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Charlotte North Rotary Club
The Birth of Rotary International and CNR











Paul P. Harris

Founder of Rotary International








Rotary Club of Chicago -- February 23, 1905

The first Rotarians (L to R): Gustavus Loehr (mining engineer),  Silvester Schiele (coal dealer), Hiram Shorey (businessman), and

Paul P. Harris (attorney).

What is Rotary International?

Rotary International, founded in 1905 and also known as the Rotary Club, is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 clubs and over 1.2 million members worldwide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is a social event as well as an opportunity to organize work on their service goals. For more details on the origin of Rotary International, go to the Website:

Rotary's primary motto is "Service above Self"; an earlier motto, "One profits most who serves best"

How did Charlotte North Rotary get its start?

When the Rotary Club of Dilworth, North Carolina was organized in 1948 there were many who doubted the wisdom of establishing a second Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. Time has proven that establishing the Rotary Club of Dilworth was a wise move and because of its establishment, Rotary is much stronger and more highly regarded in Charlotte than when there was only one Rotary Club. Not only has there been a fine spirit of cooperation between the two clubs but the Rotary Club of Dilworth has made it possible for members of the Rotary Club of Charlotte to greatly improve their attendance record. The success of the Rotary Club of Dilworth naturally caused consideration of the establishment of a third Rotary Club in the North Charlotte area which had been growing very rapidly, especially along North Tryon Street, Hutchinson Avenue, and Atando Avenue.

The R. Horace Johnston YMCA, generally known as the North Charlotte YMCA, had been established by the Highland Park Manufacturing Company. The Johnston YMCA was an excellent location for luncheon meetings. John Paul Lucas, Governor of the 208th district, appointed several members of the Rotary Club of Charlotte to organize the Rotary Club of North Charlotte. David Clark, who was a Past District Governor and a Past Director of Rotary International was asked to help organize the new club. Mr. Clark had already organized thirty Rotary Clubs and was very qualified. David Clark met with T.W. Church, Jr., manager of the Highland Park Manufacturing Company, a member of the Rotary Club of Charlotte, and M. Luther Brackett, production manager of the Charlotte plants of the Highland Park Manufacturing Company. Mr. Brackett had been selected to be the first member of the Rotary Club of North Charlotte. The organization would include Chas. J. May, secretary of the North Charlotte YMCA, and W. Parks Wilson, manager of the North Charlotte Branch of the American Trust Company.


















The Rotary Club of North Charlotte had thirty-two Charter members. There were many more people interested in becoming a Charter Member, however, Rotary International had limitations for Charter Members. Care was taken to abide strictly to the classification rule of Rotary International. Membership was admitted only to those whose personal and business reputation was highly respected.





















The Charter of the Rotary Club of North Carolina, (Charlotte, North Carolina) was delivered by District Governor John Paul Lucas at a dinner meeting on December 1, 1952.  The first club officers were: President A.R. Thompson, Vice President M.L. Brackett, Secretary Charles J. May, Treasurer W. Parks Wilson, and Sergeant at Arms William B. Lipford.


Who were the Charter Members of Charlotte North Rotary Club?

The 32 charter members included:


John C. Bolen

M. Luther Brackett

Preston Delph

Karl F. Dixon

Robert T. Ferguson, Jr.

Robert C. Fink

Louis W. Garman

Val J. Guthery

Beach Hall

Manly S. Hines

John R. Hopkins

Robert L. Howard

William B. Lipford

Col. Samuel N. Lowry

George E. Lund

Charles J. May

Paul P. McGarity, Jr.

Edward W. Nicholl

Barron R. Phillips

Dr. James S. Price, Jr.

Forest T. Selby

L.B. (Stan) Stanfield

William R. Snapp, Jr.

William S. Strong

Arthur R. Thompson

Rev. A. Leslie Thompson

Dwight L. Turner

James L. Waldin

Robert K. Warden

Robert P. Williams

W. Parks Wilson

W. Jerry Winter

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