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Established on 23rd February 1905 in Chicago, at the initiative of four friends, the Rotary movement gradually spread to other US cities and states, and in the following years also to other countries of the world. Let's go back to the history, the year and the place of origin of the Rotary Club! It is a year of great immigration of a diverse multinational, multi-religious new population in the United States that were coming to the "promised land" from all corners of the world. One must not forget the size of the country into which they immigrated, or their number, so it is quite clear that among the group of more successful, educated and richer social classes the need to form a club arose, where with joint forces and those alike a better and more honest "promised land" could be created for themselves, and consequently for many other inhabitants of that great country.
In Croatia, the first Rotary Club was founded on 6th March 1929. This and other clubs existed until the District 77 was abolished on 31st December 1941. During the communist Yugoslavia, the formation of Rotary Clubs was forbidden, so the first Rotary Club was established in Zagreb on 23rd October 1990, only after the free and independent Croatia was created, followed by other clubs in all major Croatian cities.
The philosophy and the guiding principles of Rotary were clear from the beginning:
- Development of acquaintance as an opportunity for better service and success of members and the club,
- High ethical and moral standards in business and professions,
- Recognition of the worthiness of all occupations and its role in creating a better society,
- Dignifying the role of service and helping others,
- Advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world.
Hundred and three years after the creation of the first Rotary Club, these ideas are still alive. These are the ideas that guide countless clubs around the world and allow people of all colours, origins, nations and religions to recognize themselves in them and to realize Rotarian principles through the common work of all members. Our Rotary Club Zagreb Medvedgrad joins this great global family and we will give our small contribution to the spread of a better and humane world.
More about the history of the Rotary itself as well as its activities in Croatia can be found in the excerpts from the book of our friend Oleg Mandić from RC Rijeka and our friend Vlado Juričić from RC Zagreb.
Source: book by our friend Oleg Mandić, founding member of the RC Rijeka: "Rotary u Hrvatskoj i svijetu" (Rotary in Croatia and the World), Adamić, Rijeka 2005, 2nd edition. We thank our friend Oleg Mandić for allowing us to use some of the text from his really valuable book.
Friendship, Aid, Tolerance, World Peace - all of these are praiseworthy concepts and principles that the humankind, sometimes, between two wars or other manifestations of violence and evil, just like the problem of guilty conscience, brought out in the 100-200 years of its existence. It is not entirely clear in which period a sense of belonging to the human community with all the rights and obligations, privileges and burdens arose. But the proof of its latent presence in many social classes and throughout the world can be found in the story of Rotary that we have just started.
In order to make it easier for the reader to follow the text of the book, at the very beginning I will disclose basic Rotary data, as published by the Rotary International Office in Zurich (April 2004).
- What is Rotary
Rotary is a global organization of business people and professionals who believe in the importance of humanitarian support, who encourage high ethical standards in all occupations and support peace and creation of a better understanding among nations. Rotary brings together 1 227 545 men and women in 31 561 Rotary Clubs in 166 countries and 35 geographic areas (end of 2015). Rotary brings together people of all races, religions and political beliefs in a friendly atmosphere of co-operation. Rotary was created on 23rd February 23 1905 by establishing the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA. The first world organization of clubs that promoted service was founded by the lawyer Paul P. Harris.
- Rotary Clubs
Each Rotary Club (RC) chooses its members and management boards and has a strong autonomy within the system of its own statute, Rotary International statute and other laws. Rotary Clubs meet each week in order to develop friendship and discuss and agree on future activities and goals. Membership in a Rotary Club is by invitation only, and is based on the principle of having one representative of each type of profession or activity, in order to ensure the average representation within the social leadership.
