On June 14, 1919, J. Boone Aiken applied to the Secretary of the International Association of Rotary clubs, located in Chicago, for a charter to serve the Florence, SC community. Several months later, the Florence Rotary Club elected its first Board of Directors and officers of the club and the first meeting of the Florence Rotary club was held at 2:30 PM in the old bluebird tea room on February 26, 1920. The minutes from this first meeting show that the topic of discussion was a new bridge to be built over the Pee Dee River and the meeting was adjourned with what would become a club tradition of the singing of ”Prairie flower” song.
The Florence Rotary club was the 605th charter issued by Rotary international and at the time joined 56,000 other men around the world who call themselves Rotarians. The history of the club shows that it flourished in the 1920s and was able to maintain its membership levels throughout the Great Depression.
The Florence Rotary club has met at number of locations including the Florence Country Club, the Florence Civic Center and several restaurants in the Florence area. Another move in August 2013 to Victor's restaurant brought the club back to its roots in downtown Florence. The membership is experiencing great growth and is one of the oldest and largest civic organizations in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
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