Powell Majors


Powell Majors, 33rd president of our Club from 1946-1947, has known all former members to hold that office with the exception of our first president, Rogers W. Davis.  The following are his recollections:

With the exception of Rogers Davis (1916-1918), I have known on a first-name basis all of the presidents of the Charlotte Rotary Club. I was invited to join Rotary in 1938 during the administration of V. K. “Bill” Hart.

David Clark (1918-1919) was a stern, serious man and the first new member of the Charlotte Rotary Club. He took to Rotary like a duck to water and was instrumental in the formation of many Rotary clubs — North Charlotte being one of his last. Dave didn’t seem to take kindly toward me or any of the other younger members. It was extremely difficult to call Dave by his first name and he didn’t seem to encourage it. He was 61 and I was 32 at the time. At Little Rotary, a group that met at Thacker’s on Thursdays for lunch, Everett Bierman and I unintentionally hurt Dave’s feelings. We apologized then and later; even so, he didn’t speak to either one of us for six months. He was a District Governor and one of only two directors of Rotary International in the history of our Club.

John W. Fox (1919-1920), although ten years older than Clark, was easy to know and extremely intelligent. It was interesting to hear him tell about introducing electricity to area mill owners who didn’t think three wires could bring in enough power to operate a cotton mill. John was born in Australia and was brought to Charlotte to help what is now Duke Power Company get started in the early 1900s. John wore thick glasses, had an “Aussie” accent, and a very analytical mind. One of the few things that he was wrong on was nuclear power — he didn’t expect it to become the factor it is today.

J. Perrin Quarles (1920-1921), the third president, was an agent for Equitable Life and a salesman from the word “go.” He was very outgoing and fun loving — easy to call by his first name at first introduction. It was during his term as president that Club membership reached 100.

I really never knew Lewis Burwell (1921-1922) very well. I’m under the impression that he suffered considerable financial loss during the Depression. He was a small, wiry fellow. One of his sons was a championship tennis player, Lewis was 30 years older than I.

Norman Pease (1922-1923) was the resident manager for Lockwood-Greene, an engineering firm. When the office was closed during the Depression, he became a salesman for Thermoid Company in Trenton, New Jersey. Thermoid owned Southern Asbestos Company in Charlotte and he was eventually sent here to plan and oversee construction changes in the plant in 1937. When I was invited to join the Lion’s Club in 1938, I asked Norman about it. He suggested that Rotary would be better and when I said fine, he called R. M. “Gus” Pound and gave him the necessary information which led to my becoming a member in April, 1938. Shortly thereafter, Norman started J. N. Pease Associates along with Jim Stenhouse. He was called into service in World War II and served as a colonel in the South Pacific. During World War I, he had managed the construction of the camp at Columbus, Georgia, the town of his birth, which became Ft. Benning.

Howard M. Wade (1923-1924) was likewise a native of Columbus, Georgia. He owned and operated a firm that made bank fixtures — Wade Mfg. Company. He owned a great number of shotgun houses on Graham Street. Howard Wade was several times a millionaire and made it easy for me to call him Howard. At a Rotary meeting in the 1920s, Norman Pease sketched on the tablecloth a loft building which Howard later built on 6th Street. The idea of a loft building came from Dave Clark.

Bill Thomson (1924-1925) was a kind, gentleman who was associated with Perrin Quarles in operating a life insurance agency. He was from South Carolina and kept that drawl throughout his life. After he retired from business, he served Queens College for a period when the college was in trouble. Hamilton C. Jones (1925-1926) was an attorney and served the school board in that capacity, as well as being a juvenile court judge. Ham enjoyed a beer or so and was a lusty singer at club assemblies. He served several terms in Congress and was defeated by Charles Raper Jonas in 1952. A straw ballot taken at Rotary after the two men had spoken on successive Tuesdays indicated Jonas would win.

Hamilton W. McKay (1926-1927) was a urologist, the first of several doctors to be president of Charlotte Rotary. Ham gave the appearance of being gruff, but was not. He was a leader in the medical profession and an early supporter of Charlotte Memorial Hospital, now Carolinas Medical Center. It was not unusual for him to attend Rotary wearing a green scrub suit from the hospital. Two grandsons, Johnny and McKay Belk, are now members of Charlotte Rotary.