- Rotary International
Rotarv International (RI) is an association of Rotary Clubs around the world, whose most important motto is "Service Above Self". The two purposes of RI are to assist, promote, disseminate and oversee Rotaries worldwide, and to coordinate and guide global international activities. Rotary Clubs are united according to geographic areas called Rotary Districts. Each district is managed by a District Governor who fulfils the duty of the RL Officer and represents the International Board of Directors. Currently there are 529 Rotarian Districts merged into six regions, one of which is CEEMA (Continental Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa). In non-district areas, Rotary is organized into committees formed by a management board that usually meets four times a year, and it is the body of RI which adopts basic principles and governs the policy. The Board is made up of the RI President and Vice-President and 16 members from countries all over the world. The President performs the duty for one year, and the Board members for two years. All the Rotary Board members at the international and local level are unpaid volunteers. The Secretariat of the RI helps Rotary Clubs in carrying out service projects and other activities, and consists of several offices. Headquarters of Global RI are in Evanston, Chicago, Illinois, USA, RI Regional Office for Europe and Africa has its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. There are seven more branches in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
- The Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service
High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society
The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life
The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The Four-Way Test is a useful benchmark for all human relationships, especially in the daily practice and profession of each Rotarian.
Four questions are asked:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
The Establishment of Rotary
Paul P. Harris (1868 - 1947), a lawyer from Chicago, is the originator of the idea of how to set up an association that would enable the strengthening of professional and friendly relationships between entrepreneurs and business people. During a meeting with three friends on 23rd February 1905, he proposed framework principles of what would become the basis of the first, largest and most important humanitarian organization in the world. The aforementioned four men formed a club, and members of the club, the number of whom gradually increased, agreed to the principle of rotation - each time they would meet in the office of another member. Hence the name of the club: Rotary Club Chicago.
The first meetings had only a social character, but soon founders found a different, far deeper goal. In the coming months, the club has set a number of principles and preferences that will gradually evolve into statutory provisions - The Rotary Platform. This also gave way to Rotary's purpose.
In the year 1907 RC Chicago undertook and implemented its first project in favour of the community by building a public toilet in the city centre. As the number of members grew, the club's financial potential and its social importance were also growing. This social character of the club's activity soon prevailed over the professional character.
Remembering those days, P. Harris many years later wrote; Together with the co-members I learned to emphasize the importance of giving instead of receiving. Club's ideas have spread amazingly fast outside of Chicago, so in 1908 a club in San Francisco was founded, and, in 1910, the first non-US club in Winnipeg (Canada) was founded. Then there were already16 clubs in the United States with 1800 members. The American Association of Rotary Clubs organized the first Convention in Chicago, where P. Harris was elected president.
The Rotarian principles take on the final outlines in the years before the First World War. At that time the first work on the purpose, goals and work of Rotary was printed and published: A Talking Knowledge of Rotary by Ruy Gundaker from Philadelphia. In 1911 at the convention in Portland (Oregon), for the first time (in the report of Secretary General J. Perry) appeared sentences that will in the future be the motto of the entire activity of Rotary: One Profits Most Who Serves Best, and Service Above Self.
In those years the first issue of Rotary Gazette was printed: The National Rotarian (today The Rotarian), and the Rotary movement crossed the Atlantic. Clubs were established in England and Ireland (1912 - 1913); in 1916, the first RC was established outside the Anglo-Saxon speaking area - La Havana (Cuba), and in 1918 the first RC in South America was founded in Montevideo (Uruguay). Expansion continued: in 1919, the first RC in Asia was founded in Manila (Philippines), then in Calcutta (India), Shanghai (China) and Tokyo (Japan), and in 1921 the first clubs in Africa and Australia were founded.
The end of World War I opens the door to Europe, where soon after clubs in Spain (Madrid 1920), France (Paris 1921), Italy (Milan 1925), Austria (Vienna 1925), Germany (Hamburg 1927) were founded. At that time, Rotary had more than 1000 clubs around the world, and the figures grew as follows: 1910 - 16 clubs, 1920 - 758 clubs, 1925 - 2096 clubs, 1930 - 3349 clubs, 1934 - 3694 clubs, with 152,218 members.
In the year 1915, RI began to divide into districts. In 1925, there were 49 districts, and in 1935 the number increased to 79. The first organized district in Europe was founded on February 1, 1925 in Italy, as Disctrict No. 46. In 1939, some larger districts were unified in 26 clubs in Italy, 22 clubs in Spain, 36 in Germany and 11 clubs in Austria. The National Association of Rotary Clubs was renamed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912, and shortened to the Rotary International or RI in 1922, which remains until today.
