HISTORY OF ROTARY ZONES, also see History of Districts
Zones were first established in 1939 to clarify the procedures for
nomination of directors and election of officers of Rotary
Zones continue to be the
basis for the process of electing members of the Board of Directors.
In accordance with the by-laws, zone composition is reviewed at
least every eight years to ensure that each zone has approximately
the same number of Rotarians. As of 1 July 2009, there are *34
zones, realigned effective as of that date.
At the 1939 International Convention, the
Board of Directors sponsored proposed Enactment 39-3 “To provide for
the nomination of directors from the United States by zones and to
generally clarify the provisions relating to the procedure for the
nomination and election of officers of Rotary International.” The
Council on Legislation amended and combined this enactment with
proposed enactment 39-1, and adopted the combined enactments “To
provide more effective methods for the nomination of the president
of Rotary International; to provide for the nomination of directors
from the United States by zones, and to generally clarify the
provisions relating to-the procedure for the nomination and election
of officers of Rotary International.”
Thus, the by-laws were changed so that
nominations for directors would come from each of the following
States of America (divided into five zones)
(B) Canada and Newfoundland
(C) Great Britain
purposes of proposing candidates from Group A, the United States of
America was divided into five zones, as follows, with provisions for
districts that fell into the boundaries of multiple zones:
Zone No. 1: Alaska, Arizona, California,
Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada,
North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Zone No. 2: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and
Zone No. 3: Arkansas, Kansas,
Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
No. 4: Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
No. 5: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and Vermont.
By October 1958 a three-zone system had been
implemented in Ibero America “for the purposes of proposing
candidates for director from clubs in Ibero America, and for this
mid-1980s (perhaps earlier) zones were also established in other
parts of the world for the purpose of proposing nominations to the
Board of Directors. Zones also became the basis for organizing and
administering conferences, institutes, and training.
By 1 July 1976, other parts of the Rotary world were 'zoned'. At
their first meeting of 1975/6, The Board of Directors expanded
zoning globally in order to "be effective for the nomination of
directors in the next succeeding fiscal year." In 1995 the Council
on Legislation, with proposed enactment 95-91 and resolution 95-171
determined that "The world shall be divided into 34 Zones that are
approximately equal in the number of Rotarians." Prior to 1995, each
Zone was numbered within their respective regions. This was the
first modification of the original global zone designation. Over the
years other modifications have been made such as when Luxembourg and
Belgium were incorporated into Zone 18 on 1 July 2008. Zones 17 and
18 (which were made up of the RIBI districts) were divided into 3
sections: Zone 17- RIBI, incorporating England North/Mid, Scotland,
Wales, and Ireland; Zone 18A incorporating RIBI England South; and
18B incorporating Belgium and Luxembourg.
One interesting resolution passed at the
1995 Council on Legislation in Caracas was that in even numbered
years, odd numbered zones would nominate directors, and vice versa.
There was also special provision needed for the zones covering RIBI.
It was also resolved that at least every 12 years, the Board should
review the zone boundaries to equalize the numbers.
History of Rotary Zones - Updated on 15
November 2009 by Rotary History & Archives (SH)