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Brief History of the Rotary Club of Springfield South

During the 1965-1966 Rotary year, members of the Springfield Rotary Club decided another club should be organized in our community.  To accomplish this, it was necessary that the downtown club relinquish territory to the new club and secure approval of District Governor Ernie Tosvosky and of Rotary International.  Downtown Rotarian Bill Montague was appointed Special Representative of the District Governor to head a committee for this purpose, and he remains an honorary member of our club today.

Through efforts of this committee, prospective members were interviewed; and an organization meeting was held January 27, 1966.  The Rotary club of Springfield South was admitted to membership in Rotary International on February 18, 1966 with 30 men (yes, only men were allowed to be Rotarians back then!) of various vocations agreeing to become charter members, some of whom resigned from the Downtown club to make this possible.

The unusually large number of 30 charter members and their wives were honored on Monday, March 28, 1966, at a charter night ceremony at Hotel St. Nicholas sponsored by the Rotary Club of Springfield.  John Montgomery, president of the Springfield (downtown) club, presided over the ceremony along with Bill Montague.

In 1987, women were first admitted to Rotary International, and Rotary South soon followed suit.  Since 1996 seven women have been elected president, and many more women have served and continue to serve as committee chairs, officers, and directors of Rotary South.

In 2016, Rotary South celebrated its 50th Anniversary. A celebratory dinner was held at the Inn at 835 in February 2016, and a tree grove was established at Rotary Park in September 2016 also in honor of the club's anniversary. 

In 2020 Covid-19 hit and hit hard. The Group continued to meet at Engrained Brewery and Restaurant.  Chapter President at the time, Steve Harvey used Facebook Live to broadcast some of the meetings. In the summer of 2020 the group met at Southwinds Park (an outdoor venue). By fall Covid-19 had created a situation where the group did not meet in person for a lengthy period. Zoom meetings were held but participation waned.  In 2022, the group began meeting at MCL Cafeteria on Wabash in person.  This has seemed to put us on track, and this is where we are meeting currently.