The spread of the Rotarian organization has also brought new difficulties. It was necessary to draw up a new statute (Atlantic City 1920), but it was only in 1921, at the annual congress in Edinburgh (England), that the Statute Committee was established, and the Statute was adopted in 1922 in Los Angeles. The new Statute, enhanced in Mexico City, summarized the purpose of the Rotary in four basic goals: Club Service, Community Service, Vocational Service and International Service.
One of the first RC activities in Chicago was related to the community service. Many thought that Rotary would turn into a charity, so support requests were more and more frequent. Therefore, in 1923, at the annual congress in St. Louis, community service guidelines were established, which determine that the primary purpose of each RC is to educate members for service, while the very service is in the second plan.
The period between the two world wars is in the first place marked by the consolidation of belief in the correctness of the Rotarian principles, and consequently the search for optimal ways of their implementation in life. The crisis of such thinking appeared in the late 30s of the 20th century, when it was already clear that a new world conflict could not be avoided: the Rotarian tolerance and world peace postulates obviously failed to fit into the general pre-war atmosphere underlined by the ubiquitous rise in racism and other intolerance (ethnic, religious, etc.), especially in Europe and Asia.
On the other hand, these years have also witnessed the further spread of Rotary. On the 20th anniversary, Rotary was present on all 6 continents with more than 100,000 members. And in Zurich, the first international office, which today is the head quarter of the Rotary for Europe, was opened. On that anniversary, Rotary also got its final symbol: the toothed wheel - the gear, which has not changed anymore.
The year 1928 is very important for Rotary, because this year the Rotary Foundation was officially established - it was an organization that supports, promotes and encourages RI projects through international humanitarian, educational and cultural programs, with no lucrative aim. The idea of establishing a foundation for the purpose of doing good in the world appeared in 1917, but the realization was prevented by a number of administrative and other obstacles. It is worth pointing out that the Foundation's initial contribution amounted to USD 26.50, and by the end of the 20th century the Foundation was worth about a billion and a half USD!
Rotary on the South Slavic territory
In the previous chapter, I deliberately left the 30s of the last century somewhat incomplete. The Rotary movement has already been very active, but surprisingly in the first years, especially under the influence of events and conditions related to the Second World War, Rotary found more fertile ground for development and expansion in South America and Asia, than in Europe. In addition, the attitude towards Rotary differed from state to state.
After the first island clubs founded in Ireland and England, and only after the end of hostilities, first Rotary Clubs in continental Europe started to emerge. Their development and their number have been growing upward for 10 years. But by strengthening national socialism in Germany, frankness in Spain, and fascism in Italy - the Rotarianism in these countries was obviously stagnating. Additionally, there are two factors that never had a friendly view of Rotarianism: Communism and the Catholic Church. Consequently, we can freely say that the strengthening of all of these forces in Europe is proportional to the stall of the Rotariansim in certain European countries in the late 30s of the last century. But not in all.
It was the time when the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia (formerly the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) fully developed. The new forces of the new state were greedily assimilating the novelties "from the world". The capital of Belgrade was clearly under the cultural and other influences of Paris. On the waves of these influences, on March 4, 1929, the founding assembly of the first Rotary Club in Yugoslavia was held - in Belgrade.
From then until 1939, 34 Rotary clubs were founded in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia:
in Belgrade on 4th March 1929, in Zagreb on 6th March 1929, (a joint charter for both clubs was held only on 28th June 1929 in Plitvice Lakes. It should be noted, however, that the first RC club was RC Zagreb, and only after RC Beograd ), in Osijek on 3rd October 1929, in Novi Sad on 12th October 1929, in Subotica on 25th May 1930, in Sušak on 7th September 1930, in Sarajevo in September 1930, in Maribor on 15th November 1930, in Varaždin on 16th November 1930, in Ljubljana on 14th March 1931, in Pančevo on 14th April 1931, in Skopje on 30th May 1931, in Split on 14th May 1931, in Vukovar on 20th November 1931, in Šibenik on 23rd April 1933, in Zemun on 18th November 1933, in Dubrovnik on 2nd February 1933, in Banja Luka on 28th January 1934, in Karlovac on 12th January 1935, in Leskovac on 15th June 1935, in Bilola on 17th June 1935, in Slavonski Brod on 17th June 1935, in Vršac on 19th June 1935, in Bačka Topola on 29th June 1935, in Niš on 3rd June 1936, in Stari Bečej on 17th December 1936, in Velika Kikinda on 13th February 1937, in Petrovgrad on 27th February 1937, in Čušrija, Jagodina and Paraćin on 4th April 1937, in Vinkovci on 24th April 1937, in Sombor on 29th May 1937, in Old Kanjiža on 26th June 1937, in Brčko on 29th May 1938, in Kranj on 18th January 1939.
