History

Beginnings

The Rotary Club of Bulawayo (The “Mother” Club) is the oldest club in Bulawayo. The first Rotary Year of the Bulawayo Club opened with a meeting at the Selbourne Hotel on Friday 17 July 1931, a little over a week after the inaugural meeting of interested persons had been held at the old municipal offices. The Selbourne Hotel was the newest hotel in Bulawayo at the time, standing on the corner of Rhodes Street adn Selbourne Avenue and run by Max King who was “Mine Host” to the Bulawayo Rotary Club for 34 years. The hotel was known as “Headquarters” by the members of the club, and present at the meeting on 17 July  were: Major Robert Gordon, teh Rev. Oliver Roebuck, Messrs. Sanderson, Sydney, Veats, Franks, Stuart Shaw, Robertson, Arthur Sanders, C.K. Wilson, Dawn Copley, Major Duly, Hunter, Arthur Thornton, Andrew Keay and “Giff” Gifford.  It must have been a matter of great regret to Henry Telfer Low that he was not able to be present at this first luncheon meeting and the minutes of the meeting record his absence. Those present saw the necessity for “service” in teh community of a young country, barely 35 years old and they believed in Service before Self.

 

At this first luncheon meeting Major Robert Gordon, affectionately known  to his colleagues as “Boomerang” was elected to the presidential chair. A small committee was formed comprising Stuart Shaw, C.K. Wilson, Robertson, Arthur Thornton and P.H. Gifford who acted as secretary for the first two years.

rotaryclubbulawayo1931

Charter members – Taken outside The Selbourne Hotel in 1931