Western Hemisphere, and abandon his plans for the usual attendance of Rotary events in Europe, all of which had to be cancelled.

The Board of Directors pressed by Rotarians of Europe to take a stand, issued a statement entitled "Rotary in a World at War". Seeking to foster among the Clubs a courage and determination to continue exemplify Rotary’s objects even under most trying conditions. On the variety and amount of war work done by Rotarians in many countries, especially in England, volumes could be written.

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From Germany and other countries came letters smuggled out expressing loyalty to Rotary principles and longing for the fellowship of former days.

In many places Rotarians gathered weekly for Fellowship although they were forbidden to mention the name of Rotary. As one man said, "We look into each other’s eyes and we understand".

Throughout the war years the International organization continued to grow. Every year more clubs were gained than lost. The seriousness of the situation may be seem in the following figures: New Clubs in 1941-42 112 (clubs terminated 101)

It was for all a period of great strain and great concern but not of disheartenment, as was shown by the appointment in July 1941 of a Committee on Participation of Rotarians, in the Postwar World. Rotary had started to look to the time when it could again function the world over.

In Japan the situation became serious. Many people thought that anyone who belonged to Rotary Clubs showed a lack of patriotism. There was a strong demand for a National Body the same as Britain and Ireland continued to bare. This was refused but the country was divided into three Districts with, in each case, a District Committee. These Committees adopted rules of procedure in terms of reference for the committee. Fifteen months later the clubs disbanded themselves as Rotary Clubs but even then

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continued to meet as Fellowship clubs.

Rotary International continued to hold conventions where possible and when governmental austerity rules would allow same to be held. Instead of one large International Assembly for the training of incoming District Governors, North America was divided into zones and regional International Assemblies were held.

Everywhere there were war refugees to be befriended. Natural disaster in various parts of the world added to the opportunities for service by Rotary Clubs both personally and financially. During this time the clubs individually and Rotary International did a great work in relieving the stress. When the bombing of the British Isles began the problem of preserving the lives of the children calmed the development of plans of sending thousands of children from families of Rotarians in England to North America to be kept for the period of the war. In this work a great humanitarian job was carried out by American and Canadian Rotarians.

Thousands of Rotarians fled from Asia and Europe and found themselves in London or New York. These men formed themselves into groups for Rotary luncheon meetings and they were called "Overseas Rotary Fellowships". These gatherings filled a great need as week by week they welcomed more refugees from clubs which had ceased to operate.

Page D. 14.


About this time the first television broadcast was conducted by the General Electric studios of Schenectady, N.Y. The President Emeritus (Paul Harris) and the President and Secretary of Rotary International were speakers at the meeting of the Club at that city and the programme was seen and heard through receivers at meetings of Rotary Clubs in Albany and Troy, N.Y. This is probably the first time speakers were seen and heard from the same platform at meetings in other cities.

During this long period war conditions interfered considerably with the holding of Regional Conferences and International Conventions. The Nice Convention of 1937 was the last one held in Europe until after World War II. The San Francisco 1938 and the Cleveland 1939 conventions were held as usual. It had been planned to hold the 1940 convention at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but the spread of the war in Europe caused such uncertainty with regard to transportation facilities, that a transfer of the convention to Havana, Cuba became necessary. The 1941 convention vas held in Denver at which time the attendance from outside North America was greatly reduced.

Then in 1941, late in the year, the United States became involved in the war. In 1942 the situation was further aggravated. In December 1941 an emergency meeting of the Board was called to decide whether to

Page D. 15


hold a 1942 International Assembly and Convention. The decision was to hold the convention at Toronto, Canada. This was a very successful convention. There were 3,264 clubs represented from seven countries. The 1943 convention was held in St. Louis with a shortened programme and a red-faced attendance. Its theme was "Rotary Service in War- in Peace" indicating a confidence that there would be an end to the war and a period of reconstruction to follow.

