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 Brief histories of Rotary's First 100 Clubs

Rotary Club of Camden 59

Rotary International District 7640

The Rotary Club of Camden, New Jersey met for the first time on December 3, 1912 and is Chartered as the 59th Club of Rotary International.

The Camden Rotary Club was organized under very favorable auspices.  Two prominent residents of Camden City, members of the Philadelphia Rotary Club, Mr. Frederick Himmelein, Jr., and his son-in-law, Mr. William G. Oaks, took the initiative by calling a meeting on December 3, 1912, in Mr. Himmelein's home.

Twenty-five prominent citizens attended this first meeting.  The group decided to apply for a charter from the National Office in Chicago, Illinois.  At the second meeting, the Charter was received (the 59th Club of Rotary International) and ordered recorded in the proper State and County offices.  Under the Charter, formal applications for membership were received from thirty-eight men, including those who were present at the first and second informal meetings.  Ralph D. Baker was elected our first President.

The following are some highlights of our first year:  The first regular monthly dinner meeting was held on January 7, 1913, at the Hotel Ridgeway.  At the April meeting our Club began to "rotate" by holding the monthly meetings at Howard Dudley's store.  The first Club roster was prepared for the June meeting.  Our first "Ladies Night" was held on November 11, 1913, with a dinner at Howard Dudley's store, after which the group attended the Broadway Theater.  We closed our first year with a total membership of ninety-one.

On August 4, 1914, the first edition of our present publication, "The Hub", was issued.  Another milestone came in February 1917 when the Club decided to establish a Sinking Fund for emergency purposes.  A Board of Trustees was established to manage the investments.  December 1, 1922, was the birthday of the Student Loan Fund started with donations from individual members and $500.00 from the club Treasury.

New Jersey

Newark 49

Camden 59

Paterson 70

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