A Short History of The Rotary Club of Wallingford, Connecticut

(originally compiled by Neal MacKenzie, 1996)

A Short History of The Rotary Club of Wallingford, Connecticut(originally compiled by Neal MacKenzie, 1996)On Wednesday evening, February 21, 1923, just two days before Rotary International celebrated its 18th birthday, the Wallingford Rotary Club had its organizational meeting. The meeting was held in the banquet hall of the Masonic Temple on Simpson Court. We are indebted to three members from the New Haven Rotary who helped to form our Club – District Governor Donald Adams, Fred Dawless and John Duncan. In fact, John Duncan should always be remembered as the “Father of Wallingford Rotary.”This group met with four prominent Wallingford business men -- Dr. George H. Craig, dentist; Raymond Wooding, building contractor; Frederick M. Cowles, banker; and John Cottrill to organize our first meeting. The first meeting was attended by fourteen business and professional men from Wallingford as well as three sponsors from New Haven and was held in the banquet room of the Masonic Temple. Members were recruited and the Charter was kept open until the end of the month. Twenty charter members were elected at this first meeting. The Club voted to adopt the Rotary International By-Laws, elected the first Board of Directors, and designated Wednesday, at 12:15 after noon as the meeting time at St. George's Inn. This Inn was the lovely mansion of Moses Yale Beach, located where the Wachovia Bank Building now stands on North Main Street. On Friday, February 23, 1923, the Meriden Morning Record published the following list of Officers: President, Dr. James D. McGaughey; Vice- President, Dr. George H. Craig; Secretary, John R. Cottrill; Treasurer, Raymond H. Wooding; Sergeant-at-Arms, John H. Griffin. John Griffin ran a soda and ice-cream store on Simpson Court where the TD BankNorth is now located. He made the best peanut brittle candy and chocolate floats around; second only to O. D. Foote's, whose store was on the Center Street corner of Whittlesey Avenue. The first Board of Directors consisted of Dr. Jim McGaughey, dentist; Dr. George H. Craig; Fred M. Cowles, President of 1st National Bank; Raymond F. Wooding, building contractor; John R. Cottrill; M. K. Pickett; and John R. Barnes. Dr. Craig presided and John Cottrill acted as Secretary. The first weekly luncheon meeting was held in "La Cantina" in the basement of St. George's Inn and was presided over by Dr. Jim McGaughey. He appointed a special committee to arrange our Charter Night when the official Rotary International Charter would be presented. Ray Wooding was committee chairman assisted by John H. Griffin; Michael T. Downes, lawyer; Art Pierson, coal dealer; and Mert Pickett.

Charter Night and Dinner Celebration - Wallingford Charter is Presented to the Club
Anniversary Celebrations
Notable Officers throughout the Years
Wallingford Rotary Present Day
Rotarians through the Generations
Giving Back to Our Community

Copyright © 2006-2011 Rotary Club of Wallingford. All rights reserved.