Henry McAden (1927-1928) was president of First National Bank when he headed the Club. Henry wore high celluloid collars and seemed distant to me. The bank failed during the early days of the Depression. The First National building has been known at various times as the Liberty Life, Baugh, Southeastern Savings, which is in the one hundred block of South Tryon Street. Rumor had it that Henry would not allow doctors to be tenants because of the various odors that would be created by their offices. He failed to rent to the telephone company because he feared that linemen would be in and out of the building. The Johnston building, later the Linked Carolina Bank building, added floors to accommodate Southern Bell.

Ralston M. “Gus” Pound (1928-1929), a charter member, was a partner in Pound and Moore, an office supply firm. He was a leader among the merchants of Charlotte and active in Rotary until his death at age 90 in 1966, our 50th Anniversary year. He introduced his son Ralston, Jr. into Rotary in 1947.

John Paul Lucas, Sr. (1929-1930) was a Duke Power man in charge of public relations. He was sophisticated and seemed to me to be aloof. He died after I had been in the Club a little over two years and I never felt that I got to know him.

Julian Miller (1930-1931) was the editor of The Observer — a brilliant man and gifted writer, Julian was not prompt in paying his dues and the Club directors had me become a collection agent during my two terms as secretary. Julian always paid when I’d call and we became good friends as a result of so many calls.

George Ivey, Sr. (1931-1932), along with his father and David Owens, ran Ivey’s Department Store. He presided over the Club when membership dropped because of the Depression. Club lunches fell to 60 cents during his year and dues to $25 per year. George took a cruise each August to be away from the golden-rod which caused him to have hay fever. George thought and lived Rotary principles and was opposed to having another club in Charlotte when Dilworth was proposed.

E. A. ‘Turk” Terrell (1932-1933) founded and owned Terrell Machine Company. He was a Citadel graduate and the second president to have a son who was later to become president. The first was John Paul Lucas. Turk was a staunch Republican. I i.e. invented and patented several items of textile machinery, which his firm manufactured.

Junius M. Smith (1933-1934) was an associate of David Clark in the publishing and printing business. He was with Gus Pound when they called on me in April 1938 to invite me to join Charlotte Rotary.

James H. Van Ness (1934-1935) was only 28 years old when he was elected president, at which time he was associated with the family business, W. I. Van Ness — photographic equipment and gift items — located on 5th Street across from Ivey’s. Later he joined George Snyder at Charlotte Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

Rufus M. Johnston (1935-1936) held the classification of “Farming.” He was land poor and lived on North Tryon Street in a large home just past the First Methodist Church. Rufus had trouble keeping his dues paid and I called on him regularly at the request of the directors. On one occasion, he took a great Mason jar full of coins to Miss Minnie Hamlet, the part-time executive secretary of the Club, in payment of some arrearages. Rufus had a reserve commission and was called up for service in World War II.

Art Mayo (1936-1937) appeared to be stern and gruff; actually, he was kind-hearted and very warm. He was completely bald. He operated a shortening refinery for Swift and Company. Lance, Inc. was a good customer and during rationing in World War II, Art arranged for Lance to get an emergency supply of shortening in one pound boxes; usually, it came in tank car lots,

V. K. “Bill” Hart (1937-1938) was an ear, nose, and throat doctor and president when I joined the Club in 1938. The Club met at a dining room operated by the Chamber of Commerce on the second floor above its office on West 4th Street. Club membership was about 125 and there was a strong emphasis on knowing all members and calling them by their first name or nickname. Bill had no children. He helped countless college students with loans and gifts through the Rotary Student Fund anonymously. Bill Hart was directly responsible for my son becoming an ear, nose, and throat specialist after finishing medical school. Bill was a serious fellow and very dignified. At one meeting, his chair fell off the platform at the head table. Fortunately Bill was not hurt, only his feelings.

