History of the Coronado Rotary Club
|The late Albert H. Foret, editor, manager and part owner of the Coronado Journal in the 1920s must be given credit for revealing a wonderful glimpse into the early history of Rotary Club of Coronado. Although Foret was not one of the club's charter members, he was the impetus behind the club's formation and also, thankfully, a man who loved to observe and record local history.|
|When he addressed the Rotary Club of Coronado at its 25th anniversary celebration in 1951, Foret described Coronado in the Fall of 1925 as a lovely community - quiet, little traffic, no traffic signals, condominiums or high rises and lots of open space that included many vacant lots.
Because of its vast holdings of businesses and land, the Spreckels Company was very powerful in Coronado, causing some resentment among the locals who were outside the Spreckels sphere.
Foret became concerned about a possible serious conflict, and conceived the idea of a businessmen's weekly luncheon meeting to promote better understanding and fellowship. Among the town's "movers and shakers" he contacted was one A.E. Holloway, an officer at San Diego Gas & Electric Co. As it turned out, Holloway was a member of the well-established San Diego Rotary Club, founded in 1911, the 33rd Rotary Club to be chartered. Holloway suggested Foret organize a Coronado Rotary Club to meet the goals he outlined.
Exhibiting his typical diligence, Foret started the process by inviting eight Coronado businessmen to meet Holloway and learn about Rotary. Foret's subsequent proposal to form a Rotary Club was received with great enthusiasm, and the vote to organize was unanimous. Twenty members were required to receive a charter so more businessmen were recruited. In all, 22 Coronadans signed on as charter members, and the application for charter was sent to Rotary International in November 1925. Ironically, Foret, the force behind the club's formation was not among the chartered members due to a change in his employment.
|The new charter, dated March 8, 1926 was presented at a dinner at the San Diego Yacht Club on April 19, 1926. Rotary Club of Coronado still has its original charter framed on the wall in its office. The club's first president was Bill Lambert, an electric light and power manager, who helped increase membership to 28 the first year. President Bill is pictured here, to our left.|
Rotarians, then and now, are listed in membership in accordance with their classification, or occupation. The classifications of the charter members varied widely, and in some cases, reflected what was then considered normal commerce in the roaring 1920's: automobile sales and service, banking, realty, insurance, pharmacy, home building, plumbing, clergy, photography, high school administration, gasoline sales, dentistry, gas and electric power, produce retail, building contracting, bungalow rentals, lumber retail, law, sheet metal fabrication, printing, meat retail and ice distribution.
Ninety years of Rotary in Coronado have elapsed with successive presidents leading the club to new heights. Membership has increased more than tenfold. However, those members who have passed on and who have worked so diligently to carry forward the traditions of Rotary shall never be forgotten. The present officers and members salute those Rotarians who have served so well, and at the same time look forward to even bigger and better days for Rotary in Coronado as they proceed to the club's own Centennial year in 2026.