Club Inauguration and Charter Meetings
Minutes of the
In 1959 two meetings established the Taradale Rotary Club. Minutes and Newspaper reports
record the inauguration meeting in
early 1959, followed by the Charter Night in mid-year.
The formation of the Rotary
Club of Taradale took place in 1959 mainly as a result of the interest and
enthusiasm of Ron Munro and Len Whitehead of Taradale and Past President John
Alexander of the Napier Club. Len Whitehead had moved to Taradale from
Paeroa in 1955 to take up a position as Presbyterian minister. He had been a member of the
Paeroa Club and was convinced a Rotary Club was viable and would be good for the
development of the community. Before he died, he vested his original correspondence which
he conducted with the then District Governor, Mr G.T. McDowell.
These letters reveal that
Len spent a lot of time in 1955 pursuing the idea after an approach from local people who
might be surmised to include Ron Munro a local chemist. Approaches were made in the latter
half of 1955 to Mr Harold Holt, President of the Napier Club, who assisted with a survey
to determine whether the Borough of Taradale could support the diversity of
classifications required by Rotary. While supportive of the cause, the correspondence with G.T. McDowell suggests that the District Governor took a
cautious and prudent approach. Because of this the Napier Club turned down the request to to
assist with the formation of a Taradale Club.
Munro enlisted the support of Tom
McDonald and along with Len Whitehead
persisted and gained
the interest of
Past-President John Alexander of Napier, who eventually became the District Governor's
Representative. He and some Napier members met with key Taradale personnel"
(quote from Len Whitehead's notes) and a review
was done in 1958 which lead to the formation of
this club in January 1959.
The first of these was held
on Wednesday, 21 January, 1959, and was held in the Supper Room of the Town
Hall. From the minutes of this meeting, it is clear that this is the date from
which the Taradale Rotary Club commenced it existence, because Tom McDonald was
installed as the first president that night by District Governor George Kerslake.
The following notes on the
Charter Members have been provided by Jim Dine, a Charter member, who is one
of the two who remain full and active members of the Club in 2005.
"An approach was
made to The Rotary Club of Napier to form a club in 1955 but this was turned
down, Napier thinking there were not enough suitable people to get the
twenty five members required to form a club.
RON MUNRO, TOM McDONALD and LEN WHITEHEAD
persisted and gained a review in 1958 which lead to a meeting being called
with the then District Governor GEORGE KERSLAKE in the October or November
to gauge the interest in forming a club.
At that meeting, from memory, were the
following men. :-
GEORGE KERSLAKE the D. G. of District 294.
Past President of the Napier Club the District Governor's
HUGH HENDERSON, President of the Napier Club,
TOM McDONALD, a member of the Napier Club and
the first Taradale Club President,
HARRY CLARK, also a member of Napier Club and
Taradale Clubs first Senior Active Member.
LEN WHITEHEAD a Past President of the Paeroa
RON MUNRO, one of those who persisted for the
ALAN MUNRO, Ron's son,
FRED YEO, the Mayor of Taradale,
JACK McDONALD, Department Store Owner,
LLOYD LEMAN, Taradale's Town Clerk,
CRAIG NORTH, a Builder and Past Town Board
MARK POTHAN, a Cycle Retailer and Mechanic,
Me, [ JIM DINE ], an Electrician.
Because it was a beautiful fine day the
actual Meeting was held in the Car Park outside the Council Office. After
only a short discussion the D.G. agreed that a club could be formed, JOHN
ALEXANDER to organise. The meeting then went and inspected the venue for
club meetings, the Town Hall Supper Room. All this
took less than an hour. On the 21st. of January 1959, about 30 businessmen
from Taradale and the areas around Taradale met and agreed a Rotary Club
should be formed and that it should meet on Thursday at 5:30 PM., thus The
Rotary Club of Taradale was formed."
The first meeting of the Rotary Club of
Taradale was held on Wednesday 21st January 1959. Tom McDonald was elected as the first
President, and this meeting makes the start of the Club's existence.
The minute notes have been copied
from the Minute book kept by the Club's first Secretary,
L.V.Leman. This book is an historic document and available for any club member
interested to read it.
Click here to read it (PDF version)
The Charter Night
On Saturday 6th June 1959, the club
celebrated receiving its Charter, thus becoming a full member of Rotary
International. The local paper, The Daily Telegraph fully reported the event.
[Report, Daily Telegraph, June 8th 1959
Charter Presented To
New Rotary Club At Taradale
Club has now joined
the 10,000 other such clubs in the
Rotary International. The 27 members of the club have now been
linked with more than half a
million men in 100 countries who belong to the
of the Taradale club into Rotary International was effected on Saturday
when the club received its charter.