L. G. “Plug” Osborne (1938-1939) had a sharp wit and changed the atmosphere of the weekly meetings from serious to that of fun-loving. Plug had a combination of talents which Sadler Love, Tom Garrett, Haynes Baird, Bill Burton, and Leland Park would exhibit in later years. At a Ladies Night program held at Myers Park Country Club, Plug had Rufus Johnston at the podium for the purpose of some sort of phony recognition. When he presented a set of dishes, they were dropped — on purpose — and smashed to pieces,

Charlie Stone (1939-1940) was a precise and serious man and extremely intelligent. He was a leader in the chemical industry. Prior to World War I, America was dependent on Germany for chemicals. Stone and a few others developed an industry for America. Stone chaired the Parks and Recreation Commission, leading it to new heights. He chaired the Community Chest Campaign (pre-United Way). He ran for district governor twice and suffered a defeat before being elected. The Stones had no children and very few relatives. Their million-dollar-plus estate was left to area educational institutions, including UNC-Charlotte, CPCC, Queens College, and Randolph-Macon. In addition, a generous bequest was left in a trust, the income from which continues to this day to be distributed to the Charlotte Rotary Club and Rotary International.

Paul R. Sheahan (1940-1941) captured the attention of the Club by a great speech he gave; the topic I have long since forgotten. As a result of the speech given in the spring of 1940, he was elected president of the Club. Paul did not have roots in Charlotte and after he sold his business he moved to Roanoke, Virginia.

Amos Bumgardner (1941-1942) was one of the first orthodontists in Charlotte and was president during the 25th Anniversary of the Charlotte Club. He was an avid hunter and maintained several hunting dogs. Amos selected me as the secretary of the Club. Amos, his wife, Dot and I, along with Charlie Stone attended the International Convention in Denver in June 1941. At a stop in Colorado Springs, we were driven up a mountain to the Will Rogers Memorial. I wasn’t feeling well and went to an isolated corner to vomit. I looked up to see that Amos had a movie camera aimed at me and I got well immediately. In Denver it took two cabs to take the five of us and our bags to the Harvard Hotel where we were assigned rooms by Rotary International. The Harvard was seedy — it looked flea-bitten and the bath was private after you went down the hall and locked the door. With one accord, we said, “No way!” and went to the headquarters hotel with bags. No rooms available we were told and were advised to go back to the Harvard, We persisted. Charlie Stone was our spokesperson and we ended up with deluxe rooms at the Brown Palace Hotel headquarters.

Wiley Obenshain (1942-1943) asked me to continue as secretary and sit beside him at the head table at each meeting, He was ill at ease as the presiding officer. He never ate a meal or missed a meeting. When we missed a train connection in Washington, DC, en route to the Rotary Convention in Toronto, Wiley pressured the Southern Railway to provide Pullman cars in the Washington station for us to spend the night, as hotel rooms were not available in the city due to the war effort. Wiley was a regional manager for Southern Dairies.

Everett Bierman (1943-1944) promoted a blood donor program by giving his own blood at a Club meeting. Even with World War II in progress, the Club grew and had a membership of 171 at the end of the year and a budget of just over $12,000. Fourteen active Rotarians were in military service. Bierman was a big, affable fellow that played football for Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He later was a District. Governor of Rotary International.

Charlie Williams (1944-1945) was a wholesale merchant whose father was a charter member of Charlotte Rotary and probably the first Catholic to lead the Club. His son, Charles Williams III, is a member of the Club as this is written in 1992. As in the previous two years, Charlie’s presidency was stifled because of the war.

John Pender (1945-1946) was program chairman for an entire year and originated “How I Got Where I Am” programs. John did not give notice as to who or when one would be called. Older members as well as new members were called on. John was a student of military strategy and often expounded his views at Little Rotary. John was an official of Pyramid Life Insurance Company and part-time real estate developer (Club Colony being one of his).

My year (1946-1947) saw the start of the Charlotte Rotary Boys Choir under the leadership of Jim McMillan, who continued in this role for the life of the choir. Our Club hosted the District Conference under the leadership of Everett Bierman. Dick Owenby, a Methodist minister, started a six-year reign as chairman of the Health and Happiness Committee and his reports were referred to as “the Methodist Hour.” Club meetings were held at the Hotel Charlotte, corner of West Trade and Poplar streets.

