Records (1919-2016) of the Rotary Club of Greenville, North Carolina, including correspondence, minutes, financial papers, deeds, membership lists, publications, scrapbook, clippings, motion picture film, audio tapes, photographs and memorabilia.
The Greenville Rotary Club (#565), one of the oldest civic organizations in Pitt County, is a club that was established to provide fellowship and service to the Greenville community. The club is a branch of Rotary International, an international service organization formed in 1905. Rotary International was founded to bring business and professional leaders together, to provide humanitarian services, promote high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary's primary motto is "Service above Self." An earlier motto was "One profits most who serves best."
The Greenville Rotary Club (#565) was originally organized in 1919 and received its charter that same year. The club's membership started with only twenty-two charter members. The club's first president was a medical doctor named Dr. Cicero J. Ellen. In 1920, a two-story building was constructed for the Greenville Rotary Club, giving the club the distinction of being the world's first Rotary Club to own its own building. This building not only served as a place to hold Rotary Club meetings but also served as a meeting place for other organizations, including The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. These organizations are among many that The Greenville Rotary Club have sponsored over the years.
The Greenville Rotary Club Records contain material on state, national and international levels. The records consists of nine series: Correspondence; Financial and Legal Papers; History; Membership Records; "The Lubricator" (title of the Greenville Rotary Club's newsletter); and printed material from various levels of the organization.
Correspondence includes information on Rotary Clubs on all levels. The correspondence from the Greenville Rotary Club covers subjects such as classifications, elections, newly formed Rotary Clubs, Greenville Rotary Club history, funding, programs, social events, and constitutions and by-laws. The correspondence of the Rotary Clubs outside of Greenville, N.C., provides information on membership, committee activity, and rotary activities at both the state level and national level.
Among the financial and legal papers are documents that provide the history of the 1920 construction of the Greenville Rotary Club building. The Greenville Rotary Club was the first Rotary Club to own their own building. There are receipts and financial reports that outline the expenses that occurred during the building's construction and the building's original deed. Ledgers provide listings of paid membership dues and other general expenses. In addition, there are applications, correspondence and other financial papers related to the Greenville Rotary Club's Student Loan Fund.
The organizational history of the Greenville Rotary Club is documented through clippings, meeting minutes, and other related documentation. Types of information included in the clippings are new member installation, member biographical information, officer information, programs and events, and information on the ECU Rotaract Club; a philanthropic organization sponsored by Rotary International. The meeting minutes focus on committee reports, announcements, and new members, and singing of songs at the meetings. Among the speakers were Miss Lucy Cherry Crisp who spoke on August 9, 1926. (The Lucy Cherry Crisp Papers are also available in this repository.) One particular item of interest is a scrapbook containing clippings, photographs and ephemera collected during Mr. Howard J. McGinnis' tenure as District Governor of District 279 of Rotary International (1950-1951).
Membership information can be found throughout the collection but a good deal of the information is listed under series four which are the Membership Records. The records include membership applications, correspondence, stubs and notices documenting new memberships, approval of memberships, and memberships that were terminated. Attendance records, rosters and directories provide member names and their information. The membership records presents information on the procedure of classifying occupations. Officer and committee information is also included.
The bulk of the records consists of issues of "The Lubricator," the Greenville Rotary Club newsletter. In addition to the Greenville Rotary Club newsletter are publications by the Greenville Rotary Club and other Rotary Clubs in North Carolina. These publications include brochures on conferences and conventions, newsletters other than the "The Lubricator" printed by the Greenville Rotary Club and newsletters and other material by Rotary Clubs in North Carolina. The records also include music sheets and songbooks that represent both Rotary and non-Rotary songs.
The Rotary International records mostly consist of published material. There are, however, correspondence and financial papers as well. Of particular note are the bound and unbound volumes of the Rotary International's magazine, "The Rotarian" and the book entitled, "Service Is My Business," which details the history of Rotary International. The material also covers the Rotary International's philosophy, mission, guidelines, constitution, by-laws, and Rotary Foundation.
Audio-Visual material and memorabilia are included with the records. Audiocassette tapes have interviews of people such as Buddy Murray and J. B. and Elizabeth Kittrell, a couple who were Rotary members. Photographs, negatives, and a reel of film are of a play entitled, "Womanless Wedding" which was presented by the Greenville Rotary Club. The most unusual items among the memorabilia are printer's blocks with images of the Greenville Rotary Club building and people who may be Rotary members.
The last series is of oversized material that accompanies these records. The oversized material consists of a broadside advertising the play, "Womanless Wedding"; a banner with the wording, "A New Century of Success A Century of Service 100 Years and the Rotary International emblem; and a poster advertising the Rotary International Centennial Celebration (1950-2005) and its agenda.
Gift of Dr. C. Sylvester Green
Gift of Mr. Sam B. Underwood, Jr.
Gift of Mrs. J. B. Kittrell
Gift of Mr. Charles Gilbert
Gift of Mr. John C. Lynch
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Processed by Nanette Hardison, September 2016
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.