The founding of The Rotary Club of Nassau,
the First Rotary Club in The
A Nassau Herald report on 3rd February 1962 described
the charter luncheon of the first Rotary Club in The Bahamas, with 28
Members, at the British Colonial Hotel, as follows:
"Mr. Jack Shillan* presided over the meeting and paid tribute to
Mr. Kenneth Arnold, a former manager of the hotel, for the great assistance
rendered by him between 1949 and 1951 when he gave Rotary lunches at the
These meetings were suspended when Mr. Shillan experienced racial and
political difficulties. Rotary does not recognize racial or religious
differences nor does it mix into politics."
At 10.00 am on 19th January 1962 the Board of Directors of Rotary International
at R.I. Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA approved the admission
and authorised the Charter for The Rotary Club of Nassau. Four days later,
on Tuesday 23rd January 1962 the first official meeting was held, "embellished
by great handshaking, backslapping and an extended fellowship period".
The initial Membership was twenty-eight very-carefully chosen prominent
members of the local community. The Club's Charter was presented by the
RI President Joseph Abey at the British Colonial Hotel on 27th March 1962.
* Jack Shillan was the Founder of Rotary in The
Bahamas. He had previously arranged unofficial Rotary meetings in a quiet
section of the British Colonial Hotel in the early 1950's. In 1956 Etienne
Dupuch successfully tabled and introduced the "Anti-Discrimination Resolution" in
the House of Assembly, and the barriers to having a Rotary Club in The
Bahamas began to fall.
•Etienne Dupuch • James Robertson • Frank L. Cole
• George C. Moody • O. B. Wood • Hugh M. Davies • Clifton D. Sorer • Edgar
L. Hammond • Wilfred Smith • Sir George Roberts • Archibald W.G. Taylor
• William Ellis • Edward H. McKinney • Gordon O'Brien • William H. Sweeting
• George M. Cole • David L. Brown • Major John A. Hawthorne • P. M. Lightbourn
• Alexander Lofthouse • Dennis A. Nottage • Dr. Andrew G. Esfakis • Dr.
K.V.A. Rodgers • Sigmund Amoury • Dr. E. Paul Albury • John Shillan • Marcus