Because of increasing governmental restrictions on the use of transportation and hotel accommodations in the U.S., the 1944 and 1945 conventions were held in Chicago. At the 1944 convention the attendance was limited to present and incoming officers of Rotary International and a few others who came bearing proxies from the clubs in their districts, making it the smallest Rotary Convention since 1911.

Then a Government prohibition of any meetings of more than 50 persons necessitated the conducting of that convention at the Central Office in Chicago, in four separate sections, a week apart. There was no legislation and it was attended only by outgoing and incoming general officers and the incoming District Governors who were able to come.

This probably was, and will be, the most unusual Rotary Convention ever to be held. Most of the District Conferences were held but under great difficulties.

With the spread of war operations in Europe

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and North Africa it became difficult if not impossible for any Rotary Clubs in these regions to meet although they all sought to do so. In Occupied Countries all assemblages of citizens were prohibited. In the Unoccupied portion of France the clubs continued to meet and in Britain they continued, notwithstanding the terrible bombing raids. In the neutral countries such as Sweden and Switzerland Rotary Clubs carried on as usual. At this time the European office was closed and the staff moved from Zurich back to Chicago.

At the Havana Convention in 1940 a declaration "Rotary Braid World Conflict" was unanimously adopted which definitely established the position of the Rotary movement with reference to the war conflict:

"It is outside the competence of the Board of Rotary International to instruct Rotarians as to their duties as citizens of their respective countries. The Board, however, pointed out that Rotary Intentional through Convention action, has stated that it expects Rotarians while co-operating toward a cordial international understanding to be thoroughly loyal to their religious and moral ideals and to the higher interests of their particular country.

In there catastrophic times the Board feels that it should re-emphasize to Rotarians through the world that Rotary

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"is based on the ideal of service, and where freedom, justice, truth, sanctity of the pledged word, and respect for human rights do not exist, Rotary cannot live nor its ideals prevail. These principles, which are indispensable to Rotary, are vital to the maintenance of international peace and order and to human progress.

'The Board, therefore, condemns all' attacks upon these principles and cells upon each Rotarian to exert his influence and exercise his strength to protect them and to help hasten the day when war need no longer be used as an instrument for settling international disputes..

At this time funds were voted for the alleviation of suffering and the rehabilitation of Rotarians and their families, either directly or through the International Red Cross.

As of June 30th, 1942 at the close of the Toronto convention, Chesley R. Perry, the original Secretary of the National Association of Rotary Clubs and Rotary International, retired at the age of 70 after 32 years of service and was warmly commended for his contribution to the building of the movement. He was succeeded in office by the first Assistant Secretary, Phil Lovejoy, whose 12 years of service had prepared him to take over.

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As the war drew to an end Rotary took steps to prepare for the new world that was to come. A Rotary International Committee on Adjustments from War to Peace was created and suggestions were sent to the North American clubs for co-operation in this work.

There was much unemployment for a time and Rotary assisted all over America in what was known as "A Work Pile" - jobs big and small. This was a splendid piece of work.

And now the interest of the world was centered on formation of the United Nations. Rotary was keenly interested and had representatives on hand all during the organization period at San Francisco. Outstanding Rotarians took turns for several months in attending these sessions. It was also noted that amongst the official delegates there were many Rotarians. These men had a distinct influence on the wording of several sections of the Charter and they were largely responsible for the inclusion of the section on Human Rights.

Rotary International's magazine contributed to the public enlightenment as to the structure and purpose and usefulness of the United Nations, and at this time prepared & distributed a book entitled "From Here On", a1so "Peace is a Process", etc. These publications were heartily welcomed not only by Rotarians but by the administration of the United Nations by Government agencies, newspapers, libraries, etc.

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Toward the end of this decade a Chicago Rotarian (Herbert Taylor) came on the International Board and brought with him the "Four Way Test" which he had successfully used in his business; In was very short and read as follows:-

"Is It The Truth?

