Welsh Centennial Celebrations

Cardiff's Welsh Centennial Celebrations

100 Years of Welsh Rotary

On May 22, 1917, a preliminary meeting was held at the Park Hotel, Cardiff, when a group of nine men from the city convened to meet and listen to Tom Stephenson of Edinburgh, the Secretary of the BARC, and Lyon Scott. After a lengthy discussion, it was proposed that  "a Rotary Club be formed in Cardiff under the auspices of and in affiliation with the British Association of Rotary Clubs."


The nine present were appointed as a 'Provisional Committee' to make the necessary arrangements for a meeting place and to try to obtain additional

suitable members.  There were some doubts expressed as to the appropriateness of starting a Rotary club during wartime, but by July 18, 1917, several new  names had been added to the list, and the club was clearly a viable concern.


On September 7, 1917, the first formal luncheon was held at the Park Hotel  at a cost of 3 shillings and 6 pence (17.5 p) plus 10% 'war charges'.  

Nobody today knows what this was for.  W.A.Chamen, an electrical engineer, was inthe  Chair as Founder President and 31 members and several guests were also present to hear Rtn A Home-Morton, President of the London Club speak about the elevating influence of Rotary.  Delaval Story, the VP of the Bristol Club, expressed his pleasure at the foundation of a new club in Wales. Greetings were also conveyed from thirteen other clubs.  Although a search at Alcester recordsa 'charter date', no date for a formal Charter Presentation has been found.

A few months later, several members attended the Inaugural Meeting of the Rotary Club of Llanelly which became the second Welsh club. By the end of the War in 1918, numbers in Cardiff had risen to 74 and the following year to 95.  The Golden Jubilee book records that on December 11, 1922; the club introduced 'the toast of the King', "the Council feeling that the club had developed sufficiently to permit of a little formality."  Until 1936, like some other clubs even today, Cardiff took a summer vacation and no formal meetings were held, while in the earliest days, meetings were held fortnightly rather than weekly.

Throughout its history, the Cardiff Club has played a very full part in the life of the city, as well as helping in the foundation of several local clubs in South Wales.  

Welsh Centennial Celebrations pages:

Maggie's South East Wales updated 26.2.16

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