Paul Lucas (1947-1948) was the 31st president of Charlotte Rotary. His father was the 13th — the first father-son presidents. Paul used his public relations talents (he was vice president of public relations at Duke Power Company) to provide a good year publicity-wise for Charlotte Rotary. Paul had taught English at Clemson and was an excellent presiding officer. His “postscript” appears on the back page of our roster.

Dave Welton (1948-1949), a dermatologist, was president the year Everett Bierman was District Governor and together they attended the Rotary International Convention in Rio de Janerio. Everett claimed that Dave took along enough pills to stock a small drug store. It was during Dave’s term that the Dilworth Rotary Club was chartered. Prior to the Dilworth club, Belmont and Mt. Holly were the closest places to makeup attendance. Few members of Charlotte Rotary left to help establish Dilworth. Dave’s father was a Rotarian in Wisconsin and three of Dave’s sons — Scott, Rex and Sandy — are members of our Club. During Dave’s year, the Club raised funds to send the Boys Choir to New York to appear on the program at the Rotary International Convention and do a nationwide broadcast on NBC Radio.

Hoyt Galvin (1949-1950) came to Charlotte from Huntsville, Alabama, where he was a Rotarian, to direct the public library, which had been closed for a year. Under his leadership, the Club promoted the establishment of the Better Business Bureau, which continues to render a service to area residents and business firms.



My recollections of the first thirty-three presidents of the Rotary Club of Charlotte were set forth in the 75th anniversary book published in 1991. The next forty-eight start with

C. W. “Pat” Gilchrist (1950-1951). Pat was one of a select few who were rightfully called “Mr. Rotary.” Others that come to mind are Dave Clark (1918-1919), Charles H. Stone (1939-1940) and Charlie Hunter (1959-1960). After a successful year as president, Pat became a district governor, a director of Rotary International and committee member for planning Rotary International conventions. Had the timing been right Pat could well have been president of Rotary International. The Charlotte Boys Choir was Pat’s idea.

Ernest Hicks (1951-1952) got into politics as a result of his membership in Rotary. A regular attendee at the informal luncheons—known as “Little Rotary”—Ernest participated in the discussions and had answers to difficult questions. A suggestion was made that he run for the Legislature where his voice could be heard. While he was thinking about it, some in the group entered his name and paid the filing fee. Ernest went on to serve 16 years in the N.C. House where he was an effective legislator.

Roy Palmer (1952-1953) was the fourth Duke Power person to serve as club president. During his term our club helped charter the North Charlotte Rotary—the third club in the city. Roy continued the music program started by Ernest Hicks—with a trio, Hicks on the clarinet, Palmer on the trumpet and Dave Welton on the piano. The same trio played at the Myers Park Presbyterian Men’s Bible Class on Sundays. Hicks had played in the Charlotte Symphony and Welton in the Jacksonville, Florida Symphony.

Jim McMillan (1953-1954) found his niche in service for our club in the Charlotte Boys Choir. He gave his time and many resources from his firm to make the choir a success. Jim was a showman from the word go and made the choir into a singing show troupe. He took them to New York where they sang for an R.I. convention and made a nationwide broadcast on NBC radio. There were numerous trips to Florida where a stop at the circus winter quarters was always made. For several years, weekly performances were given in the Carolinas. Another highlight was an appearance in Freedom Park where President Eisenhower spoke and the choir was directed by Fred Waring.

J. Gordon Christian, Jr. (1954-1955) was a quiet, soft spoken man who served many years on the city school board. Herb Taylor, the man who developed the 4-Way Test, was president of Rotary International during Gordon’s year and visited our club. Gordon served as secretary of the Club in 1948-1949 and had as his secretary Martin Waters who would later become club president.

Al Bechtold (1955-1956) was a big man, both in size and ideas. The tree project was Al’s idea, one that provided the Park and Recreation Commission with a truck load of maple and dogwood trees each year. The project was carried on for over 10 years. Club membership was 232 and the year ended with a surplus of over $1,000.

