Brief histories of Rotary's First 100 Clubs
Rotary Club of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - Club 90
In early 1913, members of the Seattle Club (#4) and the Vancouver Club (#61) brought the idea of Rotary
They contacted Victoria lawyer Frank Higgins to promote the idea, canvassed local businessmen, and the idea of Rotary caught on
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
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.
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.