Is It Fair to All Concerned?

Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships?

Will It be Beneficial to All Concerned?"

In writing a summary of the Fourth Decade in Rotary, the author had a difficult tasks much happened that vas inspiring and much that was discouraging. So many dark clouds and so much stormy weather, but again so much sunshine. It was a period that tried, and to some extent, shook the faith of Rotarians. However, with victory in sight for the upholders of the right conduct in human relations, Rotarians could see that the Rotary movement had cone through the war years stronger than ever.

It was on this note that Rotary ended its war period and began its work of reconstructing clubs in the countries where war has snuffed them out.

It was, as it turned out, the dawn of a new and brighter era in Rotary.

Note - The Fourth Decade of Rotary existence

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was trying but at the same time a very successful one. In Canada, Rotary carried on as usual. Rotary members gave much in community effort and backed the war effort to the very limit. New clubs were opened and memberships in the older clubs increased. Hundreds of our members were fighting on all fronts. They were given leave of absence and their return was looked forward to. Unfortunately, a good many of them did not return. Those who were left at home did their best to carry on. (J.A.C.)


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Written by T, A. Warren, who was President of Rotary International 1946-47, and who lived in Woverhampton, England.

The last Decade of Rotary's first 50 years commenced with July 1st, 1945. This, of course, was a post-war decade and was destined to produce many marked and historic features.

July 1st, 1945 saw the end of the second World War. The world breathed a sigh of relief and former Rotary Clubs sprang to life again.

It will be remembered that two Commissions had been appointed a year or two earlier to speed this process. These Commissions had been extremely successful.

This article was written in March 1955. At that time Rotary had well over 400,000 members in 8,500 clubs. This is remarkable when it is recalled that ten years earlier we had 5,400 clubs and 247,000 members. Of course the clubs in some countries have never returned but other newcomers have joined and so Rotary continues its spectacular progress, despite two World Wars in its first half century.

One of the presidents in this early part of the fifth Decade stated that "This Period belongs to men of character and purpose. Youth is still dying for liberty and millions will remain desperate, hopeless and injured in the desperate years ahead. There is limitless opportunity for all who seek to serve".

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At this time it was thoroughly believed that Rotary had grasped the opportunity though immense fields are still untilled. It is difficult to write a story of this kind and keep all events in a proper chronological order and we hope this will be understood.

Thousands of individuals in all parts of the world contributed freely and generously to help where urgent relief was a must. There was tremendous need of food, clothing, medicines, tools, and money. Materials were quickly dispatched by separate clubs and community service has never been more generously demonstrated than during this decade. As the decade ends there are still millions who suffer and who are in need and who reveals what we call "normal times", will need generous help. In this decade and later, clubs especially concern themselves with children made orphans by strife.

There was close co-operation between Rotary International and the newly formed United Nations, and this was a very special feature during the years 1945 to 1950. When the Charter was being drafted at San Francisco in 1945 no less than 49 Rotarians served as delegates, advisors or consultants. Many prominent Rotarians from many lands were serving in accordance with the principles of the movement.

In some cases these men went to San Francisco as official delegates from their respective governments, and in other cases

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they were appointed by Rotary International to act in consultation. This process continued until the end of the decade and of course it will continue so long as the United Nations is in existence, and so long as Rotary International is in existence. Rotary has taken a very special part in the Educational, Scientific, and Cultural organization of the United Nations in all parts of the world. The members often ask what can the individual member do in International Service? Rotarians work with and assistance to the United Nations give an effective answer. Rotary International is not officially linked with the United Nations, nor with any other corporate activity, but by the thousands of addresses and debates by unlimited issues of specially designed literature, by radio and by many other means, Rotary helps to create and maintain an informed public opinion. To do this in all phases of International affairs is still no small part of Rotary's modern task. Treaties are written by diplomats but understanding and peace are fashioned in the hearts and minds of ordinary men. Rotary works with ordinary men.

