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Brief histories of the "Early Rotary" Clubs

Rotary Club of San Francisco #2

Rotary International District 5150

Why where Rotarians were part of the UN Charter in 1945?

Rotary International, founded in 1905 in Chicago by attorney Paul Harris, is the world's oldest and largest service organization.

 

The Rotary Club of San Francisco was founded in 1908, thanks to a chance meeting between a visiting member of the Chicago Rotary Club and local attorney, Homer W. Wood.  Wood was fascinated with the concept of a club created to accommodate businessmen who wanted to talk about business and, with eight others, held the 1916, meeting at one of Zack White's new restaurantsfirst meeting in late June 1908. 

This was followed by a formal "founding" banquet which took place on November 12, 1908, with Homer Wood as president.

 

In early correspondence Rotary founder

1916 photo above. A custom of the club was to meet in members places of business from time to time. Here at a newly opened restaurant of member Zack White.  photo courtesy Cal Thomson

Paul Harris explained to Homer Wood that while helping one another's businesses was certainly a part of  Rotary, the main purpose should be to "accomplish something for your city." These thoughts were incorporated into the club's constitution, which called for promoting

SF#2 Founder Homer Woodbusiness interests, good fellowship and civic pride and loyalty.

 

The Rotary Club of San Francisco has played an important role in the growth of the City and in Rotary itself.  As the second Rotary Club in the world, San Francisco has spawned many clubs throughout the Central States and the world and has hosted four International Conventions.

  Our members are major corporate executives, government officials and business owners who are committed to Rotary's Service Above Self principle and making San Francisco and the world a better, safer and healthier place to live.

On 2 June 1913, then President Glen Mead sent certificates to all clubs at that time welcoming them into the "International Association of Rotary Clubs."

These certificates were to officially recognize these clubs. Duplicates of this certificate are found at the section for Wichita #30 and San Diego #33.

A review of these certificates by individual clubs, in light of the 2005 Centennial lead some clubs to question their own standing in the "First 100," however, the work of San Francisco #2 historian Theresa Whitener brought to the attention of Rotary Global History that all of these were issued on the same date and clearly state the "number" of each club.

 

 

See the delegates to the first convention of Rotary in 1910, in Chicago when the National Association of Rotary Clubs was formed. San Francisco was a forming club was there.

See our delegation at Rotary's 2nd convention in Portland, Oregon, USA in 1911. A rare, early Rotary Global History photo.

One footnote in Rotary Global History. Homer Wood is credited with founding not only San Francisco#2, but Oakland #3, Seattle #4 and Los Angeles #5. The rapid growth "out West" caused problems for the Chicago club that almost derailed Paul Harris' plans for the future.

Paul Harris has his own comments on Wood's work and his own version of the order in which the clubs were organized. That information is linked here.

Also read Rotary Global History's tribute to Homer Wood

 

1935 San Francisco Rotarians take RI "Big Shots" on a wild game hunt that is covered in The Rotarian

 

Rotary and the United Nations - Charter in San Francisco in 1945

In the early History, "business" was an important issue as these examples illustrate from a 1940 book entitled The Rotary Club of San Francisco 1908-1940 by William J. Mountain printed by The Recorder Press, San Francisco and is dedicated to Homer W. Wood.

There is an Advisory and Contributing Committee mentioned at the beginning of the book containing some 33 members. Rotarian Arthur S. Holman was Chairman.

In the preface Mountain tells us that it is written by and for SF Rotarians and notes that the suggestion for the book came from Robert L. St. John in 1939. Mountain also thanks those Rotarians of long standing who helped write the history, especially Harry White who contributed much of the work on the Past Presidents.

San Francisco's membership Jan 15, 1909, speech by Oakland's president May 28th and Grindings of 1913

 Cal Thomson

Articles about "Boosting" in 1913
Read about William Stuart Morrow the early (1908) SF#2 member who returned to his native Ireland and took Rotary with him in 1910.

 

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