Rotary Club of Needham History

HISTORY OF THE NEEDHAM ROTARY CLUB
   THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM CLUB DOCUMENTS RECORDED IN 1952   
 
                  The ROTARY CLUB OF NEEDHAM was formally organized  
                 MARCH 5th, 1929, by the ROTARY CLUB of NEWTON, MA.
                     The NEEDHAM CLUB was granted its charter on   
                                   CHARTER NIGHT May 22nd, 1929


At the first meeting, the following officers were elected;

President                 Dave Murdoch Sr.
Vice President          Allie Bowers
Secretary                Win Southworth
Treasurer                Harry Whetton
Sergeant At Arms      Art Littlehale
Directors: Fred Bailey, Allie Bowers, Jack Callahan, Horace Carter, Clifford Locke, Dave Murdoch, Sr., Dick Preston, Win Southworth, Harry Whetton
 
 The following are excerpts taken from actual records dated 1952
 to provide a quick overview . The full historical text can be found in ROTARY records held by the NEEDHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY on Central Ave. Needham

The foundation for Needham's CHARTER began a year earlier, 1928, when Arnold Mackintosh Harry Whetton and David Murdoch, Sr were invited by Bill Halliday of the Newton ROTARY CLUB to visit. The first gathering of the then to be all male NEEDHAM CLUB occurred at the home of Harry Whetton on Mark Tree Rd for the purpose of taking definite action to form the ROTARY CLUB of NEEDHAM,MA.

Ed: note: women were not invited to become members of ROTARY until the late 1980's when ROTARY INTERNATIONAL welcomed its first female members. The NEEDHAM CLUB welcomed female members in 1987.

 Early records of CLUB accomplishments ...... service to the community again the following are excerpts. ... not complete ..... 

1932 The CLUB adopted Needham Boy Scouts Troop 4 to help and maintain
            its well being ....   this sponsorship continues to this day  June 30,2009
1935 Rosemary Beach contributions
1937 Needham ROTARY CLUB co-sponsored the Wellesley ROTARY CLUB
1940 Provided a cornplete Mobile Kitchen for bomb devastated England
1942-43 Town's Recreational Center project
1943 Christmas cards to all service men and women
1944 Needham mosquito control project
1944-51 Rotary entertains some 600 inner city Settlement House                                   children brought to Needham for a day in the country
1945-46 Needham High School boys invited to CLUB meetings
1945 The Student Aid Fund (Fred Fanning Fund) established.
           This scholarship program continues to this day (July, 2009) with  
           scholarships awarded to selected graduating Needham High School
           seniors. June, 2009, two $8,000 Scholarships were awarded ....
           This amount is the largest of any of the some 60 awards made
             A far cry from the original $150
 
1947 Construction of fireplace at High Rock Woods
1947 The CLUB helps to finance projects at the new GLOVER HOSPITAL
1949 The CLUB sponsors the Eliot School playground expansion project
1951 Needham newspaper sent to all service personnel
1951 First free scholarship of $150.00 awarded to George Edward Wales 
1952 The CLUB sponsors new Needham Little League baseball team.
            support of the TEAM continues annual to this day June, 2009
1974  First PANCAKE BREAKFAST held netting some $1,160
           This event continues to this day (2009) netting upwards of $8,000
1974  the first Needham THANKSGIVING DAY DINNER co-sponsored with
           the Needham Community Council and chaired by ROTARIAN Dick Bownell
           This event continues to this day.
1974  NEEDHAM and WELLESLEY ROTARIANS organize the ANNUAL FOOTBALL
           THANKSGIVING DINNER.....Senior players /coaches / administrators
           come together for the pre-game dinner...an ongoing tradition
 
from it's earliest beginnings..... through June 2009 ... .some 80 years ... ... it is guestimated that the NEEDHAM ROTARY CLUB has undertaken more than 375 community and international projects too numerous to list here. All have contributed to the well being of its citizens. A remarkable record.Complete
records of these activities can be found at The NEEDHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
 
Until his "passing" 1999 at the age of nearly 100 PAT PATERSON ,principal Needham High School until he retired,
a CHARTER MEMBER in the Donora,PA Rotary Club 1929 
then joining NEEDHAM 1979 was our CLUB's HISTORIAN.  He was diligent in  keekping our CLUB's records now in safe keeping for all who wish to research
In July, 2009 Bob Welling, Past President 1997-1998 became our CLUB's
HISTORIAN...filling the 10 year void.