Note: In different sources, the dates are often different, because in the process of establishing each RC there are three key days: the day of the first meeting since the founding club acts as a RC, the day of admission in the RI and the day of the Charter's delivery.
If we look at the list from today's point of view, we will see that in the period before the Second World War there were already 11 Croatian cities that had Rotary Clubs: Dubrovnik, Karlovac, Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Split, Sušak, Šibenik, Varaždin, Vinkovci, Vukovar and Zagreb.
Retrieved from Rotary Magazine, January-March 2015, p. 6-15, author Vlado Juričić, RC Zagreb
Rotarian years from 1928 to 1941
The Rotarian movement in the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes began in the Rotarian year of 1928/29. By recommendation of the Rotary International Board, for this Rotarian year several countries were listed as having the ability to form clubs in their respective countries, namely "Dutch Guiana, British Guiana, Yugo - Slavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Siam, French Indo - China, Persia, Anglo - Egyptian Sudan, Syria". Further in this recommendation, the RI Board also made a decision on the possibility of forming clubs in these countries. Such decision by the RI Board on the formation of the Rotary movement in the then Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (and not as stated in Yugo - Slavia, even though many of them already wanted it), was not easy and simple because there were many obstacles. According to the RI rules (which are still valid today), the first member of the international Rotarian community had to be the capital city, therefore at that time and in this case it was Belgrade.
Because of this, there was a certain delay in the Rotary movement in those areas, there were doubts that this was feasible (lagging behind the West, insufficient enlightenment, insufficient awareness for helping others outside their community, infrastructure, etc.). The above-mentioned is also proved by the letter of John D. Prince from the Legation of the United States of America in Belgrade, dated 21st January 1928 and addressed to T.C. Thomsen (RI Special Representative for Europe, headquartered in Zürich), where the following is stated:
“In reply to your letter I regret to tell you that Yugoslavia is not suited to Rotary. I believe that Rotary is meant exclusively for the West and this is the East still full of old traditions which will die hard, if indeed they ever die. I should not like to see an attempt made which involved fail, as I feel sure would be the case here.”
Similar views on the situation in the then Kingdom, and the consequences of the delay in the Rotary movement, we will see in some of the letters of senior RI officials, which will be partly mentioned later. The mandate for establishing clubs in the former Yugoslavia, by the decision of the RI Management Board, was given to Josef Schulz (Žerotinova ul. 402, Pečky na Dr., Czecholovakia), one of the then RI directors. The letter of J. Schulz, dated August 23, 1928, addressed to T.C. Thomsen, Zurich, roughly states the following: He was given the task by the RI Board to establish clubs in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. He also gave plenty of interesting views on the situation at the RC Strassbourg where they did not want the Germans in the club, and the RC Hamburg, where they do not want Pruse in the club, etc. He also stated that because of the German nationalism it is quite difficult to establish clubs in Germany, because there is a danger that Rotarian ideas will not be sufficiently implemented. He emphasized the problems of Hungarianization in the part of the neighboring Slavic countries. Still, he hopes that in all these cases the Rotarian