Greenville Rotary Club celebrates its 60th year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ed Darling

Greenville's Rotary Club celebrates the 68th anniversary of its charter today.

Started as the world's first service club on Feb. 23, 1905 by attorney Paul Harris and three friends, the Rotary Club of Chicago was originally developed to serve professional and social interests of its members, spreading a spirit of small town friendliness.

The concept grew quickly in popularity throughout the United States, gaining stature as clubs pooled their talents and resources to serve community needs, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace throughout the world.

Named &#8220Rotary” because early meetings rotated sites among founding club member offices, members worldwide continue to embrace a Service Above Self motto and follow a code of ethics called The Four-Way Test.

Today, 102 years after its beginning, there are more than 1.2 million Rotarians who belong to 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

The first meeting in Greenville was March 31, 1939.

Charter members of the club that originally met in the Community House at the corner of Adams Street and Church Street, were W.H. Ryan Sr., C.P. Grenade, Broughton Wilkerson, Jeff P. Beeland, Ernest Childs, Almon Watson, Tommy Kendrick, H.L. Peterson, Bernard Haygood, Robert A. Beeland, Calvin Poole, Webb Stanley, John Byrd, L.V. Stabler, V.C. Stabler, James H. Dunklin, C.H. Tatum, E.H. Smith, John S. Sloane, A.G. Johnson and Kenneth Solomons.

There are 44 members on the current roster, headed by president Roy Hale, first vice president Lisa Nimmer, secretary-treasurer Connie Coleman and sergeant-at-arms Col. Earl Tidsale.

Other members are Gerry Adair, Jeff Adams, Bill Bates, Allen Bowen, Glenn Branum, Evelyn Causey, Arlene Davis, Jim Dunklin, John feathers, Col. Tut Frakes, Charles Haigler III, Jeff Hamm, Peter Hiebel, Linda Horn, James Jernigan, Gerald Johnson, William Johnson, Charles Jones., Wayne Killough, Fred Lindstrom, Mike Looney, Dr. Robert Martin, Judge Ed McFerrin, Ricky McLaney; Howard Meadows, Charles Newton, Daisy Norman, Dr. Peter Pitonak, Calvin Poole III, Joan Reynolds, Paul Reynolds, Bobby Rogers, David Scott., Dr. Everett Snow, Melvyn Stone, Bill Thomas, Dr. Jean Thompson, Ted Tindal, Ray Wasden and Carlton Whittle.

The club meets at noon each Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club at Beeland Park.

Though it has been involved in many benevolent causes locally and nationally, its most recent significant target has been to contribute more than $550 million to helping eradicate polio.