Rotary the world over 2

RGHF Senior Historian Basil Lewis 2 August 2006

Thank you to those who pointed out more unusual club names, especially adding to our tally of breakfast clubs. PDG Eddie Blender mentioned the Brighton Early Club (bright and early) which he had visited, and someone drew my attention to Taiwan, where there are other Saturday breakfast clubs. One, with exquisite oriental politeness, is called the Kaohsiung Good Morning Club. Charlotte has a ‘Top of the Week’ Club which may be a reference to its meeting for Monday breakfast. On the other hand, it is also interesting to note that there are districts, such as D 1880 and D1900, with no breakfast clubs at all.

Evening clubs seem to offer only a limited range. Abingdon as befits an ancient town has a Vespers Club but is Stockport’s Lamplighter Club a euphemism for an evening club? There must be more so if you can help, please let us know.

Some names are inevitable, like the Durango High Noon Club which nevertheless meets at 11.45. Presumably the actual shoot out starts at noon. For a full understanding of the allusions, especially in British club names, some outline knowledge of history might be needed. Huntingdon has an (Oliver) Cromwell Club, Ipswich a (Cardinal) Wolsey Club and Vienna, Austria, a Mozart Club. Ely has Hereward (the Wake), Dunfermline pays homage to Andrew Carnegie, while Sutton refers to a past royal palace with the Nonsuch Club; it is not as some might think a description of the club. In Loughborough there is a Carillon Rotary Club, Loughborough being the home of Taylor’s Bell Foundry which cast the Carillon at the Bok Gardens, near Orlando in Florida, as well as Great Paul at St Paul’s Cathedral. And is there a dark, hidden secret in the Pentagon Club of Scunthorpe?

There are also a few confusing names such as London, Hyde Park, which is actually in Canada and there are many similar duplications reflecting migration from Britain and Europe to the new world, There are, for example,8 clubs called York but only one in England, and no less than 14 Richmond Rotary Clubs. Meeting places too are often of interest. The Cavaliers Club naturally meet at the Royal Hotel in Scarborough (non British readers should consider the English Civil War) , and several clubs, among them the Elm City Rotary Club, NC, meet in a Women’s Club under their male Presidents and Secretaries. The Aberdeen Club, perhaps realistically, meet in a Senior Citizens Center, while Minden, who probably sing before eating, meet in the local Opera House. A quick round of the Drinking Song from Gounod’s Faust before the meal perhaps. Some locations may create problems for clubs. One wonders how the two clubs at Antarctic bases manage their community work…. or does looking after penguins count?

There is no question that the International Directory is well worth browsing through, and if you find any more oddities or fascinating facts, why not let us know so that we can add them here.