It is well here to enumerate some of the ways in which Rotary helped, and also some of the important world figures and movements of the Decade.

1. Recall the "Work Piles" Clubs built for postwar years? They launched one in California.

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2. A symbol of freedom briefly tasted in this decade was Jan Masaryk of Czechoslovakia.

3. From Here Oh. Warren Austin of the U.S. praises the Rotary book on the United Nations in a 1947 speech.

4. Founder Paul P. Harris dies January 27, 1947 . . . . and friends meet in Chicago to say farewell.

5. Rio ’48! . . . and the first international convention in South America. An eager reception.

6. The Foundation swells in the late '40's . . . with clubs raising funds to subscribe 100 percent.

7. 1950 brings the Korean War. . . This U.S.A. general distributing Rotary parcels to victims.

8. In the Autumn of '53 work on Rotary's headquarters (now complete) had reached this stage.

Rotary issued a publication entitled "From Here On" bearing the full text of the U.N. Charter, and 230,000 copies were distributed from R. I headquarters. This book was published in two languages and was acclaimed in very responsible places as perhaps the best popular guide to the Charter itself.

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As world events were happening at great speed former Rotary Clubs were returning everywhere and among the early arrivals were clubs in Czechoslovakia and China. Unfortunately, some clubs that came back so quickly have long since gone and for reasons not hard to understand. Nevertheless, this is to be intensely regretted.

It is most interesting to note that clubs in some of the former enemy countries were re-admitted at their own eager request and here Rotary led the way to true understanding.

In 1945-46 a very important step was taken. The newly appointed Rotary Foundation Committee was asked to enquire whether the need still existed for a Foundation, and if so, what should be its objectives. The Committee recommended that the Foundation should embrace a scheme of a Rotary Foundation Fellowship and should develop the then existing Institutes of International Understanding and should further in every possible way, schemes promoting international understanding and goodwill. The Board warmly backed these objectives and at the Atlantic City Convention in. June 1946, with 46 countries represented, the Convention unanimously adopted the proposals though only small financial resources then existed.

The clubs all over the world were invited to undertake genuine search for Fellowship Candidates. These candidates were to be men only, and of high university qualifications and possessing recognized outlooks

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on public affairs. The selected men were to spend a year in countries other than their own, one of the major directives being that they should make first hand contact with all sorts of conditions of men in the new countries, and afterwards to take back home the knowledge and understanding thereby gained. From the time this experimental scheme was announced to the world in June 1946, the pace was amazing. The bare facts and figures speak for themselves, for there can hardly be any living Rotarian who is not aware of the thrilling results from this adventure into International Understanding.

The first Fellows were chosen during the year 1946-47 and the initial 18 Fellowships for the study in the year 1947-48 were announced at the San Francisco Convention in 1947. This was done in faith only because money was scarce.

(NOTE-The first student chosen from Canada was Everett M. Biggs, who was a graduate of the Ontario Agricultural College and who went to England for advanced study. J.A.C.)

In this first year 18 Fellows were chosen and it has been interesting to watch the very fast growth and development of this wonderful movement since that time.

As this article is being written in 1955, and including the school year 1955-56, 711 Fellowships have been awarded to students from 57 countries, and at a total

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cost of $1,750,000.00. Many highly qualified students had to be set aside because of a shortage of funds. In the early years funds for the Foundation did not come in very quickly.

On January 27th, 1947 the beloved Founder of Rotary, Paul P. Harris, passed away in Chicago. Worldwide tributes were rightly paid to the memory of Paul, and none can overestimate the part he played in the formation and development of this great world movement. Its principles down to this day are framed around those initial outlooks and Rotary remembers him with gratitude and pride, and especially in this 50th Anniversary Year of 1954-55. The President and Board in January 1947 quickly decided that the memorials which clubs would want to erect to Paul should be human rather than of brick and stone. The idea of Foundation Fellowships had already generated much warmth, so the clubs desiring to create memorials were invited to make contributions to the Fellowship fund in his name by December 24th, 1948.