Glenn Park (1956-1957) had been secretary during Al’s year and claimed his administration would be lighter because of his classification, “Incandescent Light Blubs.” He led the club in nominating “Buzz” Tennent of theAsheville Club for president of Rotary International, who was later elected and served with distinction. The club had a 200% participation in the Rotary Foundation.

Marshall Lake (1957-1958), a Duke Power man, and wifeAlvary, and Edgar Terrell, club secretary, attended the Rotary International Convention in Lucerne Switzerland. Terrell’s slides of the snow covered Alps were shown as a part of the convention report by Marshall. Mrs. Mina Rothrock retired as clerical secretary for the club and was succeeded by Mrs. Betty Knowlton. Ladies Night (known in later days as the “Galas”) were held at Kuesters and after dinner moved to the Little Theatre for a private production of “The Reluctant Debutante.”

Francis Beatty (1958-1959) was a veteran of both World War I and II and was known as Colonel Beatty. Meetings were held during his tenure at the Elks Club at Stonewall and South Tryon. As a young man Francis had played basketball with Norman Pease in Greenville, S.C. During Francis’ administration Pat Gilchrist was elected District Governor, the seventh of our members to serve in that capacity.

Charles A. Hunter (1959-1960) was introduced into the club by the late David Clark just after Hunter had graduated from NC State College (later it became a University). There were rumblings among some of the older members that at 21 he was too young to become a Rotarian. Charlie took to Rotary like a duck takes to water, starting “Glad to Be Alive Club” and the “25’ers Club” which honors those Rotarians who have been members for 25 years or longer. Charlie went on to be a district governor. He continued to be active until his untimely and sudden death in 1996.

Edgar Terrell, Jr. (1960-1961) was the second son of a past Rotary president to become president of Charlotte Rotary. John Paul Lucas (1947-1948) was the other. Edgar was a quiet, reserved man and those qualities were evident in his leadership. During Edgar’s tenure the meeting place was moved from the Elks Club to the Anchor Inn at the corner of South Tryon and Morehead. During our stay there it was also operated as Honey’s and Izzy Pittles. The trees project and Boy Scout Merit Badge Show were continued during the Terrell regime.

Sadler Love (1961-1962) brought a humor and levity to the club while at the same time maintaining a sense of dignity. He took pleasure in recognizing those members who left early resulting in a drop in the number that “fluttered.” It was ironic that the International Convention was in Tokyo (which Sadler attended) because of his stand against Japanese textile imports.

M. D. “Red” Whisnant (1962-1963) was a serious man. He had operated the Thompson Orphanage for years and brought that quality to the podium during his administration. “Pat” Gilchrist was elected a director of Rotary International at the Los Angeles Convention. “Red” presented “Pat” to the delegates at the convention. West Charlotte, the fourth club in the city, was organized with the help of “Pat” Gilchrist during the Whisnant administration.

Haynes Baird (1963-1964) brought a return of humor to the presidency. His profession, Urology, gave the health and happiness punsters a field day. Haynes often quoted from the Madison County Weekly newspaper the goings on about the Ponders and their relatives. According to Haynes they ran the county as their own private fifedom. During the year Carl Miller, president of Rotary International, spoke to an assemblage of 1400 at the Park Center.

Tebee Hawkins (1964-1965) returned seriousness to the podium. Ted Kirby, from the North Charlotte Club, was district governor and divided the district into six groups. Charlie Hunter was in charge of the group that included Charlotte. They staged the largest District Conference ever with all 42 clubs represented and 1100 registered individuals. Richard Evans, R.I. president from Salt Lake City, spoke to the conference.

Bob Bryant (1965-1966) presided over a club with 271 members. Bob’s classification, funeral directing, provided much material for the Health and Happiness Committee members. Money was supplied to pay the costs of shipping several hundred used school desks toAriquipa, Peru. Ariquipa was designated as a sister city by Rotary International. The Board of Directors agreed to fund, over a three year period, the establishment of a YMCA in Ariquipa as a part of the celebration of our 50th Anniversary. Former Governor Luther Hodges, president-elect of R.I. was the speaker for the 50th dinner celebration. Ralston M. “Gus” Pound, Sr. died March 4, 1966. Gus was the last living founding member of the club.

