First Rotary Club of Each Country



Brief histories of the first clubs of each geographic region

Rotary Club of Santo Domingo, the First Club of Dominican Republic

Rotary International District 4060

Part of our Rotary Global History in Central American/Caribbean Section



It was not until Feb. 27, 1943 when Rotary settled in Santo Domingo, then Ciudad Trujillo, the first Rotary club in the Dominican Republic. It was the first new country to Rotary since 1939, that no countries were entering new areas of organization was due to the war. The present regime was not pleased with the establishment of a democratic institution, apolitical, where distinguished men of various trades or professional, without discrimination of race or religion, should be organized with the noble ideal of friendship and companionship in terms of service the community.

However, the president Trujillo, knowing that this organization exists only in countries with regimes given by the people, and certainly, to create an image abroad of its democratic government and perhaps with some other purpose, agreed, and in principle gave its support to the entrance of Rotary, tolerated as ceased to survive, but bad for his liking, other fraternal and service suffered distrust of the dictatorship that smothered its humanitarian principles and broke the rules of decency, seriousness brotherhood and coexistence that justified its raison d'etre.

Dominican Republic and Cuba are countries that by their geographical proximity and historical antecedents have always been intertwined and especially bound by an interplay of idealistic men, and in this case, it had to be a Cuban doctor who came Manuel Galigarcía to help the Dominicans, led by Don Andres Pastoriza, to establish our first club, the Rotary Club of Ciudad Trujillo, as it was called then to the city of Santo Domingo, a cousin of America.

For Rotary, the entry of our country in the Rotary family was an extraordinary event. Although the basic principles of the organization really did not meld with the socio-political structure that then prevailed in the Dominican Republic, but it may be considered was the triumph of good and right above the injustice and despotism.

First Steps

The achievement persuasive and brave as were mainly gift Andres Pastoriza and Dr. Valverde. Galigarcía Manuel, director of Rotary International, who skillfully fought the all-embracing desire that ruled the nation, absolutism contrary to everything that by natural law has to be exclusive right of human being. It was necessary to avoid creating any type of company that would aim to bring together men and fraternize, and less if they should belong to different levels of social life, as it is in Rotary.

And on another occasion, in a first attempt, the idea of forming a Rotary club had been rejected. In the interview held for such purposes and Don Don Andrés Manuel with the president, Generalissimo Trujillo, to achieve the consent of the Government for the installation of Rotary in our country, earned much of the special consideration that he enjoyed in our Pastoriza social, appreciation to the President and professed the wisdom and gallant diplomacy; latter as the first personal expression of who we are highlighted as follows:

"After the President to fully explain the essential purpose and goals of Rotary, which is to cultivate friendship and companionship, both nationally and internationally and help the people in need, he responded: "The first part is very good, we need friends, but as for the second in the country to help the poor government response to this ... response, Galigarcía, knowing the power of nationalist fervor Trujillo, argued: "Chief, from the founding of the Rotary Club of Havana, in the collection of flags that decks its presidential table, there is a hole beside the Cuban flag and it is because , In the sentiments of every member of this club, this must be for siting the Dominican flag. " –Y por qué no la ponen? And why not put? Replied the president.

-Because only the flags of countries where there may appear Rotary there. To which Trujillo responded with pride: "Well that will make the Rotary Club to get the Dominican flag." So much of the narration Pastoriza. Since that time, by the way the club was formed and for the help they provided training for their most intimate partners, it is clear that Trujillo, in principle, provided the requested sponsorship to the Rotary Club.

It is clear that when the president gave the extended audience to Galigarcía, Pastoriza had at least a willingness to hear the reasons with regard to the proposal, but what finally did enter at the event was the love of their flag, so that it could look with all other partners on the continent and in every Rotary club in the Americas and the rest of the world.

First Preparatory Meeting

The day on February 10 1943, at 1:30 pm, when convened, it became the first preparatory session. They met in Santo Domingo Country Club, 29 of 36 guests, with the aim of forming a Rotary club. Don Andres Pastoriza explained the reason for the meeting and then submitted to Dr. Galigarcía Manuel, director of Rotary International, who came from Cuba especially for that purpose and who rightly made an interesting presentation on the origin, aims and purposes of Rotary. Dio released details that were heard with great attention and appreciation for those present.