ideas will prevail over time. Regarding the extension of the Rotarian movement to Yugoslavia, he pointed out that some of his Rotarian friends and he himself, have already talked to prominent people in the country. According to this knowledge, Prince Paul and King Alexander Karađorđević are very interested in this movement. The political situation in the country can cause a lot of difficulties in introducing Rotarianism in Zagreb and Belgrade. On the other hand, this is an incentive as well because Rotarianism can help calm the situation. With potential candidates for membership in the Rotary movement they will talk in September in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Novi Sad and Belgrade. From the next letter by Josef Schulz, sent from Ljubljana on 8th September 1928 to the already mentioned T.C. Thomsen, the following is visible:
By the mediation of Dr. Jindrich Andrial, the General Consul of Czechoslovakia in Zagreb, he talked with the engineer Radovan Alaupović, director of the company Accetic, Boškovićeva 33, on 4th September 1928. The next day he was at a meeting with R. Alaupović and Vladimir Leustek, PhD in Law, Attorney, Kraljice Marije 3 street. Both are young people with knowledge of multiple languages, and for R. Alaupović it is assumed to be a mason. Both are considered good and capable leaders of the future RC Zagreb so he expects to have a "really a good club" in Zagreb. Then he described Zagreb as a city with 150,000 inhabitants, where almost everyone speak the German language. Unfortunately, most of the business and trade was in Jewish hands. The inhabitants are mostly Croats, who are Slavs like Serbs, but Croats are Roman Catholics, and Serbs are Orthodox. The Croatian territories were under Austro-Hungarians until the war, and are much richer and more organized, which is why they had a long period of peace, which Serbs, due to Turkey's long occupation, did not have. On the results of his visit to Zagreb, Josef Schulz informed the offices of Rotarian International in Chicago and Zurich. The letter of J. Schulz sent from Ljubljana on September 10, 1928 to T.C. Thomsen in Zurich described the conditions in Slovenia: Slovenes are Roman Catholics, their language has a Croatian root, Ljubljana has 70,000 inhabitants, and they look favourably to the Czechs. He quoted names of the people he spoke with and pointed out that some of them have already been informed about Rotarian ideas by Radovan Alaupović from Zagreb.
In the following letter of J. Schulz of 16th September 1928, sent from Belgrade to T.C. Thomsen, he stated information about contacts with potential members of the clubs of Novi Sad and Belgrade. He met with the US minister in Belgrade, Mr. John D. Prince, who tried to dissuade him from establishing Rotary Clubs in this region: "Don’t do it". One of the reasons put forward by the minister was that there was a very bad experience of the "American - Serbian Club", which since its establishment has not advanced much because of insufficient knowledge of the English language of Serbian members of the society. Again, it is evident that the presumptions for establishing a club in Belgrade, and thus in other cities (as the first club must be established in the capital of the state), were not favourable. The Rotarian movement had to find a way to overcome these resistances and contradictions, the differences between the western and eastern part of the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in order to speed up the formation of clubs. This is evident from the following events: it was agreed the founding meetings of the Zagreb and Belgrade clubs to be only two days apart, that is on 6th March 1928 and 4th March 1928. Also, the "division of territory" for the establishment of new clubs was devided to "east and west".
