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Brief histories of the "Rotario Latin America" Clubs

Rotario Club of Rio de Janeiro, First Club of Brazil

Rotario International Distrito 4570

Site of the 1948 Rotary International Convention

Home Club of Ernesto Imbassahy de Mello 


About the history of the movement of Rotary in Brazil, comments contained in the old information "Rotárias News", first issue, published on November 14, 1924, it is worth noting:

It all began in 1916 when Ches Perry, (the Secretary of Rotary International at the time), Herbert Percival Coates (a British national and permanently resident in Montevideo, Uruguay) and Richard Momsen (an American lawyer serving as U.S. Consul General in Rio De Janeiro) met during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Chicago.

Both Coates and Momsen returned to their respective countries, excited by the speeches and enthusiastic to be responsible for the creation of the first Rotary Club in South America.

It must be recorded here that Coates won the race with the formation of the Rotary Club of Montevideo, Uruguay in 1919.

When in November 1922 Herbert P. Coates visited the city of Rio de Janeiro, representing Rotary International as the Special Commissioner in South America, with the goal of founding a ROTARY CLUB here, the idea had already been discussed by others.
Some time before, two or three people had already tried to organize in Rio de Janeiro a Rotary Club. Due to the large number of foreigners however, the club was not registered at that time.

To illustrate, the minutes of that first meeting involved the following founding members:

1 - A. Costa Pires - importer of coal
2 – C. A. Sylvester

3 - Col. C. H. Granwford - railway equipment
4 – F.A. Huntress - light and strength
5 - Frank M. Garcia - construction material
6 – H.L. Dale - hydraulic equipment
7 – H.M. Sloat - railway equipment
8 - Herbert Moses - lawyer
9 – J.D.W. Snowden - steel
10 – T.P. Stevenson - navigation
11 – J.R. Haney - lubricating oils
12 – P.C. Cothan - insurance
13 – W.M. Goern - engineer
14 – R.P. Momsen - lawyer
15 – T.L. Wright - cars
16 – W.C. Holmes - tyres
17 – W.C. Stevens - sewing machines

For this or that reason, it was, however, Coates who happily continued the quest.

The original idea prospered, and in January 29, 1921, resulted in the achievement, at the "Central Club" in Rio de Janeiro, located at No 118, Avenida Rio Branco, of the first meeting of members.
There were organized at the time, two distinct groups: the Brazilian group represented by Herbert Moses, and foreigners represented by J.D. Snowden, General Manager of "American Steel Export Company."
In consequence of the usual procedures, on 29 September, 1922, officially, was founded the ROTARY CLUB RIO DE JANEIRO, the first and godfather of the other clubs that followed in Brazil.

Once however overcome the difficulties, February 28, 1923, the Rotary International has consigned the competent Diploma of Admission, highlighting the fact that, of the original group, only remained as "founder" Herbert Moses.
Under the 1362 Club number, the new club was affiliated to Rotary International.

COATES, English rooted in Montevideo was  the true forerunner of this important and glorious initiative in Brazil.
Known as the "FATHER OF ROTARY IN SOUTH AMERICA," was acclaimed honorary member of the Rotary Club of Rio de Janeiro in meeting on February 28, 1938, when new title, until his death in 1941.

The history of the Rotary Club of Rio de Janeiro is very rich and the planting of the seed of Rotary throughout Brazil in 1924 resulted in the founding of the Rotary Club of Sao Paulo and, subsequently, the Rotary Clubs of Santos (1927), Belo Horizonte (1927), Juiz de Fora (1928) and Niteroi (1928).
The club also participated in the founding of several other clubs in other states of the Federative Republic.

It was also through the initiative of a group of dedicated members of the Rotary Club of Rio de Janeiro that the information "News Rotárias" (founded in 1924), subsequently had its name changed to "Rotary Brazilian", moving then to draw up Forever "Brazil Rotary", a publication that aims to spread the ideal of serve, and the revised regional official of Rotary International for Rotarians in Brazil.

The seed planted in 1923 by RC of Rio de Janeiro, germinated and bore fruit: today, are 38 districts in Brazil, with more than 2,300 clubs, which include more than 53,000 Rotarians.

In Rotary world, Brazil is in third place in number of clubs and fifth in number of members.
In addition, two international conventions have been held in Brazil: one in 1948, in Rio de Janeiro, with 7,511 participants, and another in the city of Sao Paulo in 1981, with 15,222 participants.

Three distinguished Brazilian Rotarians also have held the position of President of Rotary International: Armando de Arruda Pereira (1940-41), Ernesto Imbassahy de Mello (1975-76) and Paulo Viriato Correa da Costa (1990-91), all now deceased.

acknowledgements to the District Board, the Clubs, Members and Webmaster of District 4750

translated by Google and edited and posted by RGHF Webmaster, Greg Barlow. 24 August 2008

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