Julio Ortega Frier suggested to the audience that Pastoriza was appointed as president of the club in training and then, at the initiative of the President proclaimed, were appointed:.



 President Andrés Pastoriza Valverde
 Vice President Sr. José Ma. Bonetti Burgos
 Vice President Lic. Julio Ortega Frier
 Treasurer  Rafael Esteva
 Sergeant of Arms Lic. JA Bomilla Atiles
 Member Eladio Fernández
 Member TB O'Connell
 Member José Sánchez Arcilla
 Member Jaime Ricaret Vidal
 Member Leonard H. Faber
 Member Arsenio Freites

The new club would be sponsored by the Rotary Club of Havana, Cuba Rotary District No. 25. Galigarcía had been appointed Deputy Special club adviser for that reason.

The new club adopted the Regulations in force approved by Rotary International and a gentle companion Galigarcía put in the hands of the President a flag of their homeland, Cuba, as a gift to the Rotary Dominicans. This fine attention was reciprocated - Dominican gifted a flag for the Havana Club.

It was decided that meetings would be held on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm, at the site of the Ateneo Dominicano and that the service would be dinner hosted by the Hollywood Cafe, to RD $ 1.00 the cover.

In this first preparatory meeting attended as a guest Mr Rodríguez León, Civil Attaché of the Legation in Cuba. There was also established that the payment would be RD $ 10.00 per member and the annual fee of RD $ 15.00.

Second Preparatory Session

The second preparatory session took effect on 16 February of the same month in the Dominican Ateneo, at 7:30 pm, because he had a special interest in letting the Rotary Club formally installed on February 27, the anniversary of national independence.

He informed the President that the previous day had returned to Havana Dr. Galigarcía, after assisting in the preparation and release of the documentation required for the final installation of the club, and had also sent a money order for $ 100.00 U.S. dollars, as Entry fee to Rotary International in Chicago. In preparing the forms and lists of rankings of partners cooperating with enthusiasm the seminar, Lic. Troncoso Sanchez, Lic. Atila Jose Antonio Bonilla and the Civil Attaché of the Cuban Legation Mr. Rodriguez de Leon.

Lic. Bonilla Atil, Sergeant of Arms, read out the list of committees and sub-committees appointed by the President.

The Club was formed by 36 partners with their respective classifications, as follows:




1 Andres Pastoriza  Tissue-distribution
2 J. .A. Bonetti Burgos  Peanut oil-Distributión
3 Eladio Fernández General merchandise - Distribution
4 TB P'Conell Bank Credit
5 Jaime Ricart Vidal Coffee - Distribution
6 Leonard H. Faber Consular Services
7 Arsenio B. Freites Leasing Properties
8 Lic. A. Bonilla Atiles Civil Advocacy
9 Francisco Martines Alba Cars - Retail sales
10 Alfredo Dalmau Petrol - Distribution
11 José Azar Haberdashery-Retail sales
12 Rafael Vidal Diaries - Publications
13 José r.  Estrella Diaries - Publications
14 R. Paíno PIchardo Literature
15 Dr. Pedro R. Polanco Radiology
16 Dr. Publio S.  Mejía Pharmacy
17 Dr. Manuel E. Perdomo Tocología
18 Dr. Manuel Pastoriza Otolaryngology
19 Nicolás Vega Commercial Banks
20 Osvaldo Báez soler Secondary
21 Lic. enrique de Marchena Music
22 HF Wiggs Electricity - Production
23 Lic. MA Peña Batlle Sugar - Manufacture
24 Ing. Manuel S. Gautier Cattle - Breeding
25 Dr. Fernando A. Batlle Professional associations
26 Lic. Virgilio Díaz Ordoñez University Education
27 José Dmingo López  Periodicals - Publication
28 Juan R. Santoni Calero Shipping
29 Arturo Pellerano Sardá Printing
30 Lic. Julio Ortega Frier Advocacy General
31 Lic. Wencesalo Troncoso S. .  Patent Lawyers
32 Rafael Esteva  Apart from Radio - Retail sales
33 Jose Sánchez Arcilla Diplomatic Service
34 Manuel de Moya Alonso Agricultural Experimental Farm
35 Dr. Eduardo A.Guerra  Journalism
36 Ernesto B. Freires  Burlap sacks of Manufacture

Ernesto B. Freites was summoned to the first preparatory meeting held on February 10 at 1:30 pm at the Santo Domingo Country Club and did not attend. Was disqualified in the second session of 16, also school, but attended with the classification of "Sacks Manufacture of Arpillería "at the inaugural session which was held on February 27 at the Ateneo Local Dominicano in the afternoon session that continued for the night at the Palace of the Administrative Council and endorsed by the President of Rotary International, Eng . Fernando Carvajal and the Director of Rotary, Dr. Galigarcía Manuel.

