• Our History

    The Rotary Club of Summerville was started by the Charleston Club in 1947. Charter night was April 11, 1947 at the St. Paul’s Parish House. There were 22 charter members, our District Governor was John V. Brookshire, and our District was #190. Our first President was the first of two father-son President’s in the Club’s history: Joe Hutchinson in 1947 and son Steve in 1985-86. We have had two brothers as President and we’ve also had our Mafia period which consisted of two Italian Presidents – Pete Garbarini in 1974-75 and Bert Cicenia in 1975-76. Woman-kind made their mark in the year 2000 when Jan Freeman became our first female President. As of today, our Club boasts 102 members.

    We are the Home Club of two former District Governors – JC Lipham in 1973-74 and John Ramsey 2005-06. Jaime Moore is currently the Assistant Governor for our District which changed to #7770 some years ago.

    Our Club started fairly small and remained that way for over twenty years. There were some reasons for this – Summerville was a small town with about 1,800 residents and only two rural mail routes – one north of the railroad and one south.

    While Summerville has a past history of many fine inns, hotels and guest homes, there were no restaurants of any size in the 50’s and 60’s. There were only two – Flowertown and Eva’s and then there was the Tastee Freeze which was an old converted service station.

    These things are mentioned so you can understand why we have met in so many and varied places. The Club started out at the Curve Inn (restaurant-swimming pool) on Bacons Bridge, Sweet Shop, Carolina Inn (corner of Carolina and Sumter), Flowertown Restaurant, Hamilton Motel, Masonic Hall (the Eastern Stars prepared the meals), Squirrel Inn (members of the club bought $1,000 certificates and the monies were used to add a large dining room to the Inn. The certificates were redeemed when the Inn was sold), Summerville Cafeteria (SCE&G’s present site), Live Oak Nursing Home (now a enclave of high-end homes on Central Avenue), Coastal Center Baptist College (Charleston Southern University), King’s Grant Country Club, Iron Kettle, Holiday Inn Express,and Sticky Fingers. One or two places have probably been missed, but you can see we have certainly eaten our way around town.

    An attendance ploy the Club used back in 1957 when Merry Jones was President went as follows – the Club brought a smelly old billy goat to the meeting that the first absentee had to keep until another member missed a meeting and then the goat became their responsibility. The Club had fourteen straight weeks of perfect attendance.

    To say that some of our Rotarians have been colorful characters would be an understatement, Admiral Ellis Reed-Hill (head of the Coast Guard during WWII) was Sergeant at Arms and took his job to heart. He made all the Club members wear coats and ties to the meetings and would fine you if you didn’t. He fined Father Aiken (a Catholic Priest) for not wearing a tie – he was in his clerical habit. Our present day Sergeant at Arms, Dr. Bill Lomax, makes the Admiral sound like a pussycat.

    Our Club projects have been many and varied. We started the old-fashioned July 4th celebration on the country’s bicentennial. In 1980-83, we collected approximately 236 tons of aluminum cans. This improved the environment and infused $140,000 into the local economy as well as continuing to supplement the educational scholarships the Club awards. After Hugo, Rotary was a key player in putting together a Crisis Ministry that aided our community with $250,000 in funds and even more in materials. We’ve seen first hand what our Gift of Life program and the generosity of our members have provided to others in third world countries – life altering opportunities for medical treatment they would otherwise go without. Our Golf Tournament, which is a great reason to take a day off from work, has been a huge success and only continues to grow each year. On a more global scale, Rotary International has been praised in the medical community and around the world for our efforts in eradicating Polio.

    Our history spans seventy-five years and we are very much a part of this community. To be a member of this organization is an honor indeed.

  • Our club is honored to have members who have led District 7770 in a variety of roles. The following individuals have served or are currently serving as follows:

  • Past District Governor

    John C. Lipham, District 7770, 1973-1974
    John Ramsey, District 7770, 2005-2006
    Dennis Miskewicz, District 7490, 2005-2006

  • Past Asst. Governor

    Anthony (Tony) Oglietti, 1998-2000
    Ed Carter, 2005-2008
    Don Nye, 2008-2011
    Tony Pope, 2011-2014

  • Current Assistant Governor

    Jaime Moore, 2014-

  • Current District Exec. Secretary

    Ed Tassin, 2007-

  • Club Presidents Since the Beginning

  • Joseph Hutchinson, 1947 *
    P. Fran Smith, 1947-1948 *
    Ed Vincent, 1948-1949
    Sam Barshay, 1949-1950
    P. Frank Smith, Jr. 1950-1951 *
    Clifton S. Jones, 1951-1952 **
    Randolph Walker, 1952-1953
    John Finucan, 1953-1954
    Albert Peters, 1955-1955
    Paul Bonner, 1955-1956
    A. M. (Merry) Jones, 1956-1957
    Patrick J. (Joe) Melia, 1957-1958
    John C. Lipham, 1958-1959
    Robert Hemphill, 1959-1960
    Harold Sebring, 1960-1961
    Marion Watson, 1961-1962
    Charles Wattles, 1962-1963
    George Quaile, 1963-1964
    Brunson M. Westbury, 1964-1965
    Alfred Freisem, 1965-1966
    W. Ray Jones, 1966-1967 **
    W. Lang Foster, 1967-1968
    Steve L. Skardon, 1968-1969
    Gordon Blanton, 1969-1970
    E. Loyless Knight, 1970-1971
    John Compton, 1971-1972
    Tom Myers, 1972-1973
    A. G. D. (Mac) Wiles, 1973-1974
    Pete Garbarini, 1974-1975
    Erbert F. Cicenia, 1975-1976
    Haskell E. Neal, 1976-1977
    Ronald Strawn, 1977-1978
    John Hanlin, 1978-1979
    Fim M. White, 1979-1980
    Hugh W. Wilson, Jr., 1980-1981
    Ken Willard, 1981-1982

  • Thomas Bryce, 1982-1983
    G. Lindsey Luke, 1983-1984
    George H. Ritter, 1984-1985
    Steve Hitchinson, 1985-1986 *
    H. Carl Josephson, 1986-1987
    William Coursey, 1987-1988
    Paul G. Campbell, Jr., 1988-1989
    John Dumas, 1989-1990
    David McIntosh, 1990-1991
    Bill Lomax, 1991-1992
    Glen Haynes, 1992-1993
    Phil Jones, 1993-1994
    Anthony (Tony) Oglietti, 1994-1995
    Randolph Rhodes, 1995-1996
    David Vail, 1996-1997
    Ken Ward, 1997-1998
    Winnie Evans, 1998-1999
    John L. Ramsey, 1999-2000
    Jan Freeman, 2000-2001 ***
    Tony Pope, 2001-2002
    Yvonne Caruso, 2002-2003
    Ed Carter, 2003-2004
    Ed Tassin, 2004-2005
    Don Nye, 2005-2006
    Taylor Clarkson, 2006-2007
    Bill Everett, 2007-2008
    June Sullivan, 2008-2009
    Sean Bennett, 2009-2010
    Kelly Williams, 2010-2011
    Gene Hundley, 2011-2012
    Jaime Moore, 2012-2013
    Frank Osage, 2013-2014
    Roland Fulcher, 2014-2015
    Jon Presley, 2015-2016
    Linda Art, 2016-2017

  • * Denotes that a father and son served as President. ** Denotes that two brothers served as President. *** Denotes first female President.