By that date the total contributions amounted to $1,750,000.00. The name of Paul Harris was directly associated with the early awards and surely there could have been no finer memorial to a great character.

The Institutes of International Understanding were founded by Rotary in the United States well before World War II and oper-

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ated most successfully for many years. The plan was a voluntary one, depending upon the initiation of clubs and districts. Rotary International, upon request, found the lecturers who went in to prepared areas and talked and answered questions about International problems to selected high school students, to Rotary Clubs and to the general public were well received. The demand was great and even in the convalescent year 1945-46, Institutes were organized by 318 clubs in North and Central America. The scheme seemed set for an advance of unlimited promise, but it finally foundered because of lack of support. This must be registered as a failure although as of this date some clubs and some districts scattered throughout the Rotary World, still hold residential or day Institutes of like character.

During this Decade, Presidents of Rotary International were:-

T. A. Warren, Woverhampton, England; Richard C. Hedke, Detroit; S. Kendrick Guernsey, Jacksonville, Florid; Angus S. Mitchell Melbourne, Australia; Percy Hodgson, Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Arthur Lagueux, Quebec, Quedec; Frank E. Spain, Birmingham, Alabama; H. J. Brunnier, San Francisco; Joaquin Serratosa Cibils, Montevideo, Uruguay; and Herbert J, Taylor, Chicago.

It might be well to recall here the fact that Rotary has only had three Secretaries since its inception. Chesley R. Perry assumed the position of Secretary of the

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National Association of Rotary Clubs when the organization was formed in August of 1910. This great man served with distinction until June 30th, 1942. He had built a very capable Secretariat at Chicago of 150 persons. He also had a staff in Zurich, Switzerland and Bombay, India. As this is written Ches. is alive and well at the age of 83. He was succeeded by dynamic Philip Lovejoy, who had been Assistant General Secretary since 1930. He had spent his life in educational work in Michigan and with the U.S. armed forces in France. Phil. carried on in a most highly successful manner until December 31st, 1952 when he asked to be retired. George R. Means took over the position on January 1st, 1953 and has carried on most successfully up to the present time. Prior to entering the service of Rotary International, George had been a member of the Rotary Club of Bloomington, Illinois. He had joined the Secretariat staff in 1935 and became Assistant General Secretary in 1949. He served as a Commander in the United States Navy in World War II, and is a member now of the Rotary Club of Evanston.

The Board had considered having a "Forward Planning" Committee consisting of the ten host recent Past Presidents, and at this time decided that a Council of Past Presidents should be created. This Past Presidents Council would act as advisors in important matters of policy referred to them by the Board, or brought forward of their own volition. This Council has proved to be very valuable in the growth and

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development of Rotary International.

As far back as 1939 there had been talk of Rotary building a permanent headquarters instead of leasing premises in Chicago, where its home had been since 1910. A special committee made an exhaustive study and proposed a site in Denver, Colorado. This proposal caused a very animated debate at the 1946 Atlantic City Convention, and again at the San Francisco Convention a year later. One can hardly conceive of a controversy more spirited than this very important matter. It was dormant for a few years but at the Mexico City Convention in 1952, principally through the determined efforts of President Frank Spain, it was decided that the new home would be built in Evanston, Illinois. The sum of $1,325,000.00 was spent on this beautiful building which is now the home of Rotary and it was occupied in 1954. It would appear that everyone is happy over the final decision.

As the Fifth Decade neared its end new clubs were being formed at a remarkable pace. The re-establishment of Rotary Clubs in the devastated countries seemed to fill a great need. Unfortunately, in some countries Rotary was not allowed to again become active.

