6th Convention

6th Convention
San Francisco, CA July 18-23
1,988 with in attendance
The Rotarian 1915

Until the Houston convention in 1914, Rotary had celebrated all its conventions in August. After the convention in Buffalo, 18-21 August 1913, the dates of the Houston convention were changed to 22-26 June 1914. Subsequently, the conventions of San Francisco (1915) and Cincinnati (1916) were celebrated in July. At that point, Rotary established a tradition, programming the convention for a date near the end of the Rotary year, in May or June.

Although the present practice to identify the salient president of Rotary International with the convention that is celebrated at the end of his or her year of office, does not necessarily apply to the conventions celebrated during the term of office of Frank L. Mulholland, 1914-15. He was chosen by the delegates of the Houston convention, and he participated in the convention of San Francisco, 18-23 July 1915. Russell Greiner, 1913-14, and Arch Klumph, 1916-17, celebrated two conventions during their terms in office; they shared these conventions with their predecessors and successors.

Frank L. Mulholland, Toledo, OH, 1914-15 RI president
President's Home Page
Mulholland on "Racial Ridicule"

Mulholland bio

The actual dissemination of the code was discontinued by the RI board in 1952 but the code still exists.

Rotary's code of ethics were adopted at the 1915 convention. The actual dissemination of the code was discontinued by the RI board in 1952 but the code still exists.

Wolfgang Ziegler

The 1915 Convention at San Francisco was held between July 19th and 23rd.

The climate was clearly affected by the Great War that had erupted in Europe. The Rotary Marching Song (sung to the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers) appeared at San Francisco. ["Music History"]

Paul Harris again was absent due to ill health but sent his customary message. "It's a grand thing in this period of the world's history, when great nations are at war, to see two such standards raised aloft as have been raised by two of the world's great organizations. 'Truth' and 'Service' herald the dawn of a new day."

President Mulholland, in his Official capacity began the ritual of visiting the whole of the Rotary World. Incoming President Allen D. Albert, a former war correspondent and journalist, was well versed in the horrors of war and recognised the challenges that war can place on Rotarians.It is interesting to note that though the organization was still known as the International Association of Rotary Clubs, the wheel emblem had the more succinct words of 'Rotary International' emblazoned on the badge.

This was still a time of defining exactly what Rotary was. Along with the Golden Wheel came the Rotary flag and (another) Code of Ethics.

Calum Thomson

The "districts" were also started at this convention.


Organizations of all kinds flourish and grow in proportion to the dedication and strength of their membership and their leaders. The growth and strength of Rotary International reflects the service given by its members within their districts over the years.

Our West Coast District 5150 has been given different numbers over the years. But its record of achievement within the geographical area designated by Rotary International has been matched by only a handful of Rotary districts over the years.

From the beginning of the first Rotary Club in Chicago, until 1915, there were no Rotary Districts. Clubs acted independently and came together in exchanges between clubs that were geographically close in proximity, and at national meetings organized by Paul Harris and Ches Perry of the Chicago club.

H. J. “Bru” Brunnier was President of the Rotary Club of San Francisco in 1914. He is recognized as the originator of the district idea in Rotary. His idea came about during a regional fellowship gathering at a six-city meeting in Tacoma, Washington. Returning by train from Seattle following the conference, Bru awakened in the middle of the night with his idea. He summoned a porter to bring him a railroad schedule of the United States, which also included a map of the USA. Bru’s involvement in Rotary provided him with knowledge of the location of most of the 100 clubs in Rotary at that time. He placed them on the railroad schedule map with dots to show their location. He then combined the clubs on the basis of rail transportation and arrived at 13 groupings. His map and his idea formed the basis upon which Rotary leaders adopted the district plan at the Rotary Convention of 1915 in San Francisco.

In 1918, due to the tremendous growth of clubs in Rotary, Bru was again asked to assist in placing Rotary clubs in new districts. Called upon for a third time in 1923, Bru worked with a redistricting committee to redistribute clubs within districts. The committee needed to consider the explosive growth that was continuing in Rotary due to the chartering of new clubs all over the country and the world. Following 1923, Bru excused himself from further involvement in redistricting clubs, since there was much “trauma” in moving clubs to new districts because of geographical necessities.

Even today, redistricting becomes necessary as Rotary’s growth throughout the world continues to add new clubs to its rolls. Redistricting is also inevitable when certain areas in Rotary continue to grow rapidly and others lose clubs and members. Redistricting is an unhappy event in Rotary, as personal friendships, made over years of district gatherings, are interrupted when clubs are assigned to new districts.

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