Rotary is a voluntary non-profit organisation of business and professional leaders who meet regularly to perform charitable works. The main objective of Rotary is service in the community and to promote goodwill and peace around the world. Rotarians have also developed support programmes for youth, education and international exchanges for students.
The Rotary Club of Christchurch Inc.
The Rotary Club of Christchurch was chartered in 1922 and had a long history of service in the Christchurch community. In 1922 the minutes were recorded in leather-bound ledgers, were signed in flowing script using a fountain pen and members paid an admission fee of £2/ 2s and annual dues of £4/4s.
The original membership was 43. Those members met at the Beresford but soon transferred to Ballantynes tearooms. Members paid 2 shillings for lunch. The rules were very much stricter in the early years regarding attendance and meeting procedures. Whilst maintaining some traditions, Rotary Clubs are now less formal.
During the years of the depression the Club helped many families with food parcels and other support.
Rotary, in those early years, had a regular street collection and organised fundraising concerts helping various organisations such as the Plunket Society. In the 1930’s member Sir John Robert McKenzie established the JR McKenzie Trust and the JR McKenzie Youth Education Fund making a considerable gift of £110,000 to the Trust “in acknowledgement of the great work of the Rotary and of the privileges it had conferred on him”. These Trusts have supported young people and continue to do so to this day.
During the period of WW2 the Club was very active in supporting men and women of the services, including arranging for entertaining of troops and organising an annual Christmas party for children with fathers on active service. Food parcels were organised for distribution in Britain by British Rotary Clubs.
Many projects have been undertaken in the post war years, including the funding of the children’s swimming pool in the Botanical Gardens, the support for schools and underprivileged children, support for the program for the Eradication of Polio, support of the City Mission and other charities, together with subsiding young people to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Program, Science Summer Schools and to visit overseas as Rotary Youth Exchange Students.
Our Club invites men and women from many walks of life to participate in the ongoing fellowship and service to the local and international community.