The First Rotarian

Message to Edinburgh Convention

“The First Rotarian The Life and Times of Paul Percy Harris, Founder of Rotary”.

The out-of-print book was nowhere available, not even in the big internet second-hand bookshops. So I started looking for the English company, which printed the first edition in1979.To make a very long story a little shorter – after dozens of calls I finally got in touch with the former editor – my Rotarian buddy HARRY TREADWELL.

(see here, left, giving a copy of “The First Rotarian” to Clem Renouf from Nambour, Queensland, Australia, RIP 1978-79)

After explaining to him that I needed the book for contributions to Rotary’s history, he sent me the books he still had, and other interesting Rotarian items. The Walsh’s books included one leather bound English edition (one of the seven in existence) and two leather bound Japanese editions. The books are not only of great historical value – they are also worth a lot of money. Back in 1979, nobody wanted to publish Walsh’s book – it was clearly not to be a financial success. Harry edited the book nevertheless.

Friendship – the motive power of Rotary.

For our Japanese friends, I have copied the introduction of David Shelley Nicholl to Walsh’s book in their language. Nicholl himself wrote in 1984 another book about the live of Paul Harris and Rotary’s history:

“The motive power of Rotary is friendship. This is true today; the same statement could have been made in equal truth
yesterday and let us hope that it may be truthfully made throughout all time.”
Paul Harris, Message to the Edinburgh Convention, The Rotarian, August 1921.

In search for the book of James P. Walsh:

“The First Rotarian The Life and Times of Paul Percy Harris, Founder of Rotary”.

“The Golden Wheel – The Story of Rotary 1905 to the present”.

This medal was given to Chesley R. Perry, General Secretary of R.I. 1910-1942,
by the Rotary Club of Osaka in June 1930