First Rotary Club of Each Country



Brief histories of the first clubs of each geographic region

Rotary Club of Bratislava, the First Club of Slovakia

Rotary International District 2240

Rotary Club Bratislava – a pioneer of the movement in Slovakia

In 1927, Cyril Tille, the first president of the Bratislava Rotary Club, received the charter of the Rotary International movement. The Bratislava club was one of the first established Rotary clubs in Czecho-Slovakia. It is necessary to mention that the path of the Bratislava club was not easy, but thorny – filled with obstacles and interventions. It is not by chance that for totalitarian regimes this apolitic and humanitarian movement was and is a thorn in their side. Therefore, Rotarian activities were banned twice in Slovakia: in 1939, after the installation of the fascist Slovak State and in 1948, after the communist coup. In 1990, after the events of November 1989, the Bratislava Rotary Club was born, or to be more exact, revived for the third, and let us hope for the last time.

But let us return to the past, at least in summary, to remind you of the Rotarian movement’s background. The past honorary member of our Club and holder of the Paul Harris Fellow, Aristid Jamnický, (son of Otakar Jamnicky, President of RC  Bratislava 1933/34), member of  RC from 1946, reminds us also of the period of the First Republic (1918-1938):... RC Bratislava maintained very good friendly relations with other clubs, as the members, despite their positions, were not so busy as today, and at mutual club visits they participated in large numbers. A special friendship was maintained with RC Brno. Members came frequently to see us as friends, together with the president, the well-known doctor, Karl Neuwirth. Very close relations were also maintained with RC Roudnice nad Labem and RC Plzen.

Extraordinary friendly were the relations with the Austrian RC Baden, near Vienna. Our visits were frequent. I hope I may add that, this was influenced by the fact that our members liked their wine and vice versa.

October 1938 did not have an agreeable impact on our Rotary Club, the then autonomour government considered the Rotarian movement something like an activity anti-religious, and after a short period of time we were obliged to stop our activities.

The Holocaust saw two victims from among our members perish. Hugo Brief, director general of Handlova mines until 1938, died in Osviencim.

Another Rotarian, whose name I can’t recall, was director of Magnesite Works and he killed himself during the deportation.“

Interesting is also the memory of Dr. Jamnicky of the establishment of our Club in Bratislava after the WWII: „Club activities after the war were renewed in 1946 and the Club was very active, in order to compensate the long years of enforced closure. Meetings were held each Friday evening in the Carlton hotel. At the end of 1947, it was clear that our RC would again have problems. After February 1948, when the arrests of uncomfortable persons started, one of our members was received by the then almighty Dr. Gustav Husák. He officially asked for the list of members, but did not receive it. A meeting was held later with the decision that under such circumstances the Club activities, because of justified expectations, should be interrupted...“

The first and founding president of the Rotary Club Bratislava after November 1989 was Ján Korecký. From his broad and interesting memories of the third establishment of the Club we quote:

"Establishment of the Rotary Club Bratislava, or its repeated, already third establishment, was initiated in 1990 – by the then President Elect of RC Wien-Schwechat – Franz Xaver Ludwig, who is my family member, upon the incentive of the then Governor of the West-Austrian District 192 (later 1920), Viktor Straberger.

I have learnt about the existence of Rotary and activities of our family member within this movement even during the totalitarian regime at our meetings at fairs (Brno and Leipzig), which I have visited as a journalist and Franz Ludwig as a representative of Instrumentation Laboratory. We have discussed the option to establish the RC Bratislava for the first time during my visit in Austria at the beginning of December 1989, my first after the revolution. Shortly after this meeting after a discussion with Viktor Straberger (when Straberger asked, did he know a person suitable for establishment on the basis of business relations), Franzi asked myself, what about to establish RC Bratislava, and I agreed with enthusiasm, because from our discussion the Rotarian ideas were close to me and I accepted this challenge.

The invitation to the meeting of RC Wien –

Schwechat followed and it was my task to prepare a list of potential personalities. I have prepared certain selection, a proposal, later corrected, as I was more informed about principles for selection and acceptance of members. Friends from RC Wien-Schwechat agreed to act as our Godfather Club and later they gained as a partner RC Salzburg with the then President, Ing. Fleischer (Fleischmann).

I started to participate in the meetings of Schwechat Rotarians and they explained to me the Rotarian principles. Coincidence helped me in the selection of founding members. My wife mentioned my mission to her teacher of the Slovak language at secondary school and she told her that she knows the former Rotarian, Prof. Jozef Tamchyna. My wife communicated this to me, and I hurried to visit the aged professor. And this was the begining of the first Rotarian relation. Prof. Tamchyna, with a small exaggeration it can be stated – built the chemical industry in Slovakia, informed me about another living former member, attorney at law, legal expert, JUDr. Aristid Jamnicky, as his father was also a Rotarian. Dr. Jamnický recommended the attorney at law, Dusan Kubovcak, at that time the president of Chamber of Attorneys at Law. I have contacted also Ing. Ivan Micik, the former chief designer of the Bratislava Automotive Works, at that time the government of the Slovak Republic representative for the automotive industry and his father during the first Republic was also a Rotarian. There were six persons participating in the first meeting.

The first meeting of founding members was held in the cafe of the Carlton hotel in Bratislava, as this was the venue of the Club before the war. The following friends participated in this meeting: Tamchyna, Jamnický, Micik, (Markovic), Kubovcak, Chovan and Korecký, please forgive me, if I forgot somebody.

The necessary number of members of the Bratislava Club was reached in autumn 1990, and in December

(17.12.1990) we had the founding meeting."


May 1, 1991 we have received from the world president, Paolo Costa, the charter on acceptance of the Bratislava Club in Rotary International.

Paul Harris Fellows RC Bratislava: Aristid Jamnický (+), Ján Korecký, Milan Karvas, Ján Kriska, Oskar Markovic, Peter Michalica, Tomás Osuský and Dusan Paulík.


Past Presidents Cyrill Tille +(1927/28) – Jan Elmer +(1928/29) – Adolf Mach + (1929/30) – Frantisek Demek + and Igor Dula + (1930/31) – Vilhelm Lang +(1931/32) – Stanislav Kostlivý +(1932/33) – Otakar Jamnický +(1933/34)- Hugo Brief +(1934/35) – Anton Zámecník +(1935/36) – Karol Stuchlý +(1936/37) – Oto Kapp +(1937/38) – Jaroslav Dvorak +(1938/39) – Ján Slavík +/1946/47) – Ján Korecký (1991/92) – Ivan Micik +(1992/93) – Dusan Kubovcak (1993/94) – Milan Karvas (1994/95) – Milan Profant (1995/96) – Oskar Markovic (1996/97) – Juraj Veres(1997/98) – Ján Pisut (1998/99) – Ján Kriska (1999/2000) – Imrich Beres(2000/01) – Igor Dula (2001/02) – Iwar Klimes (2002/03) – Michal Ruzicka (2003/04) – Peter Benuska (2004/05) – Peter Michalica (2005/06).

(Prepared by: Juraj Veres, RC Bratislava)    


Provided by Vojtech Žilinčan, President 05/06 RC of Zvolen, Slovakia
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