President: Ros Parker
President-Elect: Gavin Keeton
Treasurer: Mark Arendse
Club Service Projects: Patrick Pringle
Club Rotary Foundation (International and Youth): Helen McCallum
Club Membership: Ian Suttie
Club Public Image: Belinda Tudge
President Ros Parker with Past President Ian Suttie
March 2019: Rotary Club of Grahamstown members with then President Ross Marriner and District Governor Gianna Doubell
1949-1951 Harry Rushmere
1985-1986 Trevor Long
The charter of the Rotary Club of Grahamstown, No. 7370, was signed at Rotary International's Head Office in Evanston on 19 October 1949.
Our nearest Rotary Club at that time, Port Elizabeth (the 3rd oldest club in South Africa), became interested in forming a Club in Grahamstown in 1927. After conducting a survey they felt that the time was not ripe. A second survey was carried out jointly by the Rotary Clubs of Queenstown and Port Elizabeth in 1929 with the same results. After a lapse of eight years Port Elizabeth again considered the matter in early 1937 and again in 1940 - nothing eventuated and the whole question was shelved until after the war.
It was not until September 1948 that members of the Port Elizabeth Rotary Club again looked into the matter of forming a Grahamstown club. On 12 April 1949 Rotarians from Port Elizabeth held a meeting at the Farmer's Home Hotel in Grahamstown to discuss, with an invited audience, the formation of a Rotary Club in Grahamstown. At this meeting a provisional committee consisting of A.J. Lilford - acting chairman, Pat McGahey (secretary) and Messrs Rushmere, Advocate van der Riet and Frank White was formed with the task of enrolling sufficient members (min. 25) to form a provisional Rotary Club.
The first luncheon meeting of this Provisional Club was held at the Goodwood Hotel on Monday, 12 September 1949 with twenty members present.
On Saturday 10 December 1949 the Rotary Club of PE organised and sponsored a special Charter Dinner at the Grand Hotel in Grahamstown. The dinner was chaired by the Vice-President of the PE Club - Rotarian B.K. Anderson on behalf of their President Rtn Dimbleby. Over fifty Rotarians with their guests were present and the visiting Rotarians had come from Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, East London, Roodepoort and Durban.
Our Charter - Number 7370 - was handed to our first Club President Harry Rushmere by the Representative of RI, District Governor, Glenn Buchanan.
Charter Members of the Grahamstown Rotary Club were: W.G. Alder; T.B. Bowker (MP); Alan Selwyn-Brown; Rex Butler; Ken Davis; Cyril Dicks; R.H. Duncan; the Revd. Frank Edmonds; Hugh Grocott; Neil Hewitt; W.G. La Grange; A.J. Lilford; Pat McGahey; Clifford Miles; John Neville; W. Ross-Nunn; Billy Powell; Mike Rautenbach; Harry Rushmere; Athol Stirk; Bobby van der Riet; and Frank White.
In 1985 the Grahamstown Rotary Club sponsored the establishment of the Port Alfred Rotary Club and in 1997 PP Izak Smuts of the Grahamstown Club was given the go-ahead to establish if it was feasible to charter a second Rotary Club in Grahamstown. On 1st June 1999 the Grahamstown Sunset Rotary Club received its charter with an initial membership of 32 members. They have proved to be a vibrant addition to the Rotary family in District 9370.