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Did Rotary begin in 1905 or 1904?



On page six of the Proceedings of the First National Convention of The Rotary Clubs of America, held at the Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, August 15, 16 and 17, 1910 one can read:


�Whereas, on February 25, 1904, there was founded Rotary Club of Chicago [�]�.



In addition, there exists some letter-heading of the Rotary Club of Chicago stating that the founding took place fully a year before, on 26th  February 1904, and since the man who printed that paper was Ruggles, one might reasonably presume he knew what he was doing, and that what he was doing was correct. [�] Fifteen years later, however, Paul Harris wrote to Silvester Schiele, that Harry Ruggles�s work �completely overshadows all others in connection with the founding of the Chicago Club�.�

What the letter claims is that business came together to help each other rather than what Rotary is today – helping the needy.

When it is a business, one is always in need to help the business grow. It can never be left the way it is, even if it is progressing in the right direction. A businessman can’t let it be that way. This is because he is a visionary and is filled with ideas to break the stereotypes and come up with something different to improve the lifestyle. I t can be a new product, a new service or even a new software like Fintech Ltd, which helps any layman invest in the stock market without having to know about the stocks or the market itself.

Why Do businessmen strive to come up with something new? because that is what makes them a business man. If  they were to sit around and accept things the way they were and live the same way, they will be mere workers who follow rules and regulations and let other do the innovative thinking. Many have a vision and ideas to make something big. When these ideas are brought to life, a business is born. Establishing such a business and making it grow is not an easy task. There is a lot of planning and execution involved.

So what can an aspiring business man do? How can they make their dream a reality? Here are a few tips:

One has to be clear about the idea they have. It cannot be just some idea noted down in a piece of paper in a book they were reading. It has to be a proper idea where enough thought has been put into.

Visualize the idea and the concept. This will help you know if it is a practical idea and what problems could occur when the idea is rolled out into a business. An idea on paper may seem great but practically, there could be lot of complications.

Do a good and thorough research in the field of the business. One has to know if such an idea already exists, if it does who the possible competitors could be, what the possible road blocks could be etc. getting all this sorted out in the beginning is crucial to ensure the business starts smoothly. There is no point in investing and starting the business only to realize, the government will not support a part of the idea. This will lead to the downfall of the business itself or change it to something completely different from what you had in mind.

Plan you investments. One has to have enough funds to start a business and should have a steady flow of funds to keep the business going. Initially, one cannot expect any earnings or profits from the business. Hence the financial planning for this phase has to be meticulous.

Sometimes, it is better to have a partner. When the scope of the business is too big, one needs extra help to do all the work. Find a like-minded person, who will be easy to work with as problems between partners is one of the major reasons for businesses to fail.


Hence we can also reasonably presume that Ruggles, who did most of the printing during the first years of the clubs� existence, did not only print the Chicago letter-head, but the first proceedings, and that he advanced the founding one year, thus �merely staking a claim which others were tending to ignore�.

Rotary International District 7470

Brief histories of Rotary’s First 100 Clubs

Rotary Club of Newark 49 1912

Rotary International District 7470

New Jersey

Newark 49

Camden 59

Paterson 70


Knowing the history of a particular organization, before becoming a part of it is as important as knowing the history of a company before you invest in it. Whether you want to buy their shares for just an investment or become a major share holder in the company, whether you use a physical trader to do all your investment moves or use trading software like Fintech Limited to make all the moves, you need to know where you are investing.

The Newark Rotary Club is a community service organization dedicated to assisting the children of Newark, New Jersey. This club was started in 1912 as the 49th in the History International. The club joined what was then still the National Association of Rotary Clubs.

Today, we are one of more than 30,000 Rotary clubs in 159 countries around the world. More than 1.2 million business and professional men and women constitute the membership of these clubs which share the purposes of providing humanitarian service, encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations, and building good will and understanding in the world.

The Rotary Club of Newark, New Jersey, No. 49, is now in is 64th year. Nearly 60 percent of the present membership joined Newark Rotary during the past decade.       The purpose of this historica1 review is to bring into focus some of. the major accomplishments the club, and to acquaint the newer members with the service projects that have made Newark Rotary one of the outstanding clubs in the country.

Much of the information presented here was obtained from a �Brief History of Newark Rotary Club” prepared by the late William C. Cope (President 1929-30) in February 1955. This source of data is gratefully acknowledged.

This summary of the club’s history should deepen the spirit Rotary among us and provide a background for future growth and accomplishment.

1974    George C. Grow, Jr. (Club Historian)


The Rotary Club of Newark, New Jersey was organized in September 1910 through the efforts of Frederick M. Payne, a local attorney.       Mr. Payne had been visiting in Chicago where he learned about the Chicago Rotary Club –Club No.1 –founded in 1905. He was so enthusiastic about the Rotary idea that he called a few of his friends together to organize a similar club in Newark. The incorporation papers were signed by Dr. Franklin H. Van Winkle, Frederick M. Payne, George H. Mutchler and John H. McKeon.