By the final decision of the Board of Rotary International, mentioned at the beginning of this text, in the Rotary Year 1928/29, the approval to establish clubs in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia was finally received. From the minutes of the founding meeting of the RC Beograd, dated 4th March 1929, it is worth mentioning that, at that time, there were more than 3,000 clubs in 47 countries with more than 150,000 members. US Minister in Belgrade John D. Prince, who opposed the spread of the Rotarian movement in the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs from the beginning, greeted the idea of the movement and supported the establishment of clubs in the cities of Yugoslavia: Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Skopje (and other cities), in order to improve the situation in the country. The representative of the founding RC Zagreb, engineer Radovan Alaupović "looks forward to a sincere co-operation with RC Belgrade", and expresses hope that "both clubs will work together to spread the Rotarian idea with body and soul." The minutes also listed names of guests and members of the club. The founding meeting of RC Zagreb was held on March 6, 1929 at the Esplanade Hotel. Among the guests were Josef Schulz, Director of Rotary International for Europe, Antonin Živna, RC Tabor from Czechoslovakia and Dr. Voja Kujundžić, from RC Belgrade. We highlight the summary of Edo Marković's speech, Vice-President of RC Zagreb: "It is necessary to work in serving others in one's own surroundings, especially in the beloved Zagreb. In the community, for now only with RC Belgrade, it is also necessary to serve the international community without aiming at prosperity and glory." From additional documents on the formation of RC Zagreb on March 6, 1929, it is worth mentioning the report by Josef Schulz (sent on 1st March 1969 to Rotary International Secretary) where he briefly described the history of the club's formation in Zagreb since the first meetings in September 1929 with R. Alaupović, V. Leustek and others. He stressed that the development of the Rotarian idea in Zagreb was very fast, and that the members sought the establishment of the club even before, already at the end of February 1929. Below are listed alphabetically the names of all members of RC Zagreb on the day of charter on March 6, 1929 (the original is addressed to the Rotary International Office in Chicago and is signed by the Club's Secretary Radovan Alaupović):
Alaupović Radovan, Andrial Jindrich, Belin Ivo, Brovet Krešimir, Čalogović Milan, Dražić Ante, Dubsky Jaromir, Frank Viktor, Hanamann Franjo, Kalda Lav, Kostrenčič Marko, Leustek Vladimir, Marković Edo, Meštrović Ivan, Mikuličić Jose, Mlinarić Stjepan, Ostović Pavle, Pliverić Branko, Poduje Joso, Raić Jovan, Schlegel Toni, Stern Ivo, Šenoa Branko, Šmit Alexander, Vasić Velimir, Vurdelja Ilija.
The vast majority of the aforementioned members of RC Zagreb at that time were prominent in their positions in the then environment, and many of them are recognized by name and surname also by today's generations. The ceremonial charter for both Zagreb and Belgrade clubs was held on June 28, 1929 on Plitvice Lakes. The guests were Josef Schulz, Sigmund Trover, President of the RC Graz, and members of RC Graz Alfred Wahld, Dr. Winbirhardton, Hans Wagul, Dr. Herbert Wiesler, then Dr. A. Apold, the President of RC Wien, Mr. Thoenv, member of RC Innsbruck, and A. Kalina, member of RC Prague. Congratulation telegrams and letters were sent from RI offices in Zurich and Rotary Clubs from Rome, Hamburg, Dresden, Moravian Ostrava, Prague, Timisoara, Bucharest, Bratislava, Salzburg, Bern, Toplitz - Schonau, Pisek, Pilsen, Košice, Linz, Trieste, Sušice, Jerusalem, Waag, Bilbao, Czech Budejovice, Le Havre, Oslo, Venice, Berlin, Vichy, Utrecht, Malaga, Kutna Hora and Chur. This is a list of guests and institutions and clubs who have sent congratulations, and they speak about the strength, as well as the then distribution of Rotarians.
In Rotary International's booklet for the year 1929/30 (Rotarian year from 1st July 1929 to 30th June 1930) for the then Yugoslavia there were two clubs mentioned: RC Beograd, Club No. 3108, March 1929, 27 members, President Ferdinand Gramberg, Secretary Josef Hrnčir, meetings on Monday at 20:30 at the hotel "Serbian King". RC Zagreb, Club No. 3123, March 1929, 25 members, President Josip Mikuličić, Secretary Radovan Alaupović, meetings on Monday at 20:00 at the hotel "Esplanade".
In the letter dated 9th December 1929 from Zurich, signed with the initials R. V. W. (it is assumed that this is Russel V. Williams, Secretary of the RI in Zurich, who visited Zagreb and the club with his wife on 15th, 15th, and 17th November 1929), addressed to C. R. P. (it is assumed that this is Chelsev R. Perv, Secretary of Rotary International in Chicago) there is a number of interesting observations we cite summarily.