Charlie Briley (1966-1967) launched the club into its second half century of service by having the masthead of the Charlotte Reporter printed gold. Bill Poe and Dean Colvard joined the club during the Briley administration. The club met at Honey’s at the corner of South Tryon and Morehead where the lunch cost $1.75.

Zach Thomas (1967-1968) began when all Rotarians celebrated the birth of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary 100 years ago. Trees given to the Park and Recreation Commission totaled 2,758. Three Rotarians, Tom Belk, George Ivey and Zook Crosland (of Belks, Ivey and Sears) announced the development of a shopping center in Southeast Charlotte, now known as South Park. Norman Pease celebrated his 82nd birthday, he would go on to live another 20 years, becoming the oldest member of the club.

George Henderson (1968-1969) had appointed Bert Finch Chairman and Editor of the Reporter staff. Bert was a gifted writer and wrote an unsigned article each week, “Name Dropping.” Lonnie Newsom, president of Johnson C. Smith University, the first black member, joined the club during the Henderson administration. Support was continued for the YMCA being built in Ariquipa, Peru. David McConnell was appointed an ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Ladies Night was held at the Pineville Country Dinner Theatre and the club assembly on the “Outrigger” on Lake Norman.

Frank Timberlake (1969-1970) started the Paul Harris Fellows program with Pat Gilchrist and Luther Hodges, Jr. being the first two. Hodges worked at North Carolina National Bank and quipped that he was probably the only Paul Harris Fellow who was asked to resign because of attendance. The trees program, Boy Scout Exposition, Ariquipa project, Interact Club at Myers Park High School—all continuing programs— were supported. The Interact members wrote 150 Christmas letters to soldiers in Vietnam.

Bertram C. Finch (1970-1971). “America” was the theme song of the year having been sung at 27 of the meetings. Bill Poe was named Man of the Year by The Charlotte News. Individual members of the club participated in the $1.5 Million Campaign of Johnson C. Smith University. Lonnie Newsome, Smith president, was a member of the club.

Barry Miller (1971-1972). Rotary International Convention was in Sydney, Australia which Barry and family attended. Pat Gilchrist, an International Director, opened the door for Barry to meet International leaders. Being a pediatric dentist, Barry had to rely on committee chairs to carry out the programs which was done with such accuracy that he termed the operation of the club as being on auto pilot.

Don Davidson (1972-1973). The club won the trophy for being the outstanding club in our district. Membership was 260 members and lunch prices increased to $2.50. A new Public Service Recognition Award was initiated. The tree committee had purchased and the Parks and Recreation Department had set out 4,400 maple and dogwood trees. Jake Golden, a Methodist Minister, did Health and Happiness, which became dubbed the Methodist Hour—so named when Dick Owenby reported to the club in the late 1940s.

Warner Hall (1973-1974), a Presbyterian minister who picked up a Scottish accent studying in Scotland, presided with dignity and aplomb. Student Loan Fund had 32 loans for $19,125. Glenn Park attained 29 years of perfect attendance. The club sponsored a music camp at Wildacres for young people under the direction of Harvey Woodruff, a member of the Dilworth Club.

Marvin Lymberis (1974-1975). There was a switch from Scottish to Cajun as the Louisiana native took the helm. A speaker from IBM predicted that the use of computers would become as commonplace as automobiles. Honey’s, our meeting place at Morehead and South Tryon, was sold and became Issy Pittles and the luncheon cost rose to $3.25. The five thousandth tree was planted at Dalton Village. A second Interact Club was organized at Charlotte Latin School.

Tom Garrett (1975-1976) brought humor to the dais in the likes of Sadler Love and Haynes Baird. A heart attack kept Tom on the sidelines for two months. Marvin Lymberis filled the breach. The club meeting place was moved to the 30th floor of the First Union South Building to a restaurant operated by Slug Claiborne. Parking was 500 at the newly constructed Southern National parking deck.

