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.

Album 1 - Pages 85-86; Dick Hedke, 36th President

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Dick Hedke

Rotary's 36th President




Rotary Biography of


Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

President, Rotary International, 1946-47.

Chairman, Committee to Clarify and Improve Relations between Member Clubs and the Board of Directors of Rotary International, 1953-54

Richard C. Hedke is Executive Vice-President of the Eaton Chemical and Dyestuff Company of Detroit, Michigan. He was born in Neuwedel, Germany and was educated in the public schools of Cleveland, Ohio, and Trenton, Michigan.

Mr. Hedke has been a member of the Rotary Club of Detroit since 1920 and is a Past President of that Club. He has served Rotary International as President (in 1946-47), Director, District Governor, Rotary Foundation Trustee, and as committee chairman and member. For 1953-54, he is Chairman of the Committee to Clarify and Improve Relations between Member Clubs and the Board of Directors of Rotary International.

As President of Rotary International, Mr. Hedke visited Rotary Clubs in 20 countries. He has been decorated by the governments of France and Lebanon, and is a Trustee of the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

Mr. Hedke's home is in the Detroit suburb of Trenton, where he has served as a member of the Board of Education for 25 years. In Detroit, he is a past President of the Tuberculosis Society, Director and Past President of the Convention and Tourist Bureau, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, Director of the Inter-American Center and of the Civic Light Opera Association, member of the Area Council of Boy Scouts, Director of the Boys' Club and Director of the United Savings Bank.

From Rotary International,

35 East Wacker Drive,

Chicago 1, Ill., U.S.A..

March 1954.

Joseph A. Caulder



Dick, as his Rotary friends know him, was President of R.I. in 1946-1947. Prior to that he had served Rotary well in many ways and at many times. Coming from Detroit, we in Toronto felt very close to him and a visit from or to Dick and Louise was always something to look forward to.

He is one of the few lucky men who can make those who disagree with him, still respect him.

As a President and Board member he always did a good job, but perhaps his very best job, and the one he will be remembered for the longest, was as Chairman of a "Committee for Clarifying and Improving Relationships between Member Clubs and the Board of Directors of Rotary International". Now with a name like that any group of men accepted a real job.

There had grown up a feeling in the minds of a large and vocal minority of Rotarians in North America that Rotary was becoming autocratic and that the Clubs were losing their interest in and control over the operation of Rotary International.

Dick was asked by President Joaquin Cerratosa Cibils, early in his year as President (1953-1954) to accept the Chairmanship of this Committee. One can imagine how Dick would ponder his answer. He had many good friends who were on both sides of the points in dispute. However, as a good Rotarian, he accepted and with a strong Committee to work with he presented a report to the Board, which report was published in full in the December 1953 issue of The Rotarian.

Dick's Committee had done it's work so well that it was accepted in toto by the Board at the January 1954 meeting and all important matters in dispute will be voted on at Seattle in June. The general feeling is that Dick and his Committee have rendered a grand Rotary service and the convention at Seattle will likely approve of all that the Committee and the Board have recommended.

We hope Dick will be around for a long time so he may continue to serve Rotary in whatever way his services are required.


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Dick Hedke's Obituary

May 1969

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Dick Hedke's

Letter to

Joseph P. Caulder

Dated January 26, 1951

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Dick Hedke's

Letter to

Joseph P. Caulder

Dated January 16, 1952

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Dick Hedke's

Letter to

Joseph P. Caulder

Dated: February 8, 1954

[Click on Letter to Enlarge]




Copyright Daniel W. Mooers

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