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A Part of Our History of Rotary in INDIA

Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History


The Rotary movement started on 23rd February 1905 in Chicago, USA. Rotary was born in India with the first meeting of "Old Number One" the Rotary Club of Calcutta, at Peliti's Restaurant, 11 Government Place, Calcutta on 26-Sep-1919 and the granting of its charter on 1st January 1920.


Although Rotary Districts were established for the first time in 1912, clubs in India, Burma, Ceylon, Malaysia, Java and Siam did not come under any District. They were grouped together as the IBCMJS area and was placed in charge of Hon. Commissioner Sir Frederick E. James, who was a Past President (1924-26) of Rotary Club of Calcutta.

Provisional District A
In 1931 India, Burma and Ceylon were formed into Provisional District 'A' and Commissioner F. E. James continued in charge.

Dist. 89
1936 - 39    |    Afghanistan , Burma, Ceylon and India
On July 1, 1936 Rotary International decided that India having 16 Rotary clubs - the number increased to 24 in the following year - should be granted district status. India became Rotary District No. 89. In 1937-38 the first Governor of the District was Sir Pheroze Sethna of the Rotary Club of Bombay, while Sir Frederick James of Madras continued to be the Commissioner. He later became the Governor in 1938-39.
1936 - 37    |    Commissioner Sir Frederick. E. James Calcutta
1937 - 38    |    1st Dist. Governor Sir Phiroze Sethna Bombay
1938 - 39    |    Sir Frederick. E. James Calcutta

Dist. 88

1939 - 42    |    Afghanistan, Burma, and India (that portion which includes Baluchistan, North Western Frontier Province, Punjab, Kashmir, Sind. Rajputana and Central Indian States, United Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, Bengal, Assam and the Dist. of Jabalpur, situated in the Central Provinces).
In 1939, District 89 was bifurcated. Clubs in our region found themselves in District 88 under District Governor B. T. Thakur. At that time he was a member of the Rotary Club of Karachi having previously been its President, but in 1943, on coming to reside in Calcutta, he joined the Rotary Club of Calcutta.

He can be described as one of the pioneers of Rotary particularly in what was in those days Western and North-Western India. Rotary International honoured him by making him a Director and subsequently a Vice-President of Rotary International. He was the first Asian to receive that distinction and Rotarians throughout India were rightly proud of the honour accorded to the movement in India and also to be represented at Rotary headquarters by such a worthy ambassador.

District Governor Thakur called the first conference of District 88 in March 1940 when 16 clubs were represented. At that conference Rotarian C. Warren-Boulton, Calcutta's President for 1939-40, was unanimously elected District Governor for 1940-41 but as he was held up in the U. S. A. it was recommended that Rtn. B. T. Thakur should continue to serve for the second year viz. 1940-41

1939 - 40    |    B. T. Thakur (1st Dist. Conf. Calcutta1940) Calcutta
1940 - 41    |    Col. C. G. Warren - Boulton Calcutta
1941 - 42    |    B. T. Thakur Calcutta

District 90
1942 - 46    |    Burma and India (that portion which includes Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, and the District of Jabalpur)
From 1942-43 the District was again renumbered as a result of the increase of the number of Rotary clubs in India, and became the 90th District. The Rotary club of Calcutta was again honoured by the election of its Past President Dr. A. C. Ukil as first Governor of the new District and he presided over its first conference in Calcutta in 1943. At this conference Rotary International was represented by Rtn. B. T. Thakur. The conference selected Rtn. W. Buchan of Calcutta as Governor for 1943-44.
1942 - 43    |    Dr. A. C. Ukil, Calcutta
1943 - 44    |    W. Buchan Calcutta
1944 - 46    |    N. C. Laharry Calcutta

District 91
1946 - 49    |    Burma and India (that part comprising the provinces of Bengal , Assam, Bihar, Orissa and Central Provinces, east of 80 longitude including the District of Jabalpur, the Eastern States and the French possession of Chandannagar.
The legendary Rtn Nitish Laharry (Past President of the Calcutta club) became the District Governor of District 90 for two terms in 1944-45 and 1945-46. With the renaming of the District to 91, he served as Governor for the third time in 1946-47.
1946 - 47    |    N. C. Laharry Calcutta
1947 - 48    |    Sir Clifford M. Agarwalla Patna
1948 - 49    |    U Ba Win Rangoon

