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THE DISTRICT 5450 HISTORY

Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History

Colorado State Recognition

Recognition (above) of Rotary in Colorado

 

Rotary International District 5450 North Eastern Colorado, USA http://www.rotary5450.org/

Rotary started in Colorado on the 9th of December 1911. At that time the Rotary Club of Denver became the 31st Rotary Club established in the Rotary World.

In 1915, at the Sixth Annual Rotary Convention held in Oakland, California, the District System was adopted. The District for our area was numbered 14, and included the states of Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. John E. Zahn (Denver) was the first District Governor (DG). In the District at that time were four clubs, Salt Lake City (Number 24), Denver (Number 31), Pueblo (Number 43) and Butte (Number 140). Five clubs were added in 1915 during Governor Zahn’s term. The second Governor, T. Casey Witherspoon (Butte, MT) added five clubs, and was followed by George E. Relf (Salt Lake City, UT) who added seven clubs.

At the International Convention of 1918, the area of the District was reduced in size to include Colorado, New Mexico, and Eastern Wyoming, and it was renumbered as District 21. The change reduced the number of clubs in the District from 21 to 6. W. R. McFarland (Denver) was selected as DG and added 9 new clubs during his term. Roger Motten (Colorado Springs) added 7 clubs. Bert F. Scribner (Pueblo) added 4 clubs. Harvey D. Parker (Greeley) added 2, making a total of 28.

At the International Convention in 1922, District 21 was reclassified as District 7, which included Colorado, Wyoming, one (1) Nebraska County, and two (2) New Mexico Counties. James Hazard Walton (Cheyenne, WY) was selected as DG of the newly defined District.

In 1937, District 7 was reclassified as District 113, which included the same territory. Bernard Vessey (Colorado Springs) was DG. Dr. Harry C. Brown (Denver), DG for 1927-28, was the first District resident to serve as an International Director. Later, George Olinger (Denver) and Roy J. Weaver (Pueblo) were selected to serve as International Directors. Edwin A. Bemis (Littleton) was selected as DG 1943-44. A journalist by profession, Bemis highlighted the use of club newsletters during his term. Now awarded annually, the Bemis Award is the highest honor to the District’s best “Editarians”.

In 1949, District 113 was reclassified as District 168, which included the same territory. During the term of DG James R. Mitchell (Casper, WY), 2 clubs were added, making a total at that time of 75 clubs.

In 1950, the District was divided by an “East and West line” South of Littleton, Colorado (a south Denver suburb). The northern part remained District 168 with a geographical area including the northern half of Colorado, Wyoming and one Nebraska County (23 Colorado clubs, 15 Wyoming clubs, and 2 Nebraska clubs). G. Cecil Brierley (Boulder) served as DG of the newly defined district. Jack R. Gage (Sheridan, WY) served as DG 1956-57 (In 1961, Gage became the Governor of the State of Wyoming).

In 1957, District 168 was reclassified as District 545, which included the same territory. Harley W. Shaver (Scottsbluff, NB) was selected to serve as DG. Ray Jenkins (Denver) was DG for Rotary Year 1959-60; and later served as an International Director (ID). Grant Wilkins (Denver) served as DG for Rotary Year 1984-85; and later served as an ID. Through Wilkins’ efforts and those of others, Rotary launched the Polio Plus Campaign to eradicate polio from the world by the year 2005.

In 1987, District 545 was reduced in size to include thirteen (13) counties in North Eastern Colorado. Lester W. Bevans (University Hills-Denver) was selected at that time as DG. Cliff Dochterman, a former resident of the District and Charter President of the University Hills-Denver Club (1971), was selected and served as Rotary International President for the Rotary Year 1992-1993. In 1991, District 545 was reclassified as District 5450 with no change territory size. William B. McMurry (Denver SE) was selected as the first DG of newly renamed District 5450.

The Rotary International Convention has three times been held in the Mile High City. Denver 31 was host to the 17th convention of Rotary International in 1926, the 32nd in 1941, and the 57th in 1966 The District’s first woman DG was Talee Crowe, who served for Rotary Year 1999-2000 marking the beginning of the new millennium. The current (2008-2009) District Governor is Steve Cantrell.

(The above writing serves as a preliminary history--a start--of District 5450. Many names, dates, and events need to be added by others more knowledgeable to complete this document. –Loy Dickenson and Julian A. T. “Jay” Carpender, Jr., contributors)

Posted on behalf of D5450 15 July 2008 by Jack Selway

 

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