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The development of the Tourist Industry and Manufacturing in Barbados during the early sixties can be considered as the main reason for the birth of a Rotary Club.

At that time, among the many visitors and business executives who visited, were Rotarians who were members of various clubs especially in the United States and they often queried whether there were any Rotary Clubs on the island at which they could attend in order to keep up their attendance and maintain their membership in their respective clubs.

It was in July 1961, that Paul Foster, the then manager of the Barbados Tourist Board (now the Barbados Tourism Authority) and Canadian, Tom McLaughlin, Manager of the Barbados Development Board, now Barbados Industrial Development Corporation (BIDC) both shared offices on the top floor of Cavan House on Lower Broad Street, The City.

It was an ordinary day in the lives of both men when McLaughlin walked into Foster's office and asked the question: "Why don't we start a Rotary Club in Barbados?"

This question was of significance to McLaughlin, because many visitors who came into his office to discuss industrial matters were Rotarians who felt that Barbados needed a Rotary Club.

Foster in turn related to his friend that visitors were also expressing the same need to him.

The idea was further discussed with Canadian Roy Wells, the new Manager of The Bank of Nova Scotia (1960-1964). The Bank had started operations in Barbados in 1956. Wells shared the same sentiments expressed by his two customers Foster and McLaughlin.

On September 22, 1961, an initial meeting was held and received with such enthusiasm that another meeting was called only six days later for further discussion aimed at finalizing action for the formation of a club and to appoint officers. Records show that by January 18, 1962, plans were being made for the first official meeting of the club and there was a total of 23 paid up members.

Having satisfied the requirements of Rotary International, a Charter was presented on March 7,1962 and the Rotary Club of Barbados came into being with eminent Barrister-at-Law, J.E. Theodore Brancker, one of the founder members as the Charter President.

With the start of the Rotary year 1962-63 in July, the Charter President, who had only served three months, was re-elected for the full term along with Stanley Chapman as Vice President; Ranny Greaves, a dentist, as Secretary and Edward (Ted) Cassell, an experienced Rotarian, as Assistant Secretary.

From its inception, the Rotary Club of Barbados has always been able to conform to the long established principles of Rotary International in recruiting its members and filling classifications from the top executives in business, the professions and the services.

The regular meetings were held for lunch at the Marine Hotel every Thursday where Julius Zelinka, a charter member, was the resident manager. He also permitted the Club to hold its Board and Committee Meetings, as well as the frequent Club Assemblies, at the Hotel.

During the early years of the Club, many resident visitors who were experienced Rotarians, gave the benefit of their knowledge to the young club and assisted in steering it along the “Ways of Rotary”.

The club achieved a significant milestone on January 13, 2005 with the induction of its first female member. On July 9, 2011 another significant milestone was achieved when the Club’s first female President, Brenda Pope, was installed.