James Roth in Paraguay


1). Rotary Club of Villarrica – Club number 9220 District 4840

In September 1929 James H. Roth came to Villarrica accompanied by Acuncion Rotarians Teodoro Malbranc.

Seizing the opportunity of a happy festival taking place in the evening, the group visited the spring home of Mr. Jose D. Ocampos, to exchange ideas with several people present at the event. The discussions concluded the next day with a further meeting which took place in the Spanish Center.

During that meeting, with only a small group of people, and after hearing the views of Mr Roth about the objectives, rules, requirements and expectations of Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Villarrica was formed, with its Steering Committee as follows:

President, Don Alfredo Virgili;
Vice-President, Don Adalberto Friedmann;
Secretary, Don Pedro A. Rodriguez;
Pro secretary, Don Alejandro Marin;
Members, Don Silvio Alfaro, Don Alberto Finschland and Don Francisco Mussi;
Sergeant of Arms Don Roberton Brunet.

Photo of the group of original founding Rotarians (Roth is second from right, back row. Ed)

During this exercise was founded “School Tablada” (Workers’ School. Ed), donating furniture and useful things by the same Comrade Don Alfredo Virgili. In this school of 100 children attending both sexes under the leadership of Don Ramon Mestre Garcete.

During that year the convention was held inter-clubs in the city and attended by the members of Posadas and Asuncion.

Don Jose D. Ocampos was sent as the delegate from the Villarrica Club, for the inauguration of a monument that volunteers erected in that city in honor of Paraguay

Don Pedro Rodriguez, Don James A. Roth and Don Teodoro Malbranc will always be remembered with affection, especially Don Teodoro Malbranc, as they are the founders of our club.

Efforts made to form the club were many and laborious for several reasons; the main problem being –

It was feared that the number of members essential to its foundation and operation were insufficient and because there was an opportunity for the Officials of Rotary International to fear an inability to perpetuate. By special order of the then Governor of District 62, Don James Roth went to Posadas and when he was there, asked Theodore Malbranc for a special gift to manage the Villarrica activities until he had persuaded the authorities to proceed with formation.