Dist. 53
1949 - 52    |    Bhutan, Burma, Chandernagar, India - that portion north of the northern boundaries of Madras Presidency and Hyderabad and east of longitude 80 but including the District of Jabalpur in the Central Provinces and Berar, South of the northern boundaries of the Central Provinces and Berar and Eastern States, and east of the western boundaries of the Province of Bihar; Pakistan -- that portion including East Bengal and Sylhet ( a former district of Assam).
1952 - 57    |    Bhutan, Burma, India -- that portion north of the northern boundaries of Madras state and the States of Hyderabad, east of longitude 80 but including the province of Jabalpur in the State of Madhya Pradesh and east of the western boundary of the State of Bihar, Pakistan-that portion including the province of East Bengal.
Rotary in India continued to be active forming new clubs and soon new Districts had to be formed to prevent the old geographical areas becoming too unwieldy. Calcutta found itself in Rotary District 53. The District was unique in that it covered in those days 18 Rotary clubs located in no less than three countries viz., India, East Pakistan and Burma. The Indian Territory included West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam and a portion of Madhya Pradesh.
In May 1953 District Governor S. C. Chatterjee of Rangoon held a District Assembly at Calcutta. The 53rd District's sixth conference gathered in Calcutta in February 1954 under District Governor Major S. C. Dutt who was a Calcutta Rotarian and was president of his club in 1951-52.. At this conference Rtn Lawly Sen of Patna was elected District Governor 1954-55. Lawly was one of the most popular Rotarians of the District and a founder member of the Patna Rotary club. The most enjoyable feature of the conference was the visit of a very large number of delegated from East Pakistan.

Following this conference an All-India Governors' conference was held at Calcutta, the Convenor being Past Governor Dr. A. C. Ukil of Calcutta and the Secretary, Past President J. K. Deb of Calcutta. A District assembly met at Patna in April 1954 and a large contingent of Calcutta Rotarians attended. The Assembly elected Rotarian J. F. Bartos, president of the Calcutta Club 1953-54, as Chairman of the Rotary Golden Anniversary Committee at District level. The District could not have selected a better man, as since he joined the Calcutta Rotary Club, he set a fine example to others not only in his hard work for Rotary, but also in his vocation. He and his colleagues from Batanagar, several of whom were Rotarians, served Rotary truly and well.

1949 - 50    |    Dr. H. K. Mitra Jamshedpur
1950 - 51    |    Dr. R. K. Bube Jabalpur
1951 - 52    |    Dr. Lalit Sen Asansol
1952 - 53    |    Subodh C Chatterjee Rangoon
1953 - 54    |    Major Sudhir C. Dutta Calcutta
1954 - 55    |    Lawley Sen Patna
1955 - 56    |    S. M. Hossain Dacca
1956 - 57    |    G. Basu Calcutta

District 325
1957 - 58    |    BURMA. INDIA-that portion including Assam, Nagaland and West Bengal. NEPAL and SIKKIM and that portion of BIHAR within the territorial limits of the Rotary Club of Asansol, West Bengal.
1958 - 59    |    East of longitude 80 but including the province of Jabalpur in the State of Madhya Pradesh and east of the western boundary of the State of Bihar, Nepal, Pakistan - that portion including the province of East Bengal and Sikkim.
1959 - 76    |    Bhutan, Burma, India - the States of Bombay, that portion east of longitude 80, (including the district of Jabalpur) and south of the southern boundaries of the Districts of Panna, Satna, Shadol and Sidhi; Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam; and Manipur and Tripura , Nepal, Pakistan - that portion including East Pakistan; and Sikkim.
At the end of the decade (1957) the District was regrouped and renumbered with three digits into Districts 325 and 326. Our district became District 325
1957 - 58    |    Raj Kishore Prasad Patna
1958 - 59    |    B. H. Engineer Dhanbad
1959 - 60    |    M. A. Raschid Rangoon
1960 - 61    |    S. N. Bhattacharya Patna
1961 - 62    |    Saral Deb Calcutta
1962 - 63    |    A. Rahim Khan Dacca
1963 - 64    |    Hemen Ganguly Ranchi
1964 - 65    |    C. R. Bose Gopalpur -on-Sea
1965 - 66    |    P. N. Mookherjee Jamshedpur
1966 - 67    |    K. N. Mookherjee Calcutta
1967 - 68    |    H. Mahapatra Patna
1968 - 69    |    Rajendra Singh Jabalpur
1969 - 70    |    Mihir Roy South West Calcutta
1970            |    Dr. K. C. Sarbadhikari (expired 10-Oct-70) Calcutta
1970 - 71    |    P.N. Mookherjee (nominated by R. I.) Calcutta
1970 - 71    |    A. F. M. Abdul Haq (nominated by R.I.) Dacca
1971 - 72    |    K. N. Mookerjee (nominated by R.I.) Calcutta
1972 - 73    |    Vijay S. Bhandari, Kharagpur
1973           |    Sisir Ghosh Calcutta (Expired 24-Oct-73)
1973 - 74    |    Vijay S. Bhandari (nominated by R.I.) Kharagpur
1974 - 75    |    Motilal Gupta South West Calcutta
1975 - 76    |    Iftekharul Alam Dacca
1976 - 77    |    Ramesh Chaudhury Gauhati