For some time, there has been a growing tension between RC Beograd and RC Zagreb. It is evident that RC Belgrade does not have enough information to expand the Rotarianism in its region, though all the necessary information that the other clubs also have is available to them. The visit of R. V. W. has done a lot good to the clubs in eliminating mutual misunderstanding. The biggest result was an agreement on the distribution of powers between RC Zagreb and RC Beograd in spreading Rotarianism in Yugoslavia at that time. He recommended that RI should be more intelligent in its actions, in this case due to the large differences between clubs, for example: "to use the Serbian language in correspondence with RC Belgrade and the clubs that will be set up in the eastern part of Yugoslavia, and to use the Croatian language in correspondence with RC Zagreb towards the clubs that will be established in the western part of Yugoslavia." The West-oriented Zagreb and its inhabitants in the cultural sense are far ahead of Belgrade and its inhabitants. Zagreb is a modern European city, it can be measured with Zurich in its cleanness, and it has more beautiful public buildings than Zurich, even though it is half the size. Zagreb is not only the city of industry, but also the commercial and banking centre of Yugoslavia. There is a Rockefeller Health Institute, and the university has a very rich library and a space for 500 students. Because of the long influence of the Orient, Serbs are mentally completely different from Croats, they are more similar to the French. Belgrade was far smaller than it is today, and is constantly being built in the last ten years. Until the war, Belgrade hardly had several houses on two floors, while now it has more public buildings and streets. Since they are in majority in Yugoslavia, and Belgrade is the capital city, Serbs want to take the lead on this territory. Taking all this into account, it is easy to understand the tensions between Zagreb and Belgrade, and also between RC Zagreb and RC Beograd. RC Belgrade is insufficiently familiar with the Rotary movement, while RC Zagreb has good management, good administration, and is very well organized.
Club's Vice-President Edo Marković and Club's Secretary Radovan Alaupović are doing their job well. Club members are well informed about events in the area of activities of the Rotary movement in the world. It would be good if such a club existed in each of the countries of the Continent.
These observations of R.V.W., senior official of Rotary International, reflect the then state of affairs, and even more importantly, such reportings made the real truth about Croatia and Croats spread to the world, and it was spread by no other than the Rotarians. The RC Zagreb report, after the first Rotarian year of 1929/30, signed by the Secretary Radovan Alaupović in April 1930, contains many interesting information (some of which have already been mentioned on the previous pages.
In the RI booklet for the year 1939/40 it is stated that the District Governor is Radovan Alaupović (RC Zagreb), with 856 members in 34 clubs: Bačka Topola, Banja Luka, Beograd, Bitolj, Brčko, Ćuprija - Jagodino - Paraćin, Dubrovnik, Karlovac, Lesovac, Ljubljana, Kranj, N/laribor, Niš, Novi Sad, Osijek, Pančevo, Petrovgrad, Sarajevo, Šibenik, Skoplje, Slavonski Brod, Sombor, Split, Stara Kanjiža, Stari Bečej, Subotica, Sušak, Varaždin, Velika Kikinda, Vinkovci, Vršac, Vukovar, Zagreb, Zemun.
Report from Radovan Alaupović, the Governor of the District 77 on the RC Zagreb dated 25th September 1939 is very short: "It is not easy to rate the club of which I was a secretary and president for a number of years, so I suggest that the previous governors' reports be taken into account as if they were my own. RC Zagreb is very active, what can be seen from club reports."
The RI booklet for the year 1940/41 lists the following data: Governor Viktor Ružić, number of members 809 in the same number of clubs 34 as in the previous Rotarian year. In the Governor's Report on the visits of RC Zagreb on 23rd September 1940 it was stated that the club was doing very well, and that the attendance of the members on the meetings decreased. Also, the number of club members reduced, new members were not easy to get, but at the same time the club life and results are very significant. Care for children with disabilities is the main this year's program of the club. For the year 1941/42 the same list of clubs is mentioned as for the previous year - a total of 34 clubs. It was pointed out that there were problems with bank accounts in certain countries of Europe, so the Rotary International authorized Ester P. Acharda to sign checks and other documents for raising and investing money on RI accounts in the French - Serbian Bank as of 15th November 1940. For the year 1942/43, 34 clubs were listed in District 77, same as in the previous years. At the same time, due to inactivity, by decision of the RI Board, the clubs of Belgium, Yugoslavia, Romania and Greece were removed from the Rotary International list on 31st December 1941, and thus all debts owed to the Board have been cleared.
This was the termination of participation of the District 77 in the Rotarian movement.