Lodi Rotary Centennial
In Lodi, Rotary began with 25 men assembled 84 years ago in the early days of Prohibition. Today, Lodi has three Rotary Clubs with a combined 156 members, and Galt has two clubs with a combined membership of 55.
In December 1920, Dr. Dewey Powell, past president of the Stockton Rotary Club, observed that Lodi was a vibrant city with promising growth potential and industrious businessmen. Powell was appointed to survey the community and take preliminary steps to organizing a club in Lodi.
In January 1921, Powell wrote a letter to Rotary officials in Chicago. “It takes a fine quality of citizens to make a community and in this particular (sic), Lodi is unusually fortunate. The leading men are men of vision, intelligence and courage and their accomplishments of the past few years are the best evidence of their dependability for future progress,” Powell wrote.
Powell went on to advise Rotary officials that Lodi community leaders wanted to join Rotary, but they were also being courted by Lions Club organizers. If Rotary officials did not act soon, the Lodi men might join the Lions Club instead.
Powell’s letter was answered less than two weeks later. Rotary International approved formation of a Lodi Rotary Club on Feb. 10, 1921.
On Feb. 21, 1921, the Lodi Rotary Club was formally organized at a meeting held at the six-year-old Hotel Lodi at Pine and School streets. There were 25 charter members,