Club History

Rotary's beginning. The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name "Rotary" derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.

Rotary's popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.

Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club History - April 15,2004. In late 1983, the Directors of The Cary Rotary Club decided the time was right for Cary to begin a third Rotary club. The Cary Rotary Club had previously sponsored Cary Central Rotary Club in 1982. The population of Cary, North Carolina in 1984 was estimated at 28,000 having quadrupled from 7,300 in the 1970 census, and was predicted to grow rapidly.

John Hatcher, Charlie Lytle, and Tom Sibley were appointed as a Committee to select prospective members, and invite them to establish a new provisional Rotary Club. Tom Sibley volunteered to transfer to the new club and serve as the first President, having served as President of The Cary Rotary Club previously. The Committee proposed that the new club meet on Thursday evenings to compliment the other two clubs, which met on Monday for breakfast, and Tuesday at lunch, respectively. Early on, two more members of The Cary Rotary Club volunteered to transfer to the new club to help create a core group with Rotary experience; they were Bob Cassell and Jerry Letchworth.

The first meeting of the provisional Club was held in late February 1984 at the old Golden Corral, then located on Maynard Road at Cary Village Mall (later Cary Towne Center). Attending were prospective members Dennis Pitts and Coy Sevier, along with the Committee, Cassell, and Letchworth. The Committee continued to brainstorm for additional candidates, and to search for a suitable club meeting location. The small meeting room at Golden Corral would not be adequate.

By March 22, 1984, the prospective member list had grown to 12. The provisional Club selected the following Officers:

President – Tom Sibley; President-Elect – Coy Sevier; Secretary – Bob Cassell; Treasurer –Fred Oliver

CLUB NAME- The 12 provisional Club members decided it was time to pick a name for the Club. A discussion resulted over the existing two club names in Cary and the desire to be listed in the District 7710 and Rotary International publications in a proper sequence. It was considered appropriate for our name to alphabetically follow the “Cary” and “Cary Central” names.

Over a period of several weeks, it was decided that the following names held the most promise:

“Page” Named for the founding father of Cary, Walker Hines Page.

“Metro” Suggested the anticipated future growth of Cary from a bedroom community for Raleigh to a thriving business community, ie. Metropolitan.

“Kildaire” Named after the large farm that was located in the southern part of Town and the road that connected Holly Springs to Academy Street and downtown Cary.

The membership in attendance at the March 22,1984 meeting selected “Kildaire”. The selection seemed to please everyone, but created a lengthy discussion over the use of a “hyphen”. After some deliberation, Bob Cassell suggested that it just didn’t make sense to use the name without a hyphen, and since Bob was the US Postmaster in Cary, the members agreed to have Bob decide when he filled out the application to RI. Final: ROTARY CLUB OF CARY-KILDAIRE. All of the clubs in Cary that have followed Cary-Kildaire have chosen to use the “hyphen”.

(PS: Some years later, our Charter President, Thomas Sibley helped form a fourth club in Cary that chose the name “Page” that Tom had originally recommended for the 3rd Rotary Club in Cary.)

THE CHARTER APPLICATION- On June 22, 1984, a LIST OF CHARTER MEMBERS totaling twenty was submitted to the District Governor and to Rotary International for the CARY-KILDAIRE ROTARY CLUB. At the June 28 meeting, John Hatcher presented the Official Notification of Acceptance from Rotary International; Cary-Kildaire was no longer provisional; it was now the 50th Club in Rotary District 771. The Club voted to revise the meeting time to 6:15 pm to better fit with members’ work schedules.

THE BANNER- During the June 28 meeting, two Charter Members, Marc Smith “Architecture” and Dennis Pitts “Landscape Architecture”, volunteered to design a Banner for the Club. During the initial discussions with the Club, it was suggested that some historic symbol of Cary be incorporated into the design along with “something unique about Cary-Kildaire”.

After several weeks of looking at options, Marc and Dennis decided to locate the Kildaire family “Tartan” cloth for use in the Banner. The cloth contained a blue and green plaid with red and gold accents. A mock-up was prepared using the tartan cloth with the Club name in gold letters above the Rotary emblem and with the Town’s “Dogwood” symbol below. When viewed by the members, some members thought it needed additional embellishment such as a “picture of the Kildaire Barn”, but all decided the barn might not be “in scale” with the small banner or look “dated”, since the barn was going to be demolished to make way for a shopping center. The Club gave the approval to obtain prices for the design as proposed.

As prices for the banner were being confirmed, it became readily apparent that using the Tartan plaid fabric was going to be very expensive and the supply of the fabric in the future could not be guaranteed. After several weeks, the Russell-Hampton Company responded with an alternative. They proposed to “print” a facsimile of the Kildaire Tartan pattern on a green fabric along with the Rotary symbol, the Town’s Dogwood seal, and the name of the Club in gold letters. When the “mock-up” arrived, Marc and Dennis suggested adding the gold fringe to balance the tassels at the top and approved the first production, as long as they spelled the name correctly. When the banners arrived, the Club members were pleased, even though the name was still misspelled.