Dist 329
1977 - 84    |    Bihar and Orissa was separated into a new District and Dist. 329 consisted of in India - West Bengal, Assam, and the adjacent areas ; the whole of Bangladesh and the whole of Nepal.
In 1977 the District was renumbered to District 329 with Prabhat Kumar Sinha of RC South Calcutta being its first Governor.
1977 - 78    |    Probhat Kumar Sinha South Calcutta
1978 - 79    |    M. C. Poddar S. W. Calcutta
1979 - 80    |    Dr. G. C. Sen Asansol
1980 - 81    |    M. Masihur Rahman Dacca
1981 - 82    |    Ajit Kr. Prasad Darjeeling
1982 - 83    |    Amiya Sankar Gupta East Calcutta
1983 - 84    |    Om P. Oberoi Calcutta Midtow

Reconstituted Dist. 329
1984    |   India - Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Arunachal , Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal; and the whole of Nepal.
1984 saw a major reorganization. Bangladesh and Pakistan were made separate Districts and our District 329 was reconstituted.
1984 - 85    |    Dr. S. C. Nandy Calcutta
1985 - 86    |    A. K. Dutta Dum Dum
1986 - 87    |    K. K. Navada South Calcutta
1987 - 88    |    M. C. Tandon Dibrugarh
1988 - 89    |    Shyamal Datta Behala
1989 - 90    |    Kamal Seth Calcutta Midtown

Renamed Dist. 3290
1990-1991 saw the formation of Dist 3240 which was formed taking a part of our Dist 329. The election of the DGE was conducted 1989-90 and the first DG of newly formed Dist 3240 was Rtn Ramesh Agarwala.
1990    |    11 revenue districts of WEST BENGAL viz., Kolkata, 24-Parganas North, 24 Parganas South, Bankura, Hooghly, Howrah, Murshidabad, Nadia, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur and Purulia); ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS and the Himalayan Kingdom of NEPAL.
From 1990 Rotary International introduced 4 digits in its District numbering system and District 3290 as we know it today, came into being.
1990 - 91    |    Subimal Ghosh Calcutta
1991 - 92    |    Subimal Bhattacharya Dum Dum
1992 - 93    |    K. Chandramohan Budge Budge
1993 - 94    |    Amitava Bhattacharya Jadavpur
1994 - 95    |    Amit Chandra Majumdar Salt Lake City
1995 - 96    |    Aloke Chand Mitter East Calcutta
1996 - 97    |    Tehmas Manekshaw Kathmandu
1997 - 98    |    Anjan Kumar South Calcutta
1998 - 99    |    Prabhat Krishna Rohatgi Calcutta
1999 - 00    |    Shekhar Mehta Calcutta Burra Bazar
2000 - 01    |    Ravi Sehgal Belur
2001 - 02    |    Siddhartha Sadhan Bose Calcutta South West
2002 - 03    |    Amitava Mookerjee Calcutta South East
2003 - 04    |    Raj Kumar Rajgaria Central Calcutta
2004 - 05    |    Prabir Chakravarti, Calcutta
2005 - 06    |    Swapan Mukherjee, Narendrapur
2006 - 07    |    Debasish Mitra, Dhakuria
2007 - 08    |    Anirudha Roy Chowdhury, Calcutta Mega City

Dist. 3291
2008-2009 saw the formation of Dist 3291 (old District 3290 minus the clubs in Nepal grouped under a separate Dist 3292).
2008    |    11 revenue districts of WEST BENGAL viz., Kolkata, 24-Parganas North, 24 Parganas South, Bankura, Hooghly, Howrah, Murshidabad, Nadia, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur, Purulia) and the ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS.
From 1st July 2008, Nayantara Palchoudhuri will become the first lady Governor of our District 3291 while Tika Man Vaidya will take up the reins of the Nepal clubs.
2008 - 09    |    Nayantara Pal Choudhuri, Calcutta Inner City


acknowledgement to the District Board, Clubs, Members and Webmaster of the district

posted by RGHF Webmaster, Greg Barlow. 29 August 2008