History of the Rotary Club of Fullerton

Rotary, the daddy of all service clubs, was originated in Chicago, Illinois in 1905 by Paul Harris, an attorney who banded together with a few friends for mutual friendship. The name Rotary was adopted because the first meetings were rotated between places of business of the members. Members were limited to one from each trade or profession and thus originated the "classification" idea in service clubs.

            Organized at first for mutual self interest, the idea of community service was soon introduced into the purposes of the club and the service club movement was on its way. Rotary was extended to Southern California in 1909 when the Los Angeles Club (LA5) was formed.

            It was not until 1920 that Orange County began to feel the benefits of Rotary service, when Mac O. Robbins organized the Santa Ana club. Robbins was also instrumental in the starting of clubs in Orange and Anaheim.            Harry D. Riley of Anaheim brought Rotary to Fullerton in the fall of 1922. A group of two dozen men were selected and held their first meeting October 26, 1922. After a few organization meetings, the charter was presented December 12, 1922.            William Irwin, Fullerton postmaster and real estate developer, was the first president of Fullerton Rotary. He has been succeeded by men who have served their community in a multitude of ways. Over the years the service rendered by Fullerton Rotary has been varied and extensive. Sponsorship of youth and community organizations, assistance in civic, recreational, philanthropic, educational and cultural activities has marked its progressive career.