District Governor G. H. Kerslake,
hands the charter to Club president,
Rotarian T. B. McDonald
Click image to see full
ceremony was performed by District Governor G. H. Kerslake, who handed the charter to the
Rotarian T. B. McDonald, at a function held in the R.S.A. Hall, Taradale.
The meeting was
attended by a large gathering
of Rotarians, their wives and official
guests, drawn from all
parts of the Hawke's Bay province,
with a substantial representation from many
other clubs in the 294th ' Rotary District.
The occasion was a happy one. The presentation of the charter to the
Taradale club was preceded by a banquet attended
by more than 200 people.
The chairman was Rotarian J. Alexander, a past-president of the Napier
Rotary Club, who, as the District Governor's special representative, was in
charge of the formation of the Taradale Rotary Club.
The function was presented by the Napier Rotary Club as sponsor club. The
hall was attractively decorated with flowers and greenery and the stage was
set with Rotary banners, flags and a large replica of the Rotary wheel.
dinner, grace was said by the padre of the
Taradale club, Rotarian the Rev. L. G.
B. Whitehead. A welcome to
Taradale was extended by the Mayor,
Rotarian F. G. Yeo. After the invocation by
the padre of the Napier club, Rotarian the
Very Rev. 0. S. 0. Gibson, a welcome was
extended by District Governor Kerslake. He
outlined the events which finally
to the formation of the Taradale
Rotary Club and paid a tribute to the
work done by Rotarian Alexander on the
District Governor's behalf.
Kerslake commended the
sponsor club (Napier) on
bringing Rotary to Taradale. He introduced two
past District Governors,
Rotarians S. Hayton (New Plymouth) and W.P.P. Gordon
(Stratford), and welcomed the chairman
of the Hawke's Bay County Council,Mr R. A.
Nimon, as a special guest.
The roll call showed that
Rotarians and their wives were present from
the following clubs;— Dannevirke, Feilding,
Levin, Masterton, Napier, New Plymouth,
Stratford, Taupo, Terrace End, Waipawa,
Waipukurau, Wairoa, Carterton and Opotiki.
Left to right:
R.Munro, L.Whitehead, J.Alexander,
Lloyd Leman,DG George Kerslake,
T.McDonald, -,-,-,Jim Sutherland
(Thought to be members of other clubs)
The advent of Rotary in the borough would mean a new community service in
Taradale, said Past District Governor Gordon in addressing the assembly. It
would mean new and lasting friendships and closer understanding of the other
fellow and his problems, he said.
"It should mean that vocation will develop a new meaning, and Rotary expects
you to maintain high ethics in business," he told the members of the new
club. "If your daily work is measured in £ s. d
.you are missing out on life. Vocational service means more than just words"
the beginning of each year, said Dr Gordon, there would be in Taradale a
group of men who would meet and say: "What does Taradale need most?" They
would then set out to meet that need.
The speaker referred to the interest which
should be taken
in the international sphere
for the promotion of
and good will.
Click to expand.
No one in this photo has been identified.
presenting the charter to the president of the Taradale club, Rotarian
McDonald, District Governor Kerslake said: "As representative of Rotary
International District 294, I present to the Rotary Club of Taradale this
symbol of membership in a worldwide organisation. Rotary has used no magic
formula in its rapid growth, but has captured the imagination of men by the
master key of friendship. That key opens every door and the tremendous
strength of Rotary stems from the fact that 1100 clubs are united in
"Taradale now .joins us in the quest of that ideal," he said. "By deeds and
not by words, their club will move forwards to form a strong link in the
worldwide chain. I wish you a rich experience in Rotary as you go forward to
Click to expand.
receiving the charter, Rotarian McDonald said that Taradale was only a
.small district but would make up for that by keenness in Rotary.
"The charter which we have received to-night enters Taradale into a great
organisation of 1100 clubs spread throughout the world. We are now at one
with them," he said. "It is a wonderful privilege that we now have more than
halt a million friends. I am certain that the Rotary club will grow in
strength. The whole idea of Rotary must benefit Taradale.''
The Taradale president concluded by thanking the Napier club for its
sponsorship and District Governor Kerslake for his support. Rotarian
McDonald gave special thanks to Rotarian J. Alexander for his work in the
formation of the club. "He is really the father
of the Taradale club," said Rotarian McDonald.
GIFTS FROM CLUBS
Following the introduction of Taradale club members by the vice - president,
Rotarian J. Sutherland, gifts to the new club were presented by
representatives of visiting clubs and individual members.
During the evening, which concluded with supper, a vocal item was given by
Miss Janet McDonald, and elocutionary items by Miss Maia Alexander.
Accompanist for the programme was Rotarian W. Gilmore; of the Taradale