In this busy period of reconstruction, the fundamental basis of Rotary were adhered to. Much attention was paid to the claims of youth having in mind their sacrifices during the war and the fact

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that precious years would lapse before normal facilities could be restored. Employer-employee relations, camps, problem of returning serviceman, overdue help for lepers, and other afflicted people and delayed civic improvements, and a thousand needs for the old as well as the young, were taken up with an activity which demonstrated that the hearts of Rotarians the world over were ready and willing.

The Rotary Clubs the world over exercised their sovereignties. In some areas the vital need was for re-establishment of schools, hospitals and other buildings devastated by the war and even, in many cases, to furnish the means to keep people alive.

The Rotary Foundation was growing. Discussions arose as to whether only the interest should be spent or whether under certain circumstances the corpus could also be used. At this time the donors were approached for their opinions and the almost unanimous response was to spend all of the money, and to do it now. It was decided that the Trustees of the Fund would always, of necessity, have to have Convention approval in spending monies from the corpus.

During the 1917 convention held at San Francisco, a memorial service to the late Paul Harris was held at which it was aptly

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observed that we needed no monument of marble, or stone to mark his life. There existed at this time more than 6,000 Rotary Clubs and over 300,000 members in 76 countries, and these members were dedicated to International friendship and to high principles of service. These were rightly regarded as a perpetual monument to Paul's genius and vision.

The annual International Assembly for the District Governors where they were instructed in their duties became more important year by year. These Governors and Past International officers were assembled from all over the world and they spent eight or nine days together.

The growing importance of UNESCO caused Rotary International to publish and widely circulate its much-proclaimed book "In The Minds of Men". It contained the test of the Constitution of UNESCO and offered many suggestions to give it practical usefulness in a world of widely differing ideas and ideals. Many complimentary responses were received from Rotarians and non-Rotarians, including Governments and diplomats.

The 1948 Annual Convention was held at Rio de Janeiro. This was the first convention in the Southern hemisphere and it was a unique and picturesque success with 7,511 registrations.

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During 1946, 1947 and 1948 and later the fund still operated for emergency relief to war-affected Rotarians and members of their immediate families.

It was not felt that Rotarians would have to help other Rotarians, but these were unexpected times. The need was great and Rotarians everywhere were eager to help.

Rotary’s two great publications, The Rotarian (in English) and Revista Rotaria (in Spanish) had played a grand and growing part while all this recent Rotary history had been enacted. Material by many of the world's foremost writers has appeared on every conceivable subject. These two great publications were of great value to the movement. In 1955 The Rotarian had a monthly circulation of 315,000 and Revista Rotaria 38,000.

In recent years successive Boards of Rotary International had placed emphasis on the importance of maintaining high standards in the organization of Rotary Clubs and on developing real Rotarians rather than of merely securing more Clubs and members. Club officers were cautioned to examine critically the qualifications of proposed Charter members. The emphasis was on quality rather than quantity.

In 1948 the old European Advisory Committee was reconstituted, and now functions freely as the European, North African, and Eastern

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Mediterranean Advisory Committee, known as "ENAEMAC". Another important decision was made with reference to the Foundation in that beginning with the Fall of 1949, women students as well as men would be eligible for Rotary Foundation Fellowships. Also in choosing Rotary Fellows it was clearly understood that none of them need be related to Rotarians.

Rotary International had another and prolonged series of heated discussions over how the President should be chosen. Politics had entered into the important matter and as a consequence in 1939 the system had been changed so that a Nominating Committee would study the situation and bring forward a name. All clubs of course had the right to nominate a man of their own choice in opposition, but this had only happened once, and now after several years trial the Nominating Committee plan seems to be fairly acceptable to all concerned.

In December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted its Declaration of Human Rights. This synchronized with Rotary’s policy as had been emphasized at the Havana, Cuba convention in 1940. Copies of the United Nations Declaration with comments were mailed by Rotary International all over the world. This was the first general distribution of the Declaration and was ahead of the official distribution by most of the Governments concerned.

In 1949 the 40th convention of Rotary International was held at New York City. 15,958 Rotarians and families from 64 countries

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registered. This was a tremendous convention.