At least six men, according to early records of the club, attended the first meeting and elected Dr. Van Winkle as President. “Rip” Van Winkle, whose classification was “Dentistry” was New Jersey’s “number 1” Rotarian until his death in October, 1970 at age 86, after 60 years in Rotary.

In February 1912 the National Association of Rotary Clubs (later in the year the name was changed to “International Association of Rotary Clubs) granted Charter No. 49 to Newark which then officially became a Rotary Club.

Arthur W. Greason, fourth president of the club, held the first “Banking” classification. Art was president for 3 years (1915-1918), and it is generally acknowledged that he put Newark Rotary “on its feet” to become one of the outstanding clubs in the nation.       We all owe this dedicated Rotarian a real debt of gratitude.       Art died at age 92 in September, 1970.

Newark is perhaps unique among Rotary Clubs because its members reside in more than 70 different communities in the metropolitan area, and only a few of its members actually live within the city which it serves. Hence, Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self” has added significance — for Newark Rotarians are men dedicated to the proposition that “He Profits Most Who Serves the Best.”

During its first ten years the club grew from an original group of about 6 Newark business leaders to a membership of nearly 100. These were the formative years when Rotary established itself as a service organization on an international basis. The Rotary code of ethics, standards of service, model constitution and by-laws, and the Rotary system of districts were established, and the Newark Club played a significant role in this formative era.

Originally Newark Rotary met once a month – evening meetings at dinner, but this was changed to luncheon meetings in September 1913.       When the club was only 4 years old – 1914 – a membership of 56 was attained. This was the year war broke out in Europe; Rotary Club No. 100 was founded in Phoenix, Arizona.

The year 1916 was a banner year for the City of Newark and the Rotary Club. Newark celebrated its 250th anniversary and Rotary actively participated in the observances. Rotary luncheons were started on a weekly basis and the newly completed Robert Treat Hotel became the regular meeting place. The club has met here continuously ever since. Probably no other Rotary Club has a similar record. The first issue of COG was also published during 1916 as a combination club bulletin and roster, issued monthly.

The name badge worn each week was adopted in 1918. It was designed by Rotarian Frank Schultz – classification “Interior Decorating”. A new name badge was adopted in 1971, and again in 1973.

Many useful and important projects were undertaken by Newark Rotary during its first decade of service. These included relief for flood victims in Ohio and Indiana, Boys Work Vocational service, and Boy Scout Troop leadership. When this country entered world War I, Newark Rotary admirably demonstrated the ideals of service with its Liberty Loan Drives, campaigns for food, magazines and other articles for servicemen; war camp community work; and a variety of additional contributions to the war effort. The principles of Rotary became firmly established and the foundations were laid for future years of growth and development.

The international aspects of Rotary increased steadily in importance and effectiveness. “Good Will and Peace” was the objective adopted at the 1921 International Convention in Edinburgh � the first convention held outside North America. During 1921 Rotary International granted Charter No. 1000 to the Rotary Club of York, England.

During the same year, the Boys Work Committee was established in Newark Rotary. This later became the Youth Committee and continues as the major service project of the club.

The name “Rotary International” became the official title of the worldwide association of Rotary Clubs during 1922. This was also the year Newark Rotary opened an office in the Wiss Building. The membership then was 179.

In 1923 Newark Rotary sent contributions to the Rotary Club of Tokyo, Japan, for earthquake relief.

The “COG” became a weekly publication on October 14, 1924 and has continued on this basis.

Membership in Newark Rotary reached 200 in 1926 and the club held first place in a Rotary International attendance contest of clubs with memberships of 200=300. This record was held for 6 consecutive months. Another highlight of 1926 was the construction of Newark Rotary Lodge at camp Mohican, Robert Treat Council, Boy Scouts of America. This is still one of the major facilities at the camp.

Most of the club’s service projects have been in connection with young people — Boys Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, needy children.       Between World War 1 and 1929, Newark Rotary contributed nearly $100,000 to a Boy�s Work Program which included many activities for guidance and training. One of its continuing projects was the providing of funds for transportation and clothing to needy school children in Newark. These and other service projects were supported financially by the club and by active participation of individual members.       Newark Rotarians are nearly always found in positions of leadership in those organizations which are devoted to the development of Newark’s young people. The most critical time in raising child is 100 years before he is born, and Newark Rotary is doing its part for future generations.

It is interesting to note that of those who became members during its first 40 years, there are 27 still on the rolls as active Newark Rotarians.

In recognition of Newark Rotary’s 25th Anniversary in 1935, Paul P. Harris, founder of Rotary, was guest of honor. For the year 1938-39 the club was awarded second place for “Distinguished Achievement in Club Service” by Rotarian Magazine.

During World War II, Newark Rotary contributed materially to War Relief in Europe. Besides a successful clothing drive for war victim more than $600,000 worth of war bonds were purchased by Newark Rotarians.       The club took an active interest in the boys in military service who were on duty in the Newark area, supplying them with books, sports equipment, and other helpful items.

