Club History

The club's names and addresses followed by bits of history

Rotary and the first 50-years of the Newport Club.

The Rotary movement was started in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris (a lawyer) and a few of his business colleagues. At that time there were plenty of opportunities for such a group to use their collective abilities to be of service to their community. The idea caught on, and clubs sprang up elsewhere in the US and across the Atlantic to Dublin and London in 1911, Cardiff in 1917 and Newport in 1920.

 Our 21 Founding Members led by Solicitor Louis Hornby included many of the town's important figures. Their positions make interesting reading: Furniture Manufacturer, Miller, Oil Manufacturer, Shipping Broker, Confectioner, and Iron Merchant. As well as optician bank manager and the like. Numbers grew rapidly and by 1923 there were well over 100.

 The club's first 50 years (1920-70) are summarised in a 54-page book. It was compiled by Rotarian Ben Robinson and published in 1970, our Golden Jubilee Year, when he was Club President. Copies are still available so the next short paragraphs give just a few random comments, facts and figures.

 Among the many things done to help the less fortunate in Newport, the club gave weekly support from the late 1920s to the 1980s to wounded soldiers at Chepstow Military Hospital and later at St Woolos Hospital.

Paul Harris visited the club in 1928.

In the 1930s members ran competitions for children and staged an Arts & Crafts Exhibition that attracted 6000 visitors.

The club continued to function during the 2nd World War and set up a Club