Rotary Club of Wolfeboro

History of the Rotary Club of Wolfeboro

 

(1927 to 1994)

By Allyn Perkins and Theodore H. Brigden

 

The Rotary Club of Wolfeboro is a service organization dedicated to supporting projects that will benefit activities of the Four Avenues of Service:  Club Service, Community Service, Vocational Service and International Service.

The Rotary Club of Wolfeboro was formed on July 19, 1927, following a chance meeting of Fred Landman (superintendent of the public schools in Wolfeboro) and John Gilman (president of the Laconia Rotary Club) at a picnic at Chocorua Lake.  Following telephone conversations between Landman and Gilman, a group of 12 men met at the Wolfeboro Tavern on October 28, 1927, to discuss the feasibility of a local club and to initiate a survey for members.  By December 6, 25 men, listed hereafter, signed as charter members, and three weeks later District Governor Anthony Parshley advised that the provisional club had been elected to membership in Rotary International as Club No. 2719.

Charter Members:  J. Clifton Avery, Alonzo H. Beardsley, Robert C. Brewster, Sherman Brummitt, Edwin L. Clark, Dr. Fred E. Clow, A.M. Fowler, J. Frank Goodwin, Abel Haley, Harold H. Hart, Charles A. Hatch, Frank P. Hobbs, Raymond Jewell, Fred U. Landman, Harry E. Libby, Dr. Fred E. Meader, Harry T. Merritt, Dr. Burt W. Parshley, Ernest B. Rich, Albert N. Savard, Robert F. Thurrell, Ernest H. Trickey, ClaytonM. Wallace, Liewellyn Wentworth, and Lester A. Wiggin.

The first meeting of the Wolfeboro Rotary Club was held December 27, 1927, in the bowling room of the Masonic Temple.  Their first dinner was served by the Ladies Club of the First Baptist Church. January 13, 1928, was charter night.  A women’s auxiliary known as the Rotary Anns (a pun on Rotarians) was formed soon thereafter.  On July 25, 1944, the group was honored by a visit by Paul Harris, of Chicago, who had founded Rotary in 1905 in that city.

In the years since 1927, projects supported by the Rotary Club of Wolfeboro have included the following (representative but not complete):

  • Contribution to the Huggins Hospital Building Fund.
  • Contribution to the Brewster Academy Building Fund.
  • Local school scholarship awards.
  • Funds and manpower to assist in building Foss Field
  • Funds and manpower to assist m the repair of the old firehouse on Lehner Street (now the Community Center Building).
  • Participation in the Group Study Exchange Program of Rotary International.
  • Contributions and support of the Polio Plus project of Rotary International.
  • Funding, design, construction, and lighting of the Russell C. Chase Bridge-Falls Path.
  • Participation in the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.
  • Contributions and support of the Wolfeboro Area Children’s Center
  • Contribution to the Wolfeboro Historical Society’s project for a new town history.
  • Contribution to the community bandstand in Cate Park.
  • Annual radio auction for charity.
  • Annual Christmas tree sales to raise funds for charitable purposes.
  • Support of a variety of community-wide projects designed to maintain the quality of life in Wo1feboro

In 1985 the Rotary Club distributed a board game similar to Monopoly, but featuring local businesses (which paid $200 each for inclusion) instead of the usual Park Place, Boardwalk, etc.   On March 22, 1988, the club admitted women members for the first time, when Marjorie Henson (Postmaster of Wolfeboro) and Donna B. King (of Bank East) were warmly received by the membership, this occurring less than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women could not be excluded from such clubs.

Over these years the Rotary Club has continued to hold a dinner meeting each week, currently (1994) on Tuesday at the First Congregational Church.  Generally a guest speaker has a message of interest or challenge to the membership, which in 1992 numbered 74.

For 45 years a monthly newsletter, now called The Broadcaster, has been issued to keep members aware of projects underway and other items of concern.  Over the years many members have been honored by being named a Paul Harris Fellow.