We make this clarification because it has been said that the founders were 35 because Ernesto B. Freites was not present at the preparatory meetings. However, he attended the opening session and for a time maintained his activity in the Club.

Ideas were exchanged on the occasion of the events to be held for the surrender of the charter and the honorable visit of the President of Rotary International, Ing. Fernández Carvajal , accompanied by his distinguished wife, who would honor the deal rotate Dominican personally Carvajal of all matters relating to the inauguration of the Club, to move solely for that purpose from his residence in Lima, Peru.

It was agreed to offer after the surrender of the charter that enshrined the new Club and within the same opening session, a beautiful reception to the Lord President of the Republic and his wife.

A commission was appointed to prepare the agenda for the acts be held for that purpose, which should be adjusted to the celebrations to officially take place on the occasion of the festivities, which was comprised of R. Paíno Pichardo, JM Bonetti Burgos, HF Wiggs, John R. Santoni Calero and José Antonio Bonilla Atiles.

The President stated that he would convene a timely manner the Board to complete the final preparations, the meeting for Tuesday was canceled and 23 that the main events of the inauguration of the Rotary Club would be held at the Jaragua Hotel. It was also agreed that each those present left a tip of RD $ 0.10 for the service.

This session was honored with the presence of Dr. Álvaro García Herrera , Chargé d'affaires of Colombia and Honorary member of the Rotary Club of San Jose, Costa Rica.

Official recognition and delivery for Charter

The Rotary Club of Santo Domingo was officially recognized by Rotary International on February 17, 1943, and indeed the February 27, the date of special significance to the Dominican people at afternoon, in solemn acts headed by Chairman of Rotary International, Ing. Fernando Carvajal and the Director of Rotary, Dr. Galigarcía Manuel, was officially opened the work with full tuition for the delivery of the Charter authorizing the new Rotary Club. After the President explain why The meeting was the presentation of the President of Rotary International and the Director, the latter already known by most of the competition, yielding the floor to President Carvajal, who with eloquent concepts inspired by the Rotary philosophy, delivered to the President of a new Club bell to open and close the meetings. The thought address by the President of Rotary International ended with these beautiful words: "That is Santo Domingo, the torch of American culture."

The Director of Rotary International and Special Delegate of the Rotary Club of Havana for the formation of the new club, Dr. Galigarcía, was pleased by the recognition that had made her work and said to feel immense joy for the crystallization of the idea of Rotary to install in Santo Domingo. He delivered on behalf of the Rotary Club of Havana Rotary Banner, gifts in his name in addition to the new club with a Mallet made with precious woods, which serve to guide the work.

Sergeant of Arms, to reciprocate the attentions of President Carvajal, offered to send a fact Mallet with mahogany centennial of the historic ruins of St. Nicholas' monument that was the first hospital in Santo Domingo and American, which added the President Rotary International, and indeed, Lic. Bonilla Attila personally handed the Mallet referred to Ing. Fernando Carbajal at the Rotary Convention in Saint Louis, Missouri, held from 18 to May 20, 1943.

The Rotary Jose Sanchez Arcilla, Chargé d'affaires of Cuba, took the floor to express that the creation of the Rotary Club was made possible through the strong support of President Trujillo and the valuable contribution given to this beautiful companion piece by R. Paíno Pichardo.

It was declared a recess to continue the meeting at the former palace of City Hall, then Administrative Council, facing the Parque Colon, with the assistance of the President of the Republic, the President of Rotary International, the Director of RI, of the total enrollment, Heads of diplomatic missions accredited in the country and people representing various activities in this capital, all accompanied by their wives. He spoke the President of the Club for dedicating the act. The President delivered a speech revealing beautiful as an expert on the essential principles of the nascent institution, pledging its support for the new organization, which implicitly warned to be part of the registration as we entered several characters who played important official positions of government.