The late Rotarian Harry P. Schaub was chairman of all Bond Drives for the club, and the final drive resulted in the sale of over $1,000,000 worth of Victory Bonds. Another evidence of Rotary’s service to youth was the raising of about $50,000 for the YMCA building fund in 1945-46.

In September 1946, Peggy Debold became Executive Secretary of Newark Rotary.       Peggy retired in 1972 and was succeeded by Joseph Mayers and Company, Inc. with Lue Eissmann as Administrative Secretary.

Another evidence of Rotary’s service to youth was the raising of about $50,000 for the YMCA building fund in 1945-46.

During the post-war period when Europe was struggling to recover from its devastation, Newark Rotary sent food to our namesake club Newark-on-Trent, England, and clothing to Denmark. These are only two examples of the many war relief projects undertaken by the club.

In 1949 Newark Rotary’s Glee Club was organized by the late Fred Stephans. Its first concert was given at a club meeting on June 21, 1949. A vital factor in Rotary’s fellowship and service, it presented more than 50 concerts –at homes for the aged, nurses homes, hospitals, district conferences and club meetings. The Glee Club has not been active in recent years.

In 1950 the club membership was 257, and reached its peak in 1959 with 266 members.

Projects in service to youth continued as Newark Rotary’s primary effort. During the years 1950 and 1951 the Rotary Lodge at Camp Mohican was completely renovated, gymnasium equipment was furnished for the new Boys Club of Newark and the new Salvation Army building. An outdoor play area was established for the Boys Club of Newark, and repairs to cabins and canoes were provided at Camp Mohican. For many years a Little League Baseball Team was sponsored by Newark Rotary through the Boys Club. Camperships have been provided (through several organizations) for underprivileged young people as a policy of the club.

During 1955 devastating floods occurred along the Delaware River, and $700 was sent by Newark Rotary for flood relief. Through CARE, Newark Rotary also supplied American Bookshelves to various countries around the world.

A long and impressive list would be required to enumerate all of the youth service projects in which Newark Rotary has been identified in recent years. Camping equipment of all sorts -from kitchens to canoes -have been furnished. Craft and game room facilities have been provided, and assistance has been given for building funds. Any where on the Newark scene where young people are involved, the Rotary Club will be found as a partner. In recent years a bus was provided the YMCA, a Library for Newark Boys’ Chorus and a Scoutmobile for the Robert Treat Council, Boy Scouts of America.

In 1960 the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary, and a special Dinner Dance was held commemorating this milestone. The theme for the anniversary year was “Youth of America”. Particular emphasis was given the Youth Fund Drive and nearly $10,000 was contributed. The District Governor for this anniversary year was our own past President (1952-53) George S. Kaighn.

1964 was New Jersey’s Tercentenary year. Many Rotary Club activities were in recognition of this celebration. Newark Rotary also provided scholarships for students at the Tercentenary Music Festival, Westminister Choir College in Princeton.

The slogan “SERVICE IS OUR BUSINESS” has been nobly exemplified throughout the history of the Rotary Club of Newark.       The four primary avenues of service are: Community, Club, International, Vocational.

In Community Service the emphasis continues to be on youth. It is through the Youth Committee, that Newark Rotarians participate in many activities which are geared to the development of better citizens.       Some of these are listed on Page 6. The number of young lives that are touched by Newark Rotary’s ideal of service is quite impressive and many individual Rotarians dedicate time, talent and enthusiastic participation in youth work.

In Club Service, through the Recreation and Fellowship Committees, many fine activities are provided for fun and entertainment. There are dinner-dances, outings, participation in bowling and golf with Rotarians of other clubs. Other activities include theater parties, a day at the races, and club trips to World Fairs in New York and Montreal. These develop friendships, promote better understanding, open opportunities for service and deepen the spirit of Rotary.

In International Service Newark Rotarians exchange personal correspondence with Rotarians of other countries. Strong support is also given to Rotary International Foundation. This provides scholar ships for worthy students to study abroad. The program has contributed materially to international understanding and good will. Every two years each Rotary District has the privilege of sponsoring a Rotary Foundation Fellow. Four students have been nominated by the Newark Club in recent years. They are listed on Page 7.

Sound business practices as emphasized by the Four Way Test are the personal responsibilities of all Rotarians. This is a part of Rotary’s Vocational Service. The highest standards of business and personal relationships constitute part of the Rotary ideal. Do all of your activities fit these guideposts?

1.                  Is it the TRUTH?

2.                  Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3.                  Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

4.                  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Rotary is an organization that builds bridges rather than fences.       By becoming a member of the club, every Newark Rotarian participates in a world fellowship of business and professional men dedicated to the ideal of service. It is unlike any other organization in the world for it crosses all religious, racial and regional boundaries with its slogan and motto SERVICE ABOVE SELF and HE PROFITS MOST WHO SERVES THE BEST.

In its distinguished history the Rotary Club of Newark has endeavored to foster Rotary’s ideals in all aspects. Wearing a badge of honor, all of us can say, “I’m proud to be a Newark Rotarian.”