History of Concord Rotary Club

Incoming President Dianne Snyder awards the Past President plaque to Coleman Keeter.

Incoming President Dianne Snyder awards the Past President plaque to Coleman Keeter.

The Concord Rotary Club was chartered on January 1, 1922, becoming the 1054th Rotary International Club. Following the policy of the original Rotary club, the members rotated meeting places. However because the membership of the club grew rapidly, it settled down to a regularly scheduled meeting in one place.

The charter members included the following men: J. Archie Cannon, W. G. Caswell, L. D. Coltrane, Dr. Joseph V. Davis, William H. Gibson, Archie E. Harris, Gus Hartsell, Luther T. Hartsell, Sr., Aubrey Hoover, Rev. Thomas Lawrence, Frank C. Niblock, John M. Oglesby, S. Kay Patterson, Dr. Samuel W. Rankin, L. Maury Richmond, Charles F. Ritchie, William M. Sherrill, Martin Verburg, Charles B. Wagner, Thomas H. Webb, A. Shipp Webb, and J. B. Womble.  (Click here for a list of our club’s Presidents.)

During the early days the Daughters of the American Revolution served the members lunch in the old YMCA building. In 1926 the meeting place was changed to the ballroom of the Hotel Concord where meetings continue today on every Wednesday at 12:15 pm.

By 1928-29 the number of members had grown to 39. However, with the 1929 Market Crash membership declined to about a dozen. President Luther T. Hartsell, Sr. is credited with holding the club together.

During the 1930s, the membership again began to increase and, although World War II  strained the club attendance, the Concord Rotary has remained a vital and integral service organization in the community. Today a number of the members are 2nd and 3rd generation members.

Concord Rotary Club Emblem

The Concord Rotary Club has contributed to the well being of our local and global community in many ways over the years.  Proceeds from fundraisers have funded local non-profit organizations.  In 2010 the club completed its most ambitious project to date with the ribbon cutting on the “Everybody Plays Playground” at J.W. McGee Park on the Harold L. McEachern Greenway, both named for former Concord Rotarians.  This playground is handicapped accessible so that all children and their families can access and use the equipment.  The club is currently working on an even bigger project called Rotary Square.  Click here to learn more about Rotary Square!

Global projects include support for Rotary International’s efforts to end polio with the Polio Plus Project.  Polio has been eradicated in all but three (3) countries in the world now through the efforts of Rotary International.  A last push is now being made by Rotary and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to complete the work in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.

Concord Rotary Club has also supported projects in Peru including playgrounds for more than 40 rural schools and support of a medical and dental clinic.

Active members are needed to continue the great tradition of service in the Concord Rotary Club.  Become a member today and be part of our great past, present and future.