Pete deWitt (1976-1977) saw Tom Warren take over as executive secretary following the retirement of Beth Small. The tree project continued, the total maples and dogwoods was now over 5,000. Program highlights for the year included Bill Poe speaking on education—he had been chairman of the Board of Education for 10 years—Bill Lee on energy and Dave Welton on concerns of the medical profession. Our club was 60 years old December 1, 1976.

Doug Booth (1977-1978) saw membership stand at 259. Members were requested to RSVP their luncheon reservations. The plan did not work. Ken Harris spoke to the largest attendance of the year on the challenges facing the City of Charlotte. A skyway between Ivey’s and Belk’s was announced and later built.

Dean Colvard (1978-1979) was at the helm when it became necessary to move our meeting place from the First Union building to the Quality Inn on the comer of McDowell and Fourth streets. During our tenure it has been known as Howard Johnson, Government House and Four Seasons by Sheraton. During the year Dean retired as chancellor of UNCC and was succeeded by E. K. Fretwell. Mike Greeson started “Greesons Gleaning,” a column that appeared in the Reporter during Dean’s administration.

Hoke Nash (1979-1980) was the third doctor from the Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat group to lead our club, Bill Hart and Marvin Lymberis the others. On December 15, 1979 Ben Hood, who was 100 years old and a regular attendee, was recognized. Hoke had trouble getting Ben to give up the mike after he was called on. Ladies Night was held in conjunction with the other clubs. The Charlotte Symphony orchestra performed.

David Burkhalter (1980-1981). E. H. Little, an honorary member, reached the age of 100—two years in a row that we’ve had a centenarian. An International rule requiring members to attend 30% of their meetings in their home club every six months was adopted by the Board. Henry Yancey, Dave’s predecessor as City Manager, had 55 years of Rotary membership in clubs in Charlottesville and Petersburg in Virginia, Durham, Greensboro and Charlotte.

Price Gwynn III (1981-1982) brought to the presidency of Charlotte Rotary all those qualities and attributes that made him the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA. He always used the appropriate language, whether it be for thanking a speaker or welcoming a foreign visitor.

William E. Poe (1982-1983) was the second lawyer to head our club—several others would follow. His year was described as a solid, traditional year for our club. Membership included 51 who had passed the threescore and ten. Norman Pease was 97 and during the year, Ben Hood at 103 had died.

J. Lee Morris (1983-1984) started each meeting with a little known but important fact from the pages of history. Examples: In 1848 bloomers for ladies were introduced as a new item of wearing apparel; in 1876 Wild Bill Hickock was shot while playing poker. Club membership increased with 28 new members and won a Rotary International Award for exceeding our Rotary Foundation goal.

Dalbert U. Shefte (1984-1985) was a lawyer and his profession was the topic of many health and happiness reports. Our club had its 69th Paul Harris fellow as Rotary International celebrated its 80th birthdate on February 22, 1985. Joe Moore was nominated to be District Governor (1986-1987). Under the provisions of his will, Charles Stone, who died in 1963, had contributed $28,368 to the Rotary Foundation through our club.

K. Martin Waters, Jr. (1985-1986) started his year with “Goals UnsetAre Goals Unmet” and carried this philosophy through his year. 18 new members were added during the year. Thirty-six new Paul Harris Sustaining Members and three Paul Harris Fellows were added to our ranks and contributed $16,000 for the year.

William E. Loftin (1986-1987) started each meeting (and he had 53) with a tid bit of history about our club. Doug Aitken was honored as the club’s first 50-year member. Norman Pease had his 101 st birthday. Pat Gilchrist, Mr. Rotary, died Jan. 2,1987. During the year the Supreme Court of California ruled that Rotary should not bar women from its membership. Club membership stood at 271.

William L. Kinney (1987-1988). Under Bill’s leadership the club nominated three female members—our first. Twelve years later there were 26 active women-members and an honorary. Along with the Business Journal and Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Rotary created the “Excellence in Management Award” which became an annual affair. Rotary International in 1988 had raised $219 million for the elimination of polio worldwide.

