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Brief histories of the "First 100" Clubs

Rotary Club of Philadelphia #19 1911

Rotary International District 7450 (history needed)

Home Club of Two RI presidents

Host club of two RI Conventions

The history of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia starts in Chicago. Much of the material compiled by History Committees of this club, down thought he years, comes from the writings of Guy Gundaker, a distinguished president of RC of Philadelphia. Gundaker was also president of Rotary International in 1923 (convention page). 

President's home page

President's obituary, from the November 1960 issue of The Rotarian, by PRIP Everett W. Hill, 1924-25

 

From "Rotary," a publication of the University of Chicago in 1934 comes:

 

"Paul P. Harris occupies an almost unique position among leaders of men, in that the movement which he initiated in the city of Chicago in 1905 has, within his own life-time, become a world wide force of impressive scope and power. The seeds of the Rotary idea germinated in the mind of Paul Harris for several years before he took any action looking toward the establishment of an organization.

 

"In looking back on these years, he has declared that 'he conceived of a group of business men banded together socially; then he thought there would be an especial advantage in each member's having exclusive representation of this particular trade of profession. The members would be mutually helpful. He resolved to organize such a club.'

 

Five years after the founding of Rotary, in 1910, there were five bachelors living together in Philadelphia. One of them, W. Warren Shaw, music instructor, had been a classmate of Paul Harris at the University of Vermont.

 

That was the reason for the start of Philadelphia and on 30 April 1911 the club joined the family of Rotary Clubs, soon to be known as Rotary International.

 

Soon the very active Philadelphia members had founded Harrisburg, PA; Washington, DC; Baltimore, and Camden, NJ.

 

In 1912, the International Convention at Duluth had elected Philadelphia Rotarian Glenn Mead as the first president of the "International" organization. Philadelphia, the 19th Rotary Club now had Rotary's second president among its ranks. Mead's 1913 convention was in Buffalo, NY

 

President Mead's home page

 

Also, please read Mead's article "Service Begins at Home"

 

Rotary's founder, Paul Harris served as president of the "National Association of Rotary Clubs," from 1910-1912 and with the term of President Mead, became "President Emeritus" until his death in 1947.

 

Glenn Mead and Guy Gundaker and others campaigned relentlessly to elevate Rotary's "objects and purposes" and gradually became successful fin leading Rotary to become the unselfish and respected institution that has led to its present enviable status worldwide.

 

Tribute to Glenn Mead by Guy Gundaker

The passing of Britain's Queen Alexandra was observed by Rotary world wide, and in 1926 this autographed portrait of the Queen was presented to Rotary Club of Philadelphia by Rotary Club of London.

Collection of Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler

One of the two first Rotary Anns was from Philadelphia:

22-26 June 1914 and 1,288 Rotarians make the long journey to Houston, TX, USA  Rotarian Henry Brunier of San Francisco and his wife "Ann" boarded a special train for the convention. Since Ann was the only woman on the train for most of the trip the other Rotarians began calling her "Rotary Ann". In Houston the Bruniers met Guy and Ann Gundaker of Philadelphia. and soon the name "Rotary Ann"  belonged to Guy's wife as well. The term "Rotary Ann" lasted until the late 1980's. Gundaker was RIP 1923-24. "Bru" Brunier of San Francisco, was RIP in 1952-53.

(see Rotary Timeline)

Liberty Bell photos Courtesy of Wolfgang Ziegler 30 April 2006

The photos are from a small metal/wooden Liberty Bell model (approx. 7 inches high), presented by the Philadelphia club to guest speakers, which I auctioned in eBay long ago. (From the Ziegler Collection and his estate in Germany)

Conventions:  1956  1988 

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

First 100 Clubs of PA

Rotary Club of Philadelphia 19

Rotary Club of Pittsburgh 20

Rotary Club of Harrisburg 23

Rotary Club of Reading 88

Rotary Club of New Castle 89

Rotary Club of Erie 91

Also See: Scranton #101

And Hanover #4000

Early Map of District 50

Courtesy of Wolfgang Ziegler

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