District 6380 History

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I. The chartering of the first club in the geographic area of our present district, Ann Arbor, took place in 1916, just 11 years after Rotary was officially started. The club was then part of District 7 that was composed of all of lower Michigan, the States of Ohio and West Virginia and that part of the Province of Ontario, Canada east of Michigan to Pennsylvania.

2. In 1918, Ohio and West Virginia were placed elsewhere and the remaining area in Michigan and Ontario became District 9. The Ypsilanti club was chartered the same year. In 1919, Hugh Van DeWalker from that club was District Governor. Mt. Clemens was chartered in 1920 and Chatham in 1921.

3. In 1922,  District 9 was renumbered District 18 and Pontiac was chartered that year. Birmingham, Ferndale, Howell, and Royal Oak were chartered in 1924.

4. In 1925, District 18 was renumbered District 23. In 1927,Omar O. Stelle of Mt. Clemens was District Governor. Romeo was chartered in 1928, Centerline, Blenheim, Richmond, Saline, and Utica in 1929, and Ridgetown in 1930. In 1934, Roscoe 0. Bonisteel, of Ann Arbor, was District Governor, and Milan was chartered. In 1936, George R. Averill of Birmingham was District Governor, and Brighton and Thamesville were chartered. Oxford was chartered in 1937.

5. By 1937 so many clubs had been added in the area that District 23 was broken down into smaller segments and in our specific area District 153 was created. It was composed of the total of what was later to be called Districts 6380 and 6400. It included Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Monroe Counties in Michigan and Essex and Kent Counties in Ontario.

6. In 1938, Lake Orion, Milford and Warren South were chartered. In 1939, Ernest H. Chapelle of Ypsilanti was District Governor. In 1940, Del Mar of Ridgetown was District Governor and Clarkston was chartered. In 1946, Edgar F. Brown of Ferndale was District Governor. Waterford was chartered in 1944, Wallaceburg in 1945. In 1946, Joseph V. Bradley of Howell was District Governor and Anchor Bay, Berkley, and Walled Lake (now Lakes District).

7. In 1949, District 153 was renumbered District 222 and St. Clair Shores was chartered. Warren was chartered in 1952, Rochester in 1954, Hazel Park in 1955, Auburn Hills, Madison Heights and Southfield in 1956, and Bloomfield Hills and Troy in 1957. As an interesting fact, Fletcher L. Renton of Royal Oak in 1950, Lloyd C. Mecee of Clarkston in 1951, Alan Frander of Wallaceburg in 1952, Macy E. Watkins in 1953 of Mt. Clemens, Harold M. Dorr of Ann Arbor in 1954, George B. Hartrick of Pontiac in 1955, and G. Clarence Nichols of Blenheim in 1956, were all District Governors. We had seven in a row from our area, for the combined areas of what is now called Districts 6380 and 6400 (it is not known whether this tilt in the official "control" of then District 222 was a factor in the decision to make a division in the district that occurred in the next year).

8 In 1957, the area of the present Districts 6380 and 6400 was divided up between them. Renumbered 638 became Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb Counties in Michigan and Kent County in Ontario. Renumbered 640 became Wayne and Monroe Counties in Michigan and Essex County in Ontario. In effect, 640 was the "city" district and 638 was the "suburban" district, both in Michigan and Ontario.

However, the internationality of both districts was continued, as each was able to maintain clubs both in USA and Canada. In 1959, Novi was chartered. Ann Arbor North and Davisburg in 1967, Farmington and Sterling Heights in 1969, Fraser in 1984, Clawson in 1985, Dresden in 1986, Chelsea in 1987, and Ann Arbor Briarwood in 1990.

9. In 1991, a "0" was added to all district numbers and District 638 became 6380. In 1993, we had our first loss of a club, Bothwell, as residential patterns in farming areas of Kent County changed. In 1997, we lost Centerline, Hazel Park and Lake Orion. We lost Warren South in 2001, St. Clair Shores in 2002, and Fraser in 2003 as residential and business patterns in the greater Detroit metropolitan area changed and cities and towns blended into one another.

10. However, for much the same reason, the Chatham Sunrise, Dexter, and West Bloomfield clubs were chartered in 1998, our first since 1990. In 2004, we chartered Livingston Sunrise. Another statistic that changed in the 90s was that prior to then, the "city" District 6400 always had more Rotarians than did our "suburban" District 6380. By 1995 that had changed and since then the "suburban" district Rotarians outnumbered those in the "city" district.