The list of club presidents follows.  It will be observed that two of them had two terms each.  Over the same period six secretaries have served, one of them, Rev. Gus Fowler, for 23 years.

Presidents:

1927-28 Fred U. Landman

1928-29 Fred U. Landman

1929-30 Ralph K. Bearce

1930-31 A. Cooper Ballentine

1931-32 A. Cooper Ballentine

1932-33 J. Clifton Avery

1933-34 Clayton M. Wallace

1934-35 Alfred Meader

1935-36 Dr. Fred Clow

1936-37 Dr. W. J. Dyer

1937-38 Ralph G. Carpenter, II

1938-39 Harry F. Libby

1939-40 Raymond E. Jewell

1940-41 Cecil E. Corkum

1941-42 Harold Hart

1942-43 Murray I. Fuller

1943-44 Edwin L. Clark

1944-45 Howard C. Avery

1945-46 Leon C. Robinson

1946-47 Jesse H. Gould

1947-48 Dr. Melvyn D. Hale

1948-49 Clement P. Calvin

1949-50 Richard W. Detscher, Sr.

1950-51 Arthur R. Barnard

1951-52 Philip E. Thurell

1952-53 Burtis F. Vaughan, Jr.

1954-55 Clarence L. Murphy

1955-56 Jason E. Boynton

1956-57 Theodore P. Malone

1957-58 John P. Lillis

1958-59 Howard E. Bean

1959-60 H. E. Erickson (PDG)

1960-61 Stanley K. Read

1961-62 Dr. Frank M. Swaffield

1962-63 John B. Nay

1963-64 Dr. Edwin B. Goodall

1964-65 Robert P. Hopewell

1965-66 Herbert D. Tinker

1966-67 Willard Whiting

1967-68 Gerald F. Briggeman

1968-69 Rev. Edward W. Cantwell

1969-70 Carl Contois

1970-71 John F. Waters

1971-72 James E. Gorman

1972-73 Russell C. Chase

1973-74 Herbert P. VanBlarcom

1974-75 Herbert G. Vinnicombe (PDG)

1975-76 John S. Chappell

1976-77 Gordon Avery

1977-78 John Ballard

1978-79 Robert Fornier

1979-80 Edward Roundy

1980-81 Warren Thompson

1981-82 Alexander Parker

1982-83 Donald McBride

1983-84 Gordon Reade

1984-85 Bradford W. Gile

1985-86 Paul A. Horton

1986-87 Donald F. L. Hallock

1987-88 Roy Ballentine

1988-89 D. Weller Dugan

1989-90 William Burke

1990-91 Stanley Stevens

1991-92 Donna King Cooper

1992-93 Stephen Durgan

1993-94 B. Andy Milligan (PDG)

1994-95 Gary R. Miller

1995-96 Kathleen K. Nickerson

1996-97 Robert G. Simoneau

1997-98 Dennis E. Bean

1998-99 Laura A. Cronin

1999-00 John N. Pernokas

2000-01 James B. Libby

2001-02 John T. Morgan (PDG)

2002-03 Robert J. Waldron

2003-04 Dr. Rich J. Neal, Jr.

2004-05 Loren J. Ackerman

2005-06 Tom T. Trites

2006-07 Jane H. Milligan

2007-08 Cecile Chase

2008-09 Kenneth Hoyt

2009-10 Lorna Avery

2010-11 Mal Cook

2011-12 Fred Stephens

2012-13 James B. Libby

2013-14 George Pacheco

2014-15 George Pacheco

 

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Rotary Club of Wolfeboro business being discussed by W. Berry (left), Dr. Edwin Goodall, and Rev. Frank M. Swaffield (circa 1960s).  Messrs Goodall and Swaffield were presidents during the 1960s.

 

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For many years. Rotarians have sold Christmas Trees to raise money for worthwhile projects.  This 1975 picture from the Granite State News depicts “XMASS” trees being offered for sale on North Main Street immediately to the right of where Dive Winnipesaukee is in the 1990s.  Tending to business are Dick Pheeney (left) and Alex McKenzie.