Thomas M. Belk (1988-1989) had a club project budget of just over $12,000. Tom became our 119th Paul Harris Fellow, ten more were added during the year. 15 members had 25 years or more of perfect attendance. Hoyt Galvin was the leader with 42 years. Ruth Shaw was introduced as the club’s first active female member. Bonnie Cone was the club’s first honorary female member.

Harold Hoak (1989-1990) was the 73rd president of Charlotte Rotary. He began his year with 286 members and ended with the same number. Losses by death and resignation totalled 25 which was offset by 25 new members. 31 new Paul Harris Fellows were added during the year. Leroy Robinson was the recipient of the second “Excellence in Management Award,” Pete Sloan was the first. Doug Aitken, a member of Charlotte Rotary for 54 years died at age 84.

Richard H. Hagemeyer (1990-1991) introduced the use of a scanner to record attendance into a computer. Charlie Hunter was recognized as the 6th member of the 50 Year Club. He had served as both president of our club as well as district governor. The Rotary Reporter ran a series of articles as we celebrated our 75th anniversary.

James H. Barnhardt, Jr. (1991 -1992) was the fifth president whose father was or had been a Rotarian, Paul Lucas, Edgar Terrell, Martin Waters and Pete deWitt being the others. As a part of our 75th anniversary observance we joined the other nine Rotary Clubs in the County to erect a Habitat for Humanity home. We had 185 Paul Harris Fellows; internationally there were 341,400 Rotarians whose contributions had immunized 278,219,039 children from polio. A no smoking policy was adopted by the Board of Directors January 14, 1992.

William P. Wood (1992-1993) brought to the presidency all of the skills he used as senior minister of First Presbyterian Church. Hoyt Galvin recorded 48 years of perfect attendance, thirteen others had 25 or more years. Cliff Dochterman became the 20th President of R.I. to visit our club on Octobers, 1992. 25 of our members have shared the Spirit of Rotary for over 40 years, and 42 have passed their 75th birthday.

Ruth Shaw (1993-1994) had a budget of $217,275 for the year with dues at $71.00 per quarter. Charlotte Rotary offices were moved to the Government House (the place we meet, now known as 4 Points. Dave Welton received the first annual Distinguished Rotarian Award. Our Paul Harris Fellowship members now totalled 217.

E. K. Fretwell (1994-1995) recognized Hoyt Galvin for 50 years of perfect attendance and Tom Warren on his 80th birthday with 18 years of service as Executive Secretary of our club. Bill Poe was District Governor. Dave Welton, former club president and long time pianist at our meetings died January 13, 1995. The Pledge of Allegiance was instituted during E. K.’s administration. The Paul Harris Fellow total reached 230 during the year.

Kenneth R. Harris (1995-1996). The 75th anniversary book (of our club) was distributed to all members. Meal cost was increased to $10.75. Hoyt Galvin succumbed to a massive stroke on December 22, 1995. Charlie Hunter, Past President and District Governor, died January 25, 1996. 16 new Paul Harris Fellows were added during the year, the total now is 246 for our club.

James Appleby, Jr. (1996-1997) had an approved budget of $268,105 to work with. Dues were set at $76 per quarter and meals $11.00 each. The club collected non-perishable food, paper products and personal hygiene items for victims of Hurricane Fran and 10 contributed from the budget to the cause. General Colin Powell was announced as the speaker for April 1. A large number of visitors were present to hear the General; it turned out to be a hoax, it was April Fools Day. Our Rotary office was moved to 801 Baxter Street in Suite 405.

Fred Lowrance (1997-1998) brought to the presidency the talents of a trial lawyer and a strong Rotary background learned from his father-in-law, Joe Moore, a former District Governor. Thirty-nine Rotarians were bell ringers for the Salvation Army’s Christmas fund. Literacy was to be supported during the year with both money and person power. Cindy Johnston was recognized at the District Conference in Asheville as our club’s Distinguished Rotarian for her work in Adult Literacy Programs. Bob Brietz became our 256th Paul Harris Fellow.