Fernando Carvajal, who eloquently spoke extensively about the rationale of Rotary, the companionship of their programs and inspiring the sensitive and humanitarian mission of the organization especially in those times of war (it was 1943) and on so many edifying concepts to illustrate Rotarians Dominicans.

Address by PRI Ing. Fernando Carvajal in delivering the charter to the Rotary club Ciudad Trujillo (now Santo Domingo)

 [The PRI Ing. Carvajal] Gift to the head of state with two flags, one of Peru, his homeland, and another of Rotary.

It was a beautiful reception where they showed how they started strongly, as hard and with visible demonstrations, the lofty ideal of the cog in this land of simple people and excellent Christian virtues, where the law is nobleness and hospitality .

Rotary was formally installed in the Dominican Republic and started well in uninterrupted work with fervor, earnestness and enthusiasm.

Work after the establishment of the club

At the meeting on March 11 next, held at the Ateneo Dominicano, be it resolved that the official name of the Club would be Rotary Club of Ciudad Trujillo, but in matters of disclosure could be used for the Rotary Club of Ciudad Trujillo. It was understood that in accordance with the regulations of Rotary could be admitted every month during the first year of its founding, three new partners.

The Club was alternately sitting on the premises of the Ateneo Dominicano, in the Youth Club and a few meetings were made in the Jaragua Hotel. Despite the resolution that took the club to hold its inaugural sitting in that hotel, this very important meeting, as we reported in previous paragraphs, took effect in the Dominican Ateneo.

 Club grew, as it had been given effect to the resolution of carrying three partners each month during the first year and also the growing costs and needs. The Secretariat was underneath the Club Antilles in the room to graciously offered the distinguished fellow Rotary Ing. Manuel Salvador Gautier (Flon), Chairman of that community center. To solve the increasingly growing obligations resolved in the meeting on October 5 of 1943, increasing the annual quota of 15 to 24 pesos and the entry fee of 10 to 25 pesos .

The Rotary Club of Santo Domingo obtained legal status, on Sept. 21, 1943.

It is fair to appropriate the important role that clubs for Dominicans and especially for the newly formed were visiting Dr. Galigarcía Manuel, Dr. Lubián Agustin Gomez, Ernesto and Dr. Bernard Trincheri. Echemendía Jose, during the years 1943, 1944 and 1945los last three, not the district governors. Cuba 25. To all of them, but especially for Galigarcía, eminent doctor, who also took advantage of his visits to the country to enact a series of medical lectures at the University of Santo Domingo, Dominican must rotate the grata remembrance and appreciation.

The seed had been launched in Rotary fruitful path. The Dominican is given to the spirit of service and friendship. Remedied easily be understood that the common needs if use is made of the help and cooperation of all. One man given to social life and in a spirit of service can always do something useful, but when I met many men with such virtues, the joint effort, organized and well managed, can solve many problems big or small, but all benefits to the community.

Our country, on the occasion of the installation of Rotary was mentioned in many organs of the advertising world. The Convention St. Louis, Missouri. U.S., we have alluded to the May 20, 1943, adopted a resolution recommending to all Rotary clubs in the world devote its last meeting in February 1944 to commemorate the centenary of our independence, beautiful gesture of international solidarity that Rotary caló transpired and very deep in the heart of the nascent Dominican and Rotarians around the village. To match as significant deference and appreciation toward our country, was issued a series of explanatory booklets with historical, geographical, industry and trade that were sent to All Rotary clubs in the world.

During its first year the new Rotary Club, composed of men of dynamic and broad possibilities, was the scene of wonderful ideas and positive realities which offered a valuable service to the country and Rotary, in the varied aspects of its work. Many of its founders, almost everyone took Rotary seriously and enthusiastically.

 He was an inspiration to externalize and translate into action their desire to serve. Within these constructive ideas, their size and the lesson from the political point of view would offer, deserves special mention of the Student House.


acknowledgements to the members and Webmaster of the Club

posted by RGHF Webmaster Greg Barlow. December 2008

 History to be posted soon by José María Fernández Mesa, RC Santo Domingo Bella Vista, Distrito 4060 http://www.rotaryfirst100.org/historians/mesa.htm
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