About Our Club
Celebrating 98 Years of History 1922 - 2020

Our club charter was granted December 22, 1922. On February 23, 1923, the chartering dinner was held with more than 250 Rotarians and guests in attendance from the Northwest and British Columbia. There were 17 charter members.

The sponsoring club was Bellingham. They presented a chartering gift of a brass Rotary bell which had been forged in Bellingham. Skagit County was the first county in Washington state to have three Rotary Clubs. Anacortes was Rotary Club number 1301. At that time this area was in Rotary District 1.

Records of the club are very sketchy, but most meetings were covered by the local newspaper. Meetings seemed very similar to those today, For example, wood products, port activity, economy, new business and even tourism were subjects covered. In these early years the Anacortes Club set a pattern which continues in 2001 by recognizing youth of the community. The Boy and Girl Students of the Year were established and continue to the present. Recognition of athletes, scholars, musicians, etc. became annual events. One thing that is different is that they had singing at every meeting. They had a Rotary quartet and solos. The club also was a co-sponsor of the annual 4th of July celebration and the annual reception for new teachers.

Attendance has been very important to Rotary International since it was founded in 1905. The rules of Rotary contain attendance criteria for continued membership. In 1924, the Anacortes Rotary Club went 32 consecutive meetings with 100% attendance. In 1925, the club was divided into 3 teams. The losing team had to put on the anniversary charter dinner. The teams attendance were; 98.13%, 97.43% 97.31%. Much ado was made of a Rotarian who came from Victoria on the morning ferry to continue 10 years of perfect attendance. It was front page news when, in 1927, a visiting Rotarian was from Council Bluffs, Iowa.

There were many joint meetings in the pre-World WAR II years. They had numerous social events with the Mount Vernon and Sedro Woolley Clubs. During World War II, they even scheduled a dinner-dance with these clubs-- "blackout rules permitting". The first attendee at the Rotary International conference was Father Gustave Truenet, who attended the 1927 conference in Ostend, Belgium.

The club grew steadily in the 1920's, growing to 39 members by 1930 with good attendance. Dr. Lyle Packard and Paul Luvera Sr., joined in 1926 and 1929 respectively starting over 50 years of active Rotary service for each. The depression had an immediate effect on membership. By 1932, membership stood at 29 and by late 1933 had dropped to 16. Though they were close to losing the charter a few held the club together and by 1940 the membership topped 30 again, and by 1947 had topped 40. In 2004 membership climbed to the 70's and has remained at roughly that strength since.