During this time the Rotary Institute had been growing in size and in importance. Each year the Institute meets at the same time as the International Assembly and at the same place. These are unofficial meetings but the Board of R.I. pays careful attention to the recommendations from the Institute because only Past International Officer may attend.

The Board of 1950 arranged for the Regional Conferences to be resumed periodically.

The main idea was for acquaintance and development of understanding. These Conferences provided a splendid forum for the exchange of ideas. The regions tentatively suggested were: The Pacific; Caribbean Gulf of Mexico; Asia; South America; Europe, North Africa, Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Financial appropriations were made to cover the cost of planning and for the attendance of the President and Secretary of Rotary International and certain other important Rotarians. This important conference covering the North African, Eastern Mediterranean Regions was held in Ostend in 1954. It was an outstanding success with an attendance of of 1,660. Already the Pacific Conference has been announced for 1956 and in 1957 the Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico Conference has been approved.

In 1954 it was decided that the Council on Legislation would meet every other year. The members comprising this Council would

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Be chosen Carefully from men of experience and their deliberations held prior to the opening of the convention would act as a valuable guide to the convention voting. In recent years there has been an increasing demand for the Council to become the final legislative body but the time for this had not yet arrived. The Clubs in each District choose their own representative for the Council.

During the years Rotary International had associated itself with the Boys and Girls Week Advisory Committee in its efforts to promote the general interests of young people. Rotarians have always been interested in young people and consequently this particular phase of Rotary work became very popular. It is to be hoped that Rotary will always remain deeply interested in young people.

On May 9th, 1951 Rotary International announced that monies contributed to the Rotary Foundation since the death of Paul Harris in January 1957 had reached $2,000,000.00. It was remembered that back in 1938 the convention had suggested an immediate campaign to raise $2,000,000.00. The death of the beloved founder of Rotary provided a tremendous impetus to this worthy effort. The average individual grant per student is about $2,500.00. The course is for one year only and the student must know the language of the country where he or she will study, and is supposed to visit Rotary Clubs in that country during his year abroad. The student also agrees to return to his home

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Country at the end of the year and to do all in his power to impart to his own people the knowledge and a better understanding of the people of the country where he has Just spent a year of study, From the beginning of The Foundation in 1917 to the end of March 1955, the total amount voluntarily subscribed was Three Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars.

By 1955 Rotary was issuing literature in 21 languages. "Brief Facts About Rotary" alone has been translated into 18 languages. All this literature of course is provided for the use of the clubs, but there has been a strong increasing demand for these publications to be supplied to organizations and individuals outside the Rotary family.

One publication "Service is My Business" 64 pages, has been in constant demand both in and out of the movement. This indeed has become almost the ‘bible’ in vocational service and has been translated into many languages.

Successive Boards have stressed the desire that the older clubs should release some of their territory so that new clubs could be formed in the suburbs of large cities which had definite business areas. By May 1951 there were 188 Rotary clubs in 47 cities across the world. In 1955 there had been an increase of 287 in 122 cities. There is plenty of scope here for many new clubs.

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"The Four-Way Test" written by Herbert J. Taylor, the President of R. I. 1954-55 has been translated into French, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, German and Marathi, The Test has become a recognized part of Rotary's programme.

The Four-Way Test is as follows:-

1. Is It the Truth?

2. Is it Fair to all Concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill and better Friendships?

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

It was announced in 1951 that after five years of operation with Foundation Fellows selected from 42 countries, the programme had attracted the special attention of educators, international study groups, and Government officials all over the Free World.

In 1951 The Four Objects of Rotary were reduced to one Object with nothing left out.

Rotary International kept reminding its clubs all over the world that an organization of 400,000 men meeting in 8,500 clubs around the world each week provided a forum of great value. Clubs were always warned that when the subject was controversial all sides should be represented.

