Basil Lewis Essays

“The origins and development of the Rotary movement are important in a full understanding of our present world position. It is only in such an understanding that we can move into a relevant future. This project seeks to encapsulate the evolution of the whole of Rotary in a way no book or other medium has done so effectively before.”

Basil Lewis Essays

Early Leaders of Rotary

“The First President of Rotary” Silvester Schiele

The seven Schiele brothers in a pre-1900 photo

What did Abe Lincoln, his assassin John Wilkes Booth and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have in common? And how did former RI president Arch Klumph get involved?

Another “Early Leader” who sold membership and brought Rotary across the sea.

Background on Hiram Elmer Shorey

The obituary of founding member Hiram Shorey and a “Horse Story.”

Ches Perry and Rufus Chapin – Rotary’s First Secretary and First Treasurer

The “Gang of Four” (Harris, Schiele, Loehr and Shorey – plus #5 Ruggles)

Gus Loehr, background and his death

Jim Davidson

Davidson goes to Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Israel, and Palestine

Dr Eduardo Moore, past VP of Rotary International

John Innes of Leeds, who was Treasurer of RIBI

Willem De Cock Buning

Frederick Warren Teele

Frank Molloy


Presidents of Rotary

Paul P. Harris 1910-12

Paul Harris in England, by Basil Lewis

The Paul Harris “study” maintained by Rotary International at its headquarters in Evanston, IL, USA

What Paul Harris was telling clubs in England and Europe in 1928

The “Rawlins Survey” and how Rotary may have became non political

Cedar City asks questions

Paul Harris on the “Mayflower?”

Paul Harris in Britain (early RIBI article)

Paul and Jean visit Wallingford, England

History of the Wallingford Club

Paul Harris’ Signature

The publisher of Harris’ third book, “My Road to Rotary”

Paul Harris’ office, now in Evanston

A special gift of a painting from RC of Cheltenham Spa, UK

Harris and Perry listen to the RIBI-RI difficulties in 1934

The tale of a photo (?) of Paul Harris

Reference to the Victor Hugo autographs

The Paul Harris “Study” project

British Memorial Service

The Founder’s visits

  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • London
  • Glasgow
  • Dublin
  • Belfast
  • Edinburgh
  • Newcastle
  • Douglas, Isle of Man
  • Fort Myers, Florida, USA
  • The other Ches Perry

1937 Fort Myers Speech

Bill Huntley 1994-95

The interesting story of UK’s RI president Bill Huntley and his presidential year theme.

Remembering Bill Huntley

Conventions of Rotary

1910 Chicago

Story of the official car

1930 Chicago

Women in Rotary

Women in 1912?

Women’s Auxiliaries


General History

Rotary Bibliography

Genealogy contributions

Jean Thomson Harris’ Parents

Early critics of Rotary.

Issues of Club Business

Do Rotarians everywhere sing?

Do all clubs meet every week?

The question of extending new clubs

“Why One Only”

Rotary the World Over – types of clubs/meetings

Famous Rotarians

Harlan Sanders (Kentucky Colonel)

British Stage Stars of Rotary


Rotary and the Railroads

Rotary during global conflicts

Rotary in World War I

Onset of World War II

End of World War II

The Outpost Club of Rotary in England

Revival of Rotary in Estonia

Friendship Trees

The first tree, according to Walsh

Trees in the “Harris Study”

Other Organizations

Free Masonry

Rotary “Lodge” #4195

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Region History

History of Rotary in Australia


History of Rotary in Africa

History of Rotary in Asia

History of Rotary in Europe

History of Rotary in Poland

History of Rotary in Russia

Re-entry of Russia



Rotary Club of Liechtenstein, the First Club of Liechtenstein

Rotary Club of Luxembourg, the First Club of Luxembourg

History of Rotary in UK and Ireland

History of Rotary in The Netherlands

The early clubs

DISTRICTING IN RIBI, amended 3 August 2006

RI RIBI Peace Initiative

Early notes to Australia from President Greiner and Secretary Perry

How clubs are chartered and numbers? Notes on the UK & Ireland

The Allied Rotary Club of France Where America’s World War One Soldiers gathered

Rotaryclubhistory? “#100” — was there more than one?

13 Kansas City “Stand Together Club”

50 London

Early Clubs of London

60 Glasgow

Harry Lauder, Glasgow’s famous Rotarian

66 Manchester UK

Birmingham, UK

Brighton, UK

Newcastle, UK

Battersea, UK 1926, home of RIP Carter 1973

The formation of RC of Tokyo, the war and reconstruction


The constitutional “vacation” issue

Amsterdam, Holland

Hilversum, Netherlands. Home of RI President C. P. H. Teenstra 1965-66

One of the first Clubs in community of less than 25,000 “Galesburg”

First Club of Rotary Countries (Also see Terminated Clubs)

Sofia, First Club of Bulgaria

Praha (Prague) first of Czechoslovakia 1925

History of Rotary in Czechoslovakia

Cardiff, First Club of Wales (1917)

Paul Harris Visits Cardiff

Isle of Man (first club of country) (including a visit from Paul Harris)

Åland Islands – Mariehamn

Kenya – Nairobi

Zimbabwe – Harare

Channel Islands – Guernsey

Rotary Club of Tallinn, the First Club of Estonia

Rotary Clubs of Kaunas & Vilnius, the First Clubs of Lithuania

Rotary Club of Riga, the First Club of Latvia

Rotary Club of Bucharest, the First Club of Romania

Letter from Harris to an RID from Bucharest

Rotary Club of Budapest, the First Club of Hungary

Rotary Club of Belgrade, the First Club of Yugoslavia

Rotary Club of Nanking, first club of Nanking

Rotary Club of Tripoli, the First Club of Libya

District Histories

D1090 UK

D1110 UK

D1130 UK, partial

D1170 UK

D1230 UK

D1270 UK

Histories of Global Networking Groups


RGHF History