11. As Districts are designed to assist clubs in their work for Rotary, rather than originate the work, our district has generally not had work or fund raising projects on its own other than those mandated by RI or the Rotary Foundation. For example, shortly after Rotary started the district Ambassadorial Scholar Program in the late 40s and the district Group Study Exchange Program in the mid 60s, our district began participating. When the Peace Scholar programs were started in the late 90s, our district became an official "Pioneer District" in agreeing to fund a named worldwide student for the initial two years of the of the program. Starting with the late 70s and continuing until the present, the district has sponsored a multi-student Youth Exchange program in alignment with the regional authority Central States and then later with newly formed Ohio Erie. When the Great Lakes Multi-District President Elects Training Seminar was started in Michigan in 1990, our district was involved and continued to participate through the present. In late 1989, the district instituted an "International Night" as a fundraiser for the international Polio campaign. It continued for several years thereafter. Then the format changed somewhat and the district started having a Rotary Foundation seminar and dinner, which has continued to the present. Starting in the late 80s and continuing to the present, the district has sponsored a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards weekend of activity for high school students from both the USA and Canada. Starting about the same time the district has also helped to coordinate the activities of the various Interact and Rotaract clubs by putting out a Directory of their information.

12. For an extended period of time, from the early 30s through the early 90s, first Mt. Clemens Rotary, then a number of district clubs in Macomb County and neighboring areas, maintained an entity known as "Camp Rotary". Many local and district events were held at that facility during those years as well as activities and functions for special needs children. It is now part of the Metropolitan Park System.

13. In 1992, the Clarkston Club was successful in founding the first Rotary club in the Ukraine, in the capital city of Kiev.

14. In 1993 our district was the first in the world to nominate a woman Governor, Virginia Nordby, from the Ann Arbor North Club. There were 6 other women governors in the world for the 1995-96 year in which she served.

15. Up uutil now, our district has not had an individual Rotarian become a Director, or a President of Rotary International, or a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation. However, we have had several individuals who received some international notice. In 1991-92, during the term of RI President, Rajendra K. Saboo, who called for a "Thousand Candles of Light" to help fund and promote the Rotary goal of polio eradication, a PDG from our district, Richard Pearce, and his wife, Lois, walked across Canada, to raise funds for polio. They were recognized internationally for their effort and were named one of the "candles". Several years ago PDG Virginia Nordby was featured in the Rotarian, our international monthly magazine, along with several other female Rotarians, discussing the inclusions of women into Rotary some 10 years ago, and the accomplishments of women in the interim years.

16. In 1995-96 in the early years of that awarded being presented, PDGGeorge W. Moore III, received the "Service Above Self' award from the Rotary International Board. In 2003 PDG Terry Youlton, in 2005 PDG Virginia Nordby, and in 2006 PDG Keith Koke also received that same award.

17. In 1994 PDG Richard Pearce received the Distinguished Service Award from the Rotary Foundation. In 1995, PDG Siddharth (Mav) Sanghvi, in 2003 PDG Virgini Nordby, and in 2005 PDG Terry Youlton also received that same award.

18. Several PDG's, and a number of other Rotarians in the district, are Major Donors or Benefactors of the Rotary Foundation. That represents a cash donation or pledge of $10,000 or more to promote the good works of the Rotary Foundation.

19. Also for a number of years now, a number of PDG's from our district have served on Rotary International Committees, and made presentation to international groups.

20. Rotary celebrated its 100'" Anniversary in 2005. There was a grand and glorious celebration in Chicago where Rotary started, and many of our members were there to take part in those activities.

21. In 2007, our district celebrated its 50'" Anniversary by chartering a new club in Lake Orion after many years of not having one there and also chartering a new club in Clinton Township after many years of not having one in that area either. We were back to 52 clubs again.

22. In 2008 we chartered a new club in the Lyon Area, and now have 53 clubs, and ended the year just a few members shy of 2,000. Also Terrence McNaughton, our Youth Exchange Chair, was elected Chair of the Ohio-Erie Region Youth Exchange Group that has districts in 5 states. Finally, PDG Gail Scott, was elected Chair of the Great Lakes Multi-District PETS, and it is a 6 district group.

By PDG George W. More III
District Historian