Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A year in the life of Leeds Rotary: 1938

In 1938, life was still going ahead fairly normally though the the impact of a war feared but not yet here was already being felt or reported by Rotarians in Leeds. Some items illustrating this - taken from the monthly reports of Hon Secretary, Charles Davis - are listed below:
  • Community service questionnaire about personal (hitherto unknown) contributions
  • Entertainment for foreign students at the university at which the countries represented were India, Egypt, Soudan, Greece, Jugoslavia, Canada & Czechoslovakia – two Indian ladies attended (March)
  • Disbanding of Rotary Clubs in Austria after country's incorporation into Third Reich
  • First “Sons and daughters” day (April)
  • Appeal by Dr Morton for a position for Miss Gertrude Lichtmann – a Jewish girl of 15 or 16 in Vienna (second appeal a week later but no outcome reported)
  • Running of Birk Crag camp with Harrogate Club (May)
  • Overseas students' outing to Fountains Abbey
  • Delegation to Rotary International convention in Nice – one party drove there by way of Belgium and France visiting many Rotary Clubs and bringing back many flags!
  • Weekly addresses listed including “What is a gentleman?”, “Truth in advertising”, “Trunk roads”, “The Motorist and the Law” and “Nazi Germany”
  • Discussion on “Is the modern tendency to develop retail trading through multiple shops a healthy one for the Nation generally?” (June)
  • Exchange visit of member's son or daughter with the son of Paul Jouville – a founder member of the Louviere Club in Belgium whose hospitality had previously been enjoyed by several Leeds Club members
  • District organising holiday for sons of foreign Rotarians at Ashville College (July)
  • Attendance at Stockholm Conference by two members (September)
  • Appeal for someone to occasionally take an old lady crippled with rheumatoid arthritis out for a drive
  • Leeds Club planning to give a previous, successful demonstration on “The reception of a new member” to forthcoming district conference in Bridlington
  • Other speakers to include Rotarian Ernst Ipsen of Denmark who worked for the repatriation of prisoners from Germany after the last war and Phyllis Bentley (to the Inner Wheel)
  • Conference (due to start Saturday 30 September) postponed during the week before “in view of the critical international situation”: some men in key positions already detailed to special work and others would want to be at home: conference would have to be broken up immediately if war occurred “on Saturday” and would add to disruption travelling home
  • Extracts from matron's monthly reports showing weight gain of children in the holiday camp (October)
  • Wreath laid by Club President on Armistice Day (November)
  • Situation required for former bank official in Czechoslovakia
  • Distress in Czechoslovakia reported and appeal for support for Rotarians and financial support for the people there generally
  • Questionnaire to all Leeds Club members about principles of evacuation and billeting in time of war (December)
  • Rotary disbanded in Italy from 31 December – last greetings to clubs or members invited in “The Rotary Wheel"
President's Centenary Charity