Here is the first episode of our Club's history, taken from the book written for our 65th anniversary.
 
PART I
Five- year summaries of previous Histories
 
Years 1945 – 1950
 
1945 - 46
1946 - 47
1947 - 48
1948 - 49
1949 - 50
C Lees
G Beresford
H L Lewis
A D McRae
C E Eyre
47
52
55
53
55
End of year club member numbers
 
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Auckland, the Rotary Club of Newmarket was the first suburban Rotary club in New Zealand, being allotted the territory of Newmarket, Ellerslie, One Tree Hill and the district of Penrose. The inaugural luncheon meeting of the club was held in the Domain Kiosk on 27 June 1945, attended by the 35 charter members of the club, supported by a goodly gathering of prominent Rotarians. The President of the Auckland Club presided initially, and then handed the meeting over to the club’s first President, Charlie Lees (1945-1946).
 
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Domain Kiosk, where inaugural meeting of the club was held and which was the venue for luncheon meetings in 1945.  
  (Coincidentally, the Domain kiosk was donated by the Ed's GrGrandfather's business: Leyland O'Brien Timber Co. for the Auckland Exhibition in 1913)
 
 
Thirty-five members was the maximum permissible under Rotary International rules, except in cities of over 100,000 inhabitants. The classifications of these 35 charter members represented most of the major businesses in Newmarket at that time, their names, in many cases being the names of their firms, being familiar in the locality for many years. There was one medical man; but, curiously compared to today, no accountants or solicitors.
 
Rotary rules were restrictive also in terms of classifications. Dick Wallace, although active in early negotiations for the formation of the club, was not eligible for membership as a charter member for the reason that he was assistant manager of his company and the then manager, Gordon Wallace, was desirous of accepting membership. Rotary’s constitution does not provide for second active members until such time as a Provisional Club receives its charter. (Dick was elected as an additional active member later in the year, after the club’s charter had been granted.) 
 
The club charter (Charter No. 6072 of District 53) was granted on 20 August 1945 accompanied by congratulations from all parts of Great Britain and the United States of America. The Charter Presentation Meeting was held on the 23 October 1945 at the Orient Tea Room, Broadway, Newmarket, the charter being presented by Past District Governor Harold Thomas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Programme for Charter Presentation Meeting
 
The club continued to meet for its normal Wednesday lunch in the Domain Kiosk until the end of its first year.
 
The meeting of 15 August 1945 was abandoned as the tide of joyful celebration of peace being declared at the end of the Second World War swept aside all chances of holding the club’s regular meeting. President Charlie gave a special message to all Rotarians, ending with “Today in every way – be it ever so little – help don’t hinder – smile don’t frown – give practical help not lip service to those who have made it possible to look forward to a happy and peaceful future …. with the hope that each and all of us may prove worthy of victory.”
 
As from January 1946, the club met and lunched in the Newmarket Municipal Hall in Broadway, Newmarket. This proved a good move, as the Club now had privacy, more room for expansion and a meeting place in its own territory.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Members leaving Newmarket Municipal Hall following Rotary luncheon meeting (Circa 1948)
 
 
 
 
 
The new club progressed well under its leadership during these initial five years.
 
Events of note during this period were:
 
The club was represented by Mac McDougall at the 21st Conference of Rotary clubs of the 53rd District in Napier in March 1946. This was the last conference of the district as it was then constituted, comprising the whole of New Zealand and the Fiji Islands. As from 1st September 1946 the 53rd District was to be south of a line drawn under Palmerston North and Woodville, and all clubs north of that line including Fiji would in future become the 52nd Rotary District;