The Beginnings:
Rotary “Down Under” will mark an epic milestone in April 2021, when districts, clubs and Rotarians from across our regions celebrate 100 years of doing good in the community, both at home and abroad.
In February 1921, two special commissioners were appointed to introduce Rotary to Australia and New Zealand. They were Canadians James Davidson of Calgary and Layton Ralston of Halifax. At the time, Rotary had about 80,000 members in Canada, Britain and the United States.
In Melbourne, Vic, they met Sir John Monash, administrator of the Victorian State Electricity Development Authority. One of Australia’s most famous war heroes, Sir John agreed to accept charter membership of the proposed Rotary club, became its second president, and remained involved at club and district level.
Further meetings were held in Sydney, NSW, Wellington and Auckland, NZ, soon after. Many other city and regional clubs were established within a short period. The rest is history!