|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.”