Club History of the 1950's


During the 1950's the Lebanon Rotary Club continued to meet  at the USO/City Hall Building (pictured right/above). We are told that it was a noon Thursday date that the Rotary Members enjoyed because there was plenty of time to visit prior to the meetings.

The Year Books of the 1950's outlined the Rotarian's General Information, Attendance, Membership Restrictions, Obligations of Members, and Benefits of Membership. We learn that our club's idea of "the Rotary Motto (Service Above Self) condensed into one word - 'Service'". 


 An example of the Rotary Motto "Service Above Self" is found in the Year Books of the 1950's where it was noted that "At the District Conference in Sedalia, Missouri in 1952, the Lebanon club went 100% for the Paul Harris Foundation" This same information is found in each of the Lebanon Rotary Year Books through the 1990's as a goal of our club. Our club has continued to support the Paul Harris Foundation  throughout the years.


Lebanon Rotarian Dr. Frank Heagerty (Pictured Above) served as Rotary District Governor of the 195th District in 1955 and 1956.   Several traditions evolved in the 40's and 50's.   For example, it is a tradition that all Rotarians greet each other on a first name basis, which includes visiting Rotarians; thus the reason older members say "Hi Jim" instead of clapping during introductions of visiting Rotarians.   According to David Donnelly, in the 50's the older members made it quite a challenge to new younger members to meet this tradition.

(Pictured Left:  Rotarians prepare to deliver Christmas gifts to children)


It also became a tradition that a single rose be placed at a prominent place with an empty seat to recognize the death and club's loss of a current member. The rose is then taken to the family of that member.  The Milk Bottle Fund was probably begun at the Lebanon Rotary Club in the late 1940's or early 1950's.   A milk bottle was put out at each meeting and members would place their spare change in the milk bottle. The money collected in the milk bottle would be used to purchase shoes for needy children in the community of Lebanon. A Rotary Club member who was a local shoe store owner, worked with Rotarians to assist with the purchase of shoes for as many children as possible in the community. Later, this fund would simply be called "The Shoe Fund". 


 Attendance has always been important, but in the 1950's the idea of Perfect Attendance was a distinct honor in the Lebanon Rotary Club.    Each year, as the changing of officers took place, those who had perfect attendance for the year were recognized.     Several Rotarians had perfect attendance for several years.   Most notable of those Rotarians were Tom Reese and Ollie Bohrer.   Both had more that 50 years of perfect attendance. According to Mrs. Bohrer, Ollie had to miss his first meeting due to a stroke that left him bed-fast. David Donnelly recalled that he had six years of perfect attendance when he and Betty were married and he "made-up" a meeting while he was on his honeymoon, which didn't quite fit into Betty's plans.                    


(Pictured above - David Donnelly, left, installed as the new president of the Lebanon Rotary Club; right is outgoing president Sen. J Morris Hill) 

 We know through our pictorial history and Year Books that Rotary Pancake Day was one of the fundraisers in the 1950's.   Although it is not know when Pancake Day began as a fund raiser, this seems to be one of the earliest, most on-going, and most successful fund raisers for the Lebanon Rotary Club throughout its history. (Pictured left/above:  Rotary Pancake Day in the 1950's)

The Lebanon Rotary Club's weekly bulletin in the late 50's and early 60's was called "The Spoke".  The 1950's saw other examples of the Lebanon Rotary Club living up to its motto of "Service Above Self" by the club undertaking a number of service projects to help young people. These included: crippled children, Boy Scouts, a boys' camp, and a Christmas dinner for boys in need. (pictured right/above) 

The Vocational Services Committee was expanded in the 50's to include: The Buyers, Sellers & Competitive Relations Committee and the Employee, Employer Relations Committee. The club also saw a need to reach out to the City of Lebanon and Fort Leonard Wood by establishing committees focused on those two entities.