OUR HISTORY as a district


Rotary first came to Western New York on August 22, 1911. At the second Annual Convention at Portland, Oregon, Charter No. 28 was granted to the Rotary Club of Buffalo, New York, by all 149 attendees. At this same convention, Paul P. Harris was also elected to his second term as International President.


Less than two years later, on August 1, 1913, Charter No. 82 was granted to the Rotary Club of Hamilton, Ontario, and the stage was set for the creation of one of the strongest districts in the Rotary world.


These two clubs almost immediately provided the leadership and strength that was so necessary to Rotary International. Buffalo's first president, Burton E. Pfeiffer, was appointed by RI President Paul Harris to the RI Committee on Inter-City Relations in 1911, and in 1913 he was elected Vice President of Rotary International. Russell T. Kelly, Hamilton's first president, was immediately appointed to the RI Education Committee. Just five years later, he was appointed District Governor, succeeding Governor S.A. Luke, who died in November 1918.


Our international history began in 1918 with the creation of District No. 4 which established the first truly international district in the Rotary world. The year 1918-1919 was the first in which two countries were served through one district, forming the "Best of Friends" district, Canada/United States. District 709 was not so numbered until 1957, and was later re-numbered to 7090 in 1991.


Today, District 7090 remains a benchmark for many Rotary districts around the world.


For a list of all District Governors, and a print out of this page, click on the download in the menu to the left.