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The 1952 convention was held in Mexico City with 6,804 in attendance. At this convention the per capita tax was increased from $4.50 to $6.00 per year. The serving time for Directors was increased from one year to two years. Past Service and Senior Active members were released under prescribed circumstances from attendance requirements. Generally speaking these requirements meant that a man should be incapacitated either physically or financially. The Board of each Club would use its own judgment in refusing or acceding to the request.

In these later years of the Fifth Decade a new and valuable movement started to grow. This was the Student Exchange Movement. It is entirely separate from the Foundation Fellowships and the exchange is handled by each District and financed by the District. This is growing very rapidly in Europe for apparently there is a definite feeling that the countries of Europe must learn to live together and the exchanging of students may be one of the best means of accomplishing this objective. The idea of spreading to parts of the world, but in particular the very healthy student exchange going on between British Isles and the clubs in Europe, North Africa, Eastern Mediterranean countries is most encouraging.

Besides the regular Rotary Fellowship students chosen by designated Districts, 14 Research Fellowships have been granted to highly qualified adult specialists in

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Medicine, Social Sciences and Education. These students are chosen from many places in the world.

Inter-country Rotary committees, which were beginning to develop before World War II have been revived and encouraged by R.I. in every way possible.

A tremendous amount of work has been done by Rotary International in getting ready for the 50th Anniversary. A film "The Great Adventure" was sheen at the convention in Chicago and distributed widely all over the world immediately following the convention. This film depicted Rotary at work in every country where it operates and so this final chapter on the Fifth Decade of Rotary is coming to a close. It is of course right and proper that this Convention should be held in Chicago where the four pioneers met back on February 23rd, 1905.

Now the question is after the Golden Anniversary Convention is over and no doubt it will be a tremendous success, will Rotary have the will and the spirit exhibited by the pioneers of 50 years ago to carry on and spread into new parts of the world, or is there a danger of the organization becoming content to just carry on as it is. We all realize that the year A.D. 2005 will be a very different age from 1955. It will need all our faith, all our vigor and maybe a steadfast determination to remain permanently unsatisfied - for only reasonable discontent will carry us successfully into and beyond the land of great promise which, under certain circum-

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stances, could become the land of lost hopes.


The Fifth Decade was a very interesting ten years in the life of Rotary International. We had some great Presidents and without detracting from any of these ten men, it is the consensus of opinion that Angus S. Mitchell of Australia, who became Sir Angus Mitchell in 1956, was perhaps the most lovable personality with the exception of Paul Harris, in all Rotary's history. Tom Warren of England was an out-standing man. Dick Hedke of Detroit and Ken Guernsey of Jacksonville, Florida were men that everyone was proud to list as a friend. Percy Hodgson of Rhode Island visited 83 countries in which Rotary was established during his year as President. Since that time he has given a tremendous amount of valuable service to Rotary. Frank E. Spain of Birmingham, Alabama, the Corporation lawyer, will always be remembered for his magnificent leadership, especially at the Mexico City convention in 1952. He will always be remembered as the man who definitely decided that Rotary International was going to have its own home and in Evanston, Illinois. Fine old Rotarian H. J. Brunnier, a charter member of the Rotary Club of San Francisco in 1905 proved that a man over 70 years of age could still go through the grind of being president of Rotary International. Joaquin Serratosa Cibils of Montevideo, Uruguay was

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a fine Spanish gentleman. Herbert J. Taylor of Chicago, the man who wrote the Four-Way Test, had proved his leadership ability with a great year as President of R.I. Canadian Arthur Lagueux of Quebec City did not dim the lustre of the three fine Canadians who had preceeded him as Presidents of R.I.

It has been my good fortune to know all of these men and also to know every President from Paul Harris to Carl Miller, who will be President in 1963-64, and I can say that it was a joy to know them all. (J.A.C.)

NOTE - A condensation of an article by Past President T. A. Warren in The Rotarian of June 1955.


Copyright© Daniel W. Mooers

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