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Herman Blizzard Rotary Archive

Identifier: SC-MS-215

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the archive of the Wilmington Rotary Club, established in 1915. The original donation of materials were collected, organized, and maintained by long time Rotary member, Herman Blizzard. Included are materials related to routine club business including minutes, newsletters, correspondence, financial documents, and photographs. Blizzard also kept personal files related to Rotary including letters, cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, artifacts, documented histories of district and regional clubs, and membership files. Since the transfer of archive to Special Collection in 2002, the club has routinely made additions to the collection. The new materials include artifacts, photographs, correspondence, programs, and other documentation related to current club projects.


  • Creation: 1915-2019

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Historical Note

Paul A. Harris, an attorney in Chicago, in 1905 brought together a small group of young professional and businessmen of like mind who adhered to the ideals of "service" and "friendship and fellowship". The Rotary motto is, "Service above Self", and "He Profits Most Who Serves Best". In 1908 a second club was organized, and by 1910 there were 16 clubs. Each established club would look for a suitable location that met Rotary criteria and offer to sponsor a new Rotary group. In 1913, the Richmond, VA. Club was established, and sponsored the first Wilmington Rotary, holding it's first meeting Feb. 2, 1915, at the Wilmington Hotel with 41 charter members, and John R. Murchison, presiding.

From inception the club formed various working committees to serve where most needed, such as promoting better relations between employer and employees, pressuring City Council for a better system of street improvements, addressing poor mail system, city comfort stations, a request to local newspapers to discontinue reporting juvenile court cases. Active support was given to campaign for funds for YMCA, and the Boys Work Committee, and in 1920 to establish a Baby Hospital near Wrightsville Beach. Over the years Rotary participated in or formed groups to benefit all ages in health, education, and welfare. Involvement in numerous quality of life issues from better trash removal to city zoning, to consolidation of city and county governments, improvement of the Public Library, and educational programs were added to a growing list of community endeavors.

As Rotary grew so did the Districts, and ultimately Rotary International, worldwide with the goal of better understanding among nations and exchange of people and cultures promoting world peace, understanding, and education, and growing annually.

The following activities are a sampling of Downtown Wilmington commitments: Habitat for Humanity House, Matching Grants Program, Rotary Foundation (educational), Boys and Girls Homes - Lake Waccamaw, includes purchase of van for transportation, Hospice Sunrise Program, Salvation Army, Polio Plus Fund, Ambassadorial Scholarships Grant.

Also, the highly successful and much needed free Orthopaedic Clinic for children in need, offering medical services, braces, and prosthetics. On case by case basis this service became available to adults. Scholarships for UNCW students, all expense paid alcohol and drug free High School graduations, and the GSE Program, (Group Study Exchange) where students, teachers and business men and women from different countries would not only visit our city but stay with members in their homes, and we in turn sent the same mix to their country. All of these were paid with donations and Rotary fundraisers. Many more programs were added in later years from student loans, to Rotary Run, and in the 1990s, Eye Camp For India, and "Million Azaleas".

By: Carroll Jones


144 Containers

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was loaned by the Wilmington Rotary Club to Randall Library Special Collections on May 21, 2002.

Related Materials

Wilmington Rotary Club Digital Collection:


Herman Blizzard Rotary Archive
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository