Yardley and Sheldon Rotary Club - History


  • Our club History


    Yardley and Sheldon Rotary club is one of a group clubs within Rotary District 1060 which covers the whole of Birmingham.


    The foundations and structure of the club were prepared during 1958 so that there could be a new Rotary Club in the locality.


    Subsequently in 1959, the Rotary Club of Yardley & Sheldon was chartered and

    Founder President David Lewis ensured it was an important year for the locality in which it was based.


    The inaugural Meeting took place at "The Swan" - a central focal point of Yardley, on Thursday 4th June that year at 7pm.At this time there were 24 members.


    The proposed club subscription was to be £4.4.0d with an entrance fee of £3.13.6d.


    The interim officers elected were President - David Lewis; VP - Arthur Painter;Treasurer - John Renton; Secretary - Wilfred Clarke.


    The first charitable appeal was for the Alexandra Rose Day Appeal on the 26th May 1959.


    Oct 1959 the club was represented at the District Conference at Bournemouth.


    Charter night was held on 19th November 1959 attended by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham - Alderman John Lewis and District Chairmam - Eddie Elwell.


    The first ladies night was held at the Greswolde Hotel in Knowle. 110 guuests attended including the Leonard Cleaver - member of parliament for Yardley..


    On the 8th March 1961 the Charter of the Inner Wheel was inacted and Edith (wife of the President Aurthur Painter) elected as Founder President.


    By 2nd Dec 1961 improved membership number lead to the club being runners up for the Wilfred Ecles Cup given for the most improved attendance..


    The Swan at Yardley was demolished to make way for the new underpass in May 1963 so the club moved to the Good Companions.At this time the boundary of the club was extended to follow the River Cole from the city boundary to Tyseley railway line.


    Sept 8th 1964 saw the first evening meeting of the club.


    In Feb 1967 the club hosted the 6th Rally of Rotary Clubs at the newly rebuilt Swan Hotel and also hosted girls from Holland and boys from Sweden. Membership reached 36


    The club moved to the new Swan Hotel on 17th Sept 1967 and became registered charity in 1970


    The club assisted with the celebration at Yardley Parish Church of the One Thousand Years of its History in 1972 and by 1975 membership had grown to 45



    During the following years membership increased with representatives of many trades and professions. Although diverse in their specialist fields, there was a growing number of members with a mutual bond to serve communities close at hand and further afield.


    Actions in the early days provided help to the blind and the deaf at the Centre in Sherbourne Road. There was a presentation of a new van for meals on wheels to serve Yardley. The elderly were taken for annual Christmas outings, children were taken for holidays at West Winds Aberdovey and boys to the Rotary Boys' House at Weston Super Mare the later closing in 1976. A welcome was extended to international students and Commonwealth Teachers. Friends of Broadstone was created to give support to the local special school at Poolway.


    Projects that we have supported in the recent past

    This is a non exhaustive list of projects we have supported in the recent past .


  • Purple4Polio

  • Brain Tumor Support

  • 2018-9 Edwards Trust
  • 2017-8 Newlands Bishop Farm and Assam Orphanage
  • 2016-7 Edwards Trust and Assam Orphanage
  • 2015-6 Acorns Trust and joint venture supporting Marston Green Scouts
  • 2014-5 Malcolm Something else
  • 2013-4 Crisis Centre and Childrens organisation in Romania
  • 2012-3 Troop Aid; Scouts from Chelmsley Wood and Assam Orphanage
  • 2011-2 Peter?
  • 2010-1 Prostrate Cancer and Assam Orphanage

Projects that we have supported historically

This is a non exhaustive list of projects we have supported in the past .


  • 1961-2 Home for the Deaf/Blind at Sherbourne Road
  • 1963-4 Old peoples gardens,children at Sycamore House, Christmas Dinners for the aged.
  • 1964-5 A van for the WVS as well as desks for St Lucia.
  • 1965-6 140 desks for St Lucia and books to Malta and cheque to Rotary Boys' Home Weston Super Mare.
  • 1966-7 Warwickshire Chesire Home, Cripples Car Circle as well as Aberfan Disaster and Turkish Earthquake Funds
  • 1967-8 More desks to St Lucia and help for a kitchen at St Peters Church
  • 1968-9 Broadstone Spastics and Rotary Boys, Fellowship of Handicapped,Salvation Army, Dr Grooms Homes
  • 1970-1 Guide Dogs for the Blind, Good Samaritans, Children in Care and Broadstones Hostel for Spastics.
  • 1971-2 Children in Care, Cancer Relief and Research at East Birmingham Hospital
  • 1972-3 Cancer Relief and Research at East Birmingham Hospital, Rotary Boys' House
  • 1973-4 Broadstones, trips to West Winds Aberdovey, Rotary Boys House
  • 1974-5 Intravenous monitoring machine for children with kidney ailments at East Birmingham Hospital
  • 1975-6 Presentation of the above machine.
  • Rotary - the beginning


    The Rotary movement was born on February 23,1905, when four men gathered in Chicago to hear the ideas of attorney Paul P. Harris about uniting representatives of each vocation in personal fellowship and community service. The name “Rotary” was chosen because meetings were to be held in rotation at members’ places of business. By 1910 there were sixteen clubs scattered across the country which justified holding the first national convention. The next year Rotary became international as clubs began to be established in Canada and Great Britain. Today there are more than 31,000 clubs worldwide with 1.2 million members.


  • Rotary - The Peace Timeline

    How the for Peace Timeline Evolved - see Graphic in PDF form  here


  • History of Women in Rotary


    On 4 May,1987 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Rotary clubs may not exclude women from membership on the basis of gender. Rotary then issued a policy statement that any Rotary club in the United States can admit qualified women into membership. The fact that the Council on Legislation voted in 1989 to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide remains a watershed moment in the history of Rotary. "My fellow delegates, I would like to remind you that the world of 1989 is very different to the world of 1905. I sincerely believe that Rotary has to adapt itself to a changing world," said Frank J. Devlyn, who would go on to become RI president in 2000-01.


    The vote followed the decades-long efforts of men and women from all over the Rotary world to allow for the admission of women into Rotary clubs, and several close votes at previous Council meetings.

    The response to the decision was overwhelming: By June 1990 the number of female Rotarians had skyrocketed to over 20,000. By 2010 the number of women was approaching 200,000.


    Women are now welcomed into Rotary clubs around the world.



    Timeline of women in Rotary

    1950 An enactment to delete the word “male” from the Standard Rotary Club Constitution is proposed by a Rotary club in India for the Council on Legislation meeting at the 1950 RI Convention.

    1964 The Council on Legislation agenda contains an enactment proposed by a Rotary club in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to permit the admission of women into Rotary clubs. Delegates vote that it be withdrawn.

    1972 As more women begin reaching higher positions in their professions, more clubs begin lobbying for female members. A U.S. Rotary club proposes admitting women into Rotary at the 1972 Council on Legislation.

    1977 Three separate proposals to admit women into membership are submitted to the Council on Legislation for consideration at the 1977 RI Convention. A Brazilian club makes a different proposal to admit women as honorary members. The Rotary Club of Duarte, California, USA, admits women as members in violation of the RI Constitution and Standard Rotary Club Constitution. Because of this violation, the club's membership in Rotary International is terminated in March 1978. (The club was reinstated in September 1986.)

    1980 The RI Board of Directors and Rotary clubs in India, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States propose an enactment to remove from the RI and club constitutions and bylaws all references to members as “male persons.”

    1983-86 In a lawsuit filed by the Duarte club, the California Superior Court in 1983 rules in favor of Rotary International, upholding gender-based qualification for membership in California Rotary clubs. In 1986, the California Court of Appeals reverses the lower court's decision, preventing the enforcement of the provision in California. The California Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, and it is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    1987 On 4 May, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Rotary clubs may not exclude women from membership on the basis of gender. Rotary issues a policy statement that any Rotary club in the United States can admit qualified women into membership. The Rotary Club of Marin Sunrise, California (formerly Larkspur Landing), is chartered on 28 May. It becomes the first club after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to have women as charter members. Sylvia Whitlock, of the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, becomes the first female Rotary club president.

    1988 In November, the RI Board of Directors issues a policy statement recognizing the right of Rotary clubs in Canada to admit female members based on a Canadian law similar to that upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    1989 At its first meeting after the 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Council on Legislation votes to eliminate the requirement in the RI Constitution that membership in Rotary clubs be limited to men. Women are welcomed into Rotary clubs around the world.The Rotarian magazine runs a feature on women in Rotary.

    1995 In July, eight women become district governors.

    2012 Elizabeth S. Demaray begins her term as treasurer, the first woman to serve in this position.


  • We initiate and own ongoing projects to raise money for specific causes (see our home page for current ones). These causes may change each year depending on which ones the then current president chooses for his or her term of office.


    We also support the wider Rotary initiatives shown to the right


    It could be you!


    You are most welcome to come along as a guest to experience the warm and friendly atmosphere and perhaps help us in some of the projects that we are undertaking.


    You too could get satisfaction from feeling involved in helping the community.


    You too could help in the running of the club.

    You too could enjoy the fellowship and warmth of being part of a successful team.