History of Rotary in INDONESIA A Part of Our History of Rotary in ASIA

History of Rotary in INDONESIA

A Part of Our History of Rotary in ASIA

James W Davidson

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When Davidson arrived in Batavia, Java, to start work on January 29,  1930, he was fortunate enough to have with him introductory letters  from the Foreign Office in London to Sir Josiah Crosby the British  Consul General, who, he learned, was expecting him. Crosby took Davidson to see the Governor General who had also been told by his  Minister of the Colonies in
The Hague to expect him.

On March 18 in the Hotel des Indes, the inaugural meeting was held with some 70 people present, 8 of whom were Javanese and 5 Chinese. A few members had previously been members of another Javanese club in Surabaya.

The following day the inaugural meeting of the Bandoeng Club was held, The idea of holding these meetings on consecutive days was to accommodate a visit by Guy Gundaker of Philadelphia, President of RI in 1923/4. He arrived in Batavia early on the 18th, spoke at the club there and then flew with Davidson to Bandoeng’s meeting on the 19th. The energetic pair drove
through the night to a lunch meeting at the Djokjakarta Club and then a 6 hour rail journey onto another lunch the next day at the Surabaya Club….4 days. 4 Rotary lunches! From Java, Jim Davidson reported that he intended to return to Singapore and Penang.

Although the history of Rotary in Indonesia began in 1927, Rotary activities were stopped twice. The first was when the second world war began in 1942 and the second on 23rd February 1961 when Rotary was prohibited by the Indonesian government under President Soekarno.

The First Rotary Period – April 1930 to 1946
The first Rotary movement in Indonesia was established with the formation of the first Rotary club in Indonesia, the Rotary Club Yogyakarta. Five other clubs were chartered before the six clubs were grouped into a provisional district and was known as District C-Rotary International in April 1930.
Six more clubs were chartered in the next four years. It was that Rotary International, headquartered in Chicago USA granted the provisional District C to the official district status by recognizing it as Rotary International District 79, Indonesia on the 1st July 1934. The growth of clubs in Indonesia had increased to eighteen, two year later before Rotary International District 79 was changed to Rotary International District 45 on the 1st July 1936. When the second world war broke out, Indonesia had twenty six clubs with 819 members but Rotary in Indonesia was inactive from 1942 till 1946.

The Second Rotary Period – 1946 to 1961
After the war, some of the Rotarians from Indonesia who survived the war revived Rotary International District 45 and started Rotary again from scratch.
The first Rotary club chartered in the second period was Rotary Club Bandung in 1946 with 42 members. Rotary clubs in Indonesia grew to thirteen clubs before the district was changed to Rotary International District 389 on 1st July 1957.
Four more clubs were added before Rotary growth in Indonesia was interrupted again on 23rd February 1961 when the government under President Soekarno banned Rotary activities throughout Indonesia. Up to that time, the Rotary International District 389 had seventeen Rotary clubs with five hundred and fifty three members.

The Third Rotary Period – 1966 to 1991 until today
The birth of the new order government of President Soeharto in 1965 brought a fresh new hope and optimism for Indonesia. It was in 1996, under the positive influence of such conducive environment that a number of ex-Rotarians started together again under the flagship of Rotary and strived to have Rotary recognized and permitted under President Soeharto’s government. Their efforts paid off when the state recognized Rotary formally and legally through the article No. 45 in Tambahan Berita Negara Republik Indonesia on the 5th June 1970, the Ministerial decree from the Ministry for Justice dated 20th May 1970 No. J.A. 5/70/9 declared the legal and rightful existence of Rotary in Indonesia under the name Perkumpulan Rotary Indonesia. The first Rotary Club chartered in this period was Rotary Club Jakarta on 7th December 1970. The following years, we saw rapid growth of Rotary clubs worldwide and also in Indonesia. With fifty five Rotary clubs already chartered, District 340 was changed to Rotary International District 3400 on 1st July 1991.