Club History – The First Year

In the fall of 1945, Julius Schroeder and Wilbur T. Buddy Thornhill, members of the Rotary Club of Charleston, started talking about the idea of another Rotary club in the greater Charleston area.

District Governor Stanley W. Black appointed Julius Schroeder as Special Representative to organize a new club in an area being served by the Charleston club number 624.

Shortly after,they began to canvas the large area of North Charleston and were met with eager interest in Rotary. They started holding weekly meetings in the north area. Boundaries were at that time strictly enforced, and were stipulated as “north from the city limits of Charleston, bound east by the Cooper River and west by the Ashley” Although there were no other area clubs, it was generally accepted that the north boundary line should be the Charleston County line.

In early November 1945, a provisional meeting was called to elect directors for the club when chartered. A secret ballot was taken and the following were elected as directors: H. Everett Ashby, Gordon H. Garret, Alvin F. Heinsohn, Charles Dudley Hoffdecker, R. Harry Morse, and Edwin “Eddie” Dawson Westendorff.

On November 14, 1945, the provisional club elected as officers Gordon H. Garret, President; Alvin F. Heinsohn, Vice President; R. Harry Morse, Secretary­ Treasurer; and Martin L. Boroughs as Sergeant-at-Arms. The formal charter application was voted on and unanimously approved at this meeting.

On December 31, 1945, the club was officially chartered by Rotary International during a meeting held in the rear of the old Masonic lodge building on the comer of Cherry (Chateau) and Montague Avenue. The charter was presented to club president Gordon H. Garret by district Governor Stanley W. Black’s Special Representative, Wilbur T. “Buddy” Thornhill. A short time later, Julius Schroeder presented the club with the traditional engraved gavel and bell complements of the sponsor club of Charleston, number 624.

There were sixteen Charter Members in the Rotary Club of North Charleston, club number 6255.