Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rotary Club of New York History In A Nutshell

August 24, 1909 we officially became Rotary Club No. 6.

In October of the same year, our club member John Frick designed and made the first Rotary pin, the prototype of what Rotarians wear today. We still have the pin on display at our office.

In 1916 our current Club’s shield emblem was first designed. In 1919, one of our members placed this design on a banner which he personally presented to the Rotary Club of London; and thus started the tradition of Club to Club banner exchanges that is still a Rotary tradition today.

In 1922 Rotary International adopted its Constitution and By-Laws that was heavily influenced by our Club’s Constitution and the recommendations of our Club’s Past President, Ray Knoeppel.

On April 1, 1926 Paul Harris addressed our club and named us “The Host Club of America” because nearly all European Rotarians traveling to the United States visited our club after their long Atlantic crossing. It is an endearment we still use today.

The Rotary Club of New York’s Foundation was established in 1945 and has raised millions of dollars for social programs throughout our city and the world. Most recently, we were responsible for dispensing more than 1.5 million dollars that we received from other generous Rotary Clubs and others to assist needy New Yorkers to recover from the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Our Club hosted two Rotary International Conventions, first in 1949 and then again in 1959.

Luther Hogers, our club’s president in1947-48, became governor of North Carolina and then U.S. Secretary of Commerce. But the high point of his career was when he became Rotary International president in 1967.

In addition to many New York mayors, governors, United Nations officials, business and religious leaders, our historic, yet still very much utilized, Club Podium has hosted such notable guest speakers as Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, President Herbert Hoover, and even the Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in his full resplendent uniform. (Our historic podium is pictured above as Past- President Greg Lynch makes a presentation to one of New York's Finest Finest for a heroic life- saving rescue).

The Rotary Club of New York is also known for our corny but friendly welcome song that we have sung to the over 60,000 visiting Rotarians since it was first copyrighted by club member Johnny Shays in 1945: “Fellow Rotarians We Greet You.”

Transcription From a Full Page Advertisement in the New York Times published on May 11, 1918 "A Rotary Club is an organization of businessmen bound together by the understanding to better the life and conditions in the community. Primarily the idea was to stimulate interchange of business among members, but this proved provincial and has long been discontinued. Today Rotary stands for the highest ideals in the business and social life, with benefit to all, and favoritism to none.There are 888 clubs in as many cities of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Cuba. The movement started in 1905, and today there are 86,806 Rotarians each pledged to an unselfish duty. The Rotary Club of New York has 412 members, each representing a different line of business or profession. By virtue of its membership principles, Rotary cannot be dominated in a single selfish direction, but must serve the greatest number fearlessly. These leaders of industry offer this page to the public as an expression of sincerity in business and community betterment". Rotarians are in business to serve. If you go to one of these advertisers on this page, or purchase his merchandise, you are assured of full value, courtesy and no misrepresentation."


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