Club History

On January 17. 1924, a group of prominent business and professional men of Newnan, under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of West Point, Rube Jennings, president, organized and applied to Rotary International for a club charter. They were 19 in number, and when the charter was granted on February 29, 1924, they became the charter members of the Rotary Club of Newnan.

We wish to pay special tribute to all charter members of our fine organization for the outstanding contributions they have made to the principles and ideals of Rotary.

This is the roster of charter members, with their classifications:

Member | Classification:

Henry Arnall, Jr - Retail Farm Supplies, Rufus Askew - Retail Automobile Accessories, Woodie Barr -Railroad Transportation, Percy Bramnblett - Wholesale Groceries, Walter Boone - Retail Dry Goods, Guy Cole - Cole Manufacturing -Engines. Boilers and Tanks, Chauncey Durden - Minister, Myron Farmer - Physician, Tom Farmer - Lawyer, Tom Fisher - Fire Insurance, Tom Goodrum - Trust Company, Tom Parrott - Capitalist, Lewis Hill - Manufacturer Cotton/Yarns, Joe Hollis - Wholesale Hardware, Cliff Kersey - Retail Ladies Ready-to-Wear, J Red King - Retail Druggist, Dan Manget - Cotton Factory, Robert Mann - Manufacturer Hosiery and Garnet Reynolds - Retail Furniture.

From these members, the following officers were elected:

Tom G. Farmer, Jr - President, Dan T. Manget - Vice President, B. Cliff Kersey - Secretary/ Treasurer, Robert S. Mann - Assistant Secretary and Tom S. Parrott - Sergeant-At-Arms.

The club set its meeting day as Friday, twelve o’clock noon, and the meeting place as The Virginia Hotel. Tom Parrott suggested the name “Peptarian’ for the weekly bulletin, which has been issued weekly since the first meeting. In 1953 the meeting place was changed to the Newnan Country Club, but the time and day has remained the same for all these years.

When the Newnan club was chartered there were 41 Districts in the United States, Canada. Mexico and Cuba. The few clubs operating outside the North American continent were non-district clubs. Activity in Rotary was gaining in popularity in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. But these clubs operated as the Rotary International Association of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Newnan club was one of 47 clubs in District 39, composed of the entire states of Georgia and Florida. The District Governor was S. Kendrick Guernsey, of Orlando, Florida, who later became president of Rotary International. The International President at the time we received our charter was Guy Gundaker of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and there were 1,778 clubs in 24 countries throughout the world, with 99,700 members. Today, our club is one of 69 clubs in District 6900, which comprises the western part of Georgia.

We regret that records are not available to cover the entire 90+ years of Rotary activity in Newnan, for they have been interesting years of which all Rotarians and our community can be proud.

We have sponsored two new clubs: Carrollton in 1936 and Peachtree City in 1968. This is a great accomplishment in Rotary.

For many years our club has annually awarded a cup to the most outstanding member of the graduating class of Newnan High School, East Coweta High School and The Heritage School. Today we give to a fourth high school, Northgate. We also award a college scholarship fund, along with the cup, as an annual event.

We are indeed proud of the fact that we have on our roster today members of the second, third, and fourth generations of charter members of our club. Our fourth generation member, Kirby Arnall, traces his line through Henry Arnall, Hamilton Arnall, Sr. and Guy Arnall.

Women joined the Newnan Rotary Club for the first time in 1991, when Joe MacNabb sponsored Lynn Smith for membership. We had our first husband and wife team when Richard Brooks joined his wife Donna in the Newnan Rotary Club in 1995.

Over these years the members of our club have carried on in the fine tradition of Rotary. We can take pride in our accomplishments in all avenues of service -- Community, International, Vocational, and Club Service as set forth by Rotary International. As Rotary has grown we have grown in number, service and fellowship.

We have several Paul Harris fellows and many more who are working towards that goal. Also, we sponsor and produce the July 4th fireworks for our community.

The Frank Hudson Memorial Golf Tournament is held annually to honor the memory of Frank Hudson who died at the Newnan Rotary Club while giving a Rotary Talk.

We especially appreciate the time and talents given so unstintingly by our past presidents, the photographs of whom are available in a souvenir brochure dedicated to them, and their service to Rotary and to this community.

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Updated by John Thrasher
July 9, 2022 10:23 pm