Some Club History

The Charter Document

Some Snippets of History from the Archives

30 October 1923 - A meeting was held of gentlemen of Watford interested in forming a Rotary Club. Mr D. Greenhill was voted to the chair.

16 February 1924 - The Rotary Club of Watford was chartered as club 1639 in District 9. D. Greenhill was the founding president.

1 May 1924 - The club held a Charter Night dinner.

Club meetings were held at the Essex Arms Hotel and the annual subscription was 2 guineas.

The club played a full part in the community and international assistance.

1935 - The first Beggars Ball was held raising £160 for the charity fund. The Beggars Ball was held annually for many years and was a major fundraiser the main beneficiary being the Peace Memorial Hospital.

November 1937 - Durham distressed area, Chester Le Street, was adopted by the Watford club. 52 families were assisted. Clothing and fresh milk was provided.

13 December 1937 - A Rotary Sign was placed outside Bucks restaurant where the club met.

17 June 1940 - Rotary Sign removed from outside Bucks restaurant on police orders because the name of the town - Watford - appeared on it.

26 May 1938 - Disbanding of Rotary clubs in Germany and Austria reported.

30 December 1938 - The Beggars Ball was held at the London Orphanage School. The dance floor was strengthened to allow the 'Lambeth Walk' to be danced. £225.10.8d handed to the Peace Memorial Hospital

11 March 1940 - First contact with Watford, Ontario Rotary.

1939-44 The club was active during the war years. Frank Penman was a major moving force in the club's international activities, and was much concerned with the welfare of refugees.

9 February 1944 - Proceeds from successive Beggars Balls used to endow a Watford Rotary Club Ward at the Peace Memorial Hospital.

1 July 1945 - Frank Penman became District RI Representative (Governor) for District 9.

January 1946 - The 'Help Holland' Appeal resulted in 12,938 articles of clothing sent to the Haarlem Rotary Club. In thanks the Haarlem Rotary club sent an ashtray which was made of tins from food which had been dropped by the RAF to the people of Holland who were near starving.

October 1947 - The club started a car service for the blind, which the club still runs today.

30 May 1949 - The club had 58 members.

1953/54 - The club took 6 poor elderly people for a week's holiday in Wothing, the start of an annual event.

1958/59 - Greetings sent on the formation of a new 'Watford' club in North Dakota.

1961/62 - Talks on the Common Market during the year.

1962/63 - The Williston Club donated a sum of money to Henry Colbeck to which he added personally with which the club started the International Student Trust - later to become Watford Rotary International Student Trust (WRIST).

Again this year patients from Leavesden Hospital were entertained and there were the usual darts matches with the blind.

24 January 1966 - Ambulance presented to St Johns Ambulance.

1 May 1974 - A Jubillee Dinner was held at the Town Hall.

6 February 1981 - The 47th Beggars Ball was held, and raised £2,870. The Beggars Ball continued at least until 1983 but the archive stops at that point.

2000 - Ladies were for the first time invited to become Watford Rotarians.

2006 - Merger of Watford and Watford North Clubs.

Rotary Clubs sponsored by Watford

1928       St Albans
1933       Uxbridge
1945       Rickmansworth
1946       Bushey & Oxhey
1968       Watford North
1980       Watford Clarendon
1997       Watford & The Langleys

Some Club History sub-pages:

Past Presidents of Watford Rotary

more 2006 - Merger of Watford and Watford North Clubs.