First Rotary Club of Each Country



Brief histories of the first clubs of each geographic regions or countries

Rotary Club of Skopje, the First Club of the Republic of Macedonia

Rotary International District 2481

Part of our History of Rotary in Europe

A decision by the Board of Directors of Rotary International in 1928 marked an official statement that Rotary is to be organized in 10 new countries and areas, including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Greece.
Thus, the path for the formation of Rotary clubs was open.

The first Rotary club in the former Yugoslavia were formed the same year in Belgrade and Zagreb.
In 1930 there were 5 clubs adding Novi Sad, Osijek and Subotica with 100 Rotarians.
Within the next year this list grows to a total of 12 clubs with 303 members, and this list includes the Skopje club.

In 1931, upon the collective initiatives of all 13 clubs, it was agreed to form the Rotary Clubs of Yugoslavia, as a special district which is allocated number 77.
The number of Rotarians in the district grows to 354 in 1932, and 337 members in 15 clubs by 1933, when the Skopje Club was chartered.

At that time the Rotary Club in Skopje had 26 members, prominent personalities from the high administrative, business and social strata of the Skopje.

As stated in official documents, the first Rotary club was formed in Skopje on May 30, 1931, and the ensuing charter ceremony was held on May 30, 1933.
The official records of the Rotary Club Skopje is registered under reference number 3474.
First Skopje Rotary is part of District 77 which extended throughout the territory of Yugoslavia.
Around that time the District has 16 clubs in the following cities: Belgrade, Dubrovnik, Ljubljana, Maribor, Novi Sad, Osijek, Pancevo, Sarajevo, Skopje, Subotica, Susak, Split, Sibenik, Varazdin, Vukovar, Zagreb.
By that time, new clubs were also in the process of being formed in Banja Luka, Celje and Zemun.
On 1 October 1, 1933, Rotary Skopje had 21 members but soon after the number of members began to grow.
It is interesting to note from the Charter document that the president of Rotary Skopje had two classifications: during the term 1931/32 Milan Chemerikic was described as Banker Chief of Administration in the Department of Economy, Trade and Industry, who was known as a public and cultural activist, was later Secretary of the club and one of the founders of RC in Leskovac; in the period 1932/33 he was described as a builder.
Mihajlovic Joseph, born in the village Miak Toros, was the prominent mayor in Skopje City during whose first term in office, was responsible for much modern urbanization, gaining many capital facilities which still remain, and are a feature of the older side of Skopje until today.

In the period after the charter ceremony, particularly in the 1933/34 term, the Management Board of the club consisted of: Dr. Branislav Voinovich, Chairman; John Golochevac, Vice President; and others including :- Type Djurdjevic, First Secretary; Branko Galic, treasurer; Vladan Bogdanovic, Ceremonial; and Moritz Alkalaj.

Rotary Club Skopje met at the Hotel "Bristol", a facility that exists today and under the same name.
Meetings are held on Fridays at 20.00 pm.
The Secretariat of the Club was located within the then Trade and Industry Chamber, in Hartvigova Street.

The annual membership dues at the time were 100.35 dinars, plus annual subscriptions to "The Rotarian" which amounted to 44.60 dinars.
In these conditions the Rotary Club of Skopje has flourished and grown.

By 1939 the number of members of the club was up to 29 members.
The reports from the management of the club written (in French) during the club's beginnings we read: "The club meets regularly; remarkable harmony characterizes meetings ...", and that " ... members shall submit periodic reports for their professional activities, " while the vocational report says:" .. the club members have an important role in the life of the city, cultural activities and merciful ...". Given the composition of the members, these reports seem quite plausible.

Because of its activities, the club became the host of the 5th District 77 Conference of Rotary which was held on 8th and 9th May 1937.

The Club functioned until the second world war and occupation in 1941, when all clubs and the District 77 in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia were occupied.

The goals were reached 54 years later - in June 1995 at the initiative of several prominent personalities and entusiasts, the renewed Rotary Club was created, the first service club in the autonomous and independent Macedonia.

With its renewed vigour and with international, humanitarian and other social activities, this club nurtures its memories and history and continues the tradition of the first Rotary club Skopje, honours the full 70 years of its history.

 The Skopje Rotaract Club.
The founding group for the club was formed in June 1995 and the official approval and celebration for the start of operation occurred on March 9, 1996.
There was also a special celebration for RTK Skopje on April 30, 1996 in Florence, Italy.
The club currently has 15 active members.
The club is most famous in eastern Europe for its unique "yellow ribbons", a project which was given the Rotary International Award for best project at European level for 2003.
The project requires placing yellow ribbons and markers to assist visually impaired who find the colour easier to recognise.
The ribbons also reminds people to respect cultural differences, to deter serving alcohol to minors.
In 1998 the club organise the Rotaract Conference for South-Eastern Europe.

The Skopje Inner Wheel Club

Our IIW club which presently has 20 members was formed on 16 December 2004 and admitted to the IIW on 21 April 2005. Our Charter President for 2005/06 was Dr. Mary Fukarova_Jurukovska, also IIW service organizer 2009/'10/'11 who was installed at the celebration of our own 10th anniversary on May 27, 2005.

The club has actively worked from March 2005 until today with an ever-growing list of more than 45 different activities listed in groups by their diversity:-
# Visiting the House for the elderly at Zlokukjani and then returning several times with donations that were needed: food, Kapur, coats, a hundred pairs of new shoes, socks, slippers and more.
# The same was done with the "Shelter Center" which is a shelter for women and children of domestic violence where donated several times: packages with clothing, books, backpacks, complete bath accessories, shoes and repairing teeth, washing clothes and Christmas gifts to children in the elementary school at Ljubanci; clothes and food in for baby, children and mothers.
# Donated a computer and payed for a driving license for sick children from an orphanage.
#Donations to Negotino Vevcani Magyar neighborhood, Vizbegovo of families with single mothers without a livelihood from clothing, food, beds, pampers, tracksuits, and WOOD FIRE PLACES heating material, blankets, bedding, food and cosmetics.
# Regular donations to institutes like Institute of Tuberculosis, Institute for Rehabilitation and Geriatric with sheets, furniture, complete reconstruction of two rooms, two children back in elementary school and others.
# Protection of female children by paying tuition costs, study in Russia, four equipped sound systems for prom night in high school "Georgi Dimitrov".
# Lecturing from different vocations with invited speakers on medicine for the poor and hungry in Africa.
# our activities have involved us in cooperation with IIWS Belgrade and IIWS Bedzoglu from Istanbul, Turkey.
# Donated 200 euros for each of - earthquake in Haiti; operation of a child in Bulgaria; and 1000 Euro for the operation of a child in France.
# At the request of women from other Rotary Clubs, Skopje IIWS was elected club sponsor for the formation of IIWS Bitola and of IIW Veles, both in 2011.


this history extracted from the clubs web site with acknowledgements
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