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Brief histories of Rotary's First 100 Clubs

 

Rotary Club of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Club 90

 

Rotary International District 5020

In early 1913, members of the Seattle Club (#4) and the Vancouver Club (#61) brought the idea of Rotary to Victoria.
They contacted Victoria lawyer Frank Higgins to promote the idea, canvassed local businessmen, and the idea of Rotary caught on very quickly.

Within months, but effective 1 January 1914, the Rotary Club of Victoria was established as Club #90.
The inaugural banquet was held at the Empress Hotel on 15 Nov 1913 with Frank Higgins as President.
Forty-one charter members attended.
The first secretary was Boer War veteran Captain Tom Goodlake, who held this post for twenty years before serving a term as president.

The Club met at the Empress Hotel for over 75 years before moving to its present location at the Princess Mary Restaurant.
Club presidents have included a number of Victoria mayors and several provincial cabinet members.
Hockey legend Lester Patrick was president in 1921-22.

Over the years, Club 90 has participated in virtually thousands of local and international projects, and many activities supported and continue to support youth, such as the Youth Exchange, and the Ambassadorial Scholarship program.
In the early days, the Club did much to publicize the city, to develop the tourist trade from the US and also to attract new industry.
The Club lobbied and provided financial support to numerous activities such as the Island Highway, the Crystal Gardens, the iron and steel industry, the Queen Alexandra Solarium, the Willows Fair Ground, the Community Chest, the James Bay Boys Club, the Esquimalt Drydock, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, the establishment of Royal Roads as a Naval College, the establishment of Goodwill Enterprises and on and on.

Club 90 was also responsible for the establishment of the Chamber of Commerce and what is now Tourism Victoria.
In 1948, the Club sponsored the Tourist Bureau building which remains today on the Inner Harbour Causeway.
Community support has continued to the present.

During the last decade the Clubís financial infusion to local and international programs exceeded $1million.
Significant activities include an $85,000 donation to the Cancer Research Centre and a number of large donations to Polio Plus.

In 2003, the Club celebrated its 90th anniversary with more than a dozen celebratory activities including a formal banquet, the awarding of Paul Harris Fellowships to a number of local eminent citizens and the production of a Rotary insert for the two local newspapers.

Centennial Involvement
As one of the first hundred clubs in Rotary, the Rotary Club of Victoria, BC, is proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International. Club 90ís principal centennial project is the creation of a ROTARY welcome garden at the ocean/cruise ship terminals, which will be a permanent gift to the city and will welcome myriads of visitors, we hope for the next hundred years.

 

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1910-1912 1913-1915 GOODWILL DONALD MACRAE JIM DAVIDSON JIM RALSTON
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The seven Canadian "First 100" Clubs

Zone 22

5550 *Winnipeg*  

7070 Toronto

5040 Vancouver

7820 Halifax

7090 Hamilton

7040 Montreal

5020 Victoria

 

35

55

61

81

82

85

90

Organized 3Nov1910 Chartered 13Apr1912  *Made Rotary International

1 March 1913

1 April 1913

1 August 1913

1 August 1913

1 October 1913

1 January 1914

 

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