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Essays by RGHF Members

The writing of Frank Deaver

Featured writer of RGHF

Introduction of RGHF committee member

Frank Deaver has been a member of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA) since 1969, and was president in 1980-81.   He currently serves his club as executive director and bulletin editor, and District 6860 as Assistant Governor and directory editor.   He was Group Study Exchange team leader twice (Sweden 1975, The Philippines 1990), and polio immunization team leader to India (2000).

Frank is professor emeritus of journalism, The University of Alabama, where his primary teaching/research fields were media ethics and international media.   He holds a PhD degree in Communication from the University of Texas, with post-graduate study in Sweden, Guatemala, and Japan.   His text on media ethics is published in Spanish and Romanian, and excerpts in Japanese.   He has combined international media consultancies (for the State Department and various foundations) with Rotary activities, and has attended Rotary in more than 30 countries.   His year-long series of articles on “Friends Around the World” was published in the district, one in The Rotarian, others in various places.

For most of his adult life, Frank has been “preaching ethics” in and out of the classroom, and has spoken and written on ethics and the Four-Way Test in many venues.   He was a speaker for Rotary Zone meetings in New Orleans and Little Rock; for district conferences in four states, plus in India, The Philippines and Uganda.

Frank is a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow, RI Foundation Benefactor, and Major Donor; and his wife Dusti is also a Paul Harris Fellow.


Historians who continue this project

Ted GiffordPRID Dr. Edgar D. (Ted) Gifford D.D.S. Honorary Member Charter President Rotary Club of La Grange 1958-“59 District 644 Governor 1964-’65 Director Rotary International 1981-’83. Joined Rotary Global History in February of 2006
Rotary Recognition Awards: Presidential Humanitarian Citation 1981, Service Above Self Award 2003, and District 6450 Spirit of Rotary Award 2003.

He and his wife Caroline are level four Major Donors, Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation, and there is an Endowed Foundation Fund in his name.
Full Rotary Bio PDF file

Also see “Why I am a Rotarian”

(2005 Photo with his wife Caroline)

I am a Rotarian because on August 8, 1958 I telephoned the Rotary International Secretariat in Evanston, Illinois and spoke with Beth Maveety of the Extension Department about the possibility of organizing a Rotary club in La Grange, Illinois U.S.A. Miss Maveety told me she would inform District 644 Governor Mitchel P. Davis of my interest.
I was inspired to make that call because my uncle, a Perth Amboy, New Jersey Rotarian, who had taken me to a meeting of his club in 1949, and my wife Caroline’s father and grandfather who had been president of the Manistee, Michigan, and charter member of the Red Creek, New York Rotary clubs respectively.

On September 3rd, 1958 District 644 Extension Chairman Thor Holter, and a former Rotarian and La Grange minister Russell Kerr, met in my dental office. Four weeks later 27 La Grange area business and professional men applied for a Rotary charter.

After Past Rotary President Herbert J. Taylor spoke about “ROTARY PROGRESS WORLDWIDE” at our charter banquet on November 19, 1958 Chesley Perry (Rotary General Secretary 1910-42) addressed our club about Rotary Global History, and Australian Ambassadorial Scholar Brian Wiseman told us about his country and impressions of the U.S.A. during early weeks of our club’s existence which made me realize what enriching and rewarding opportunities Rotary membership provides.

For me it marked the onset of opportunities to assist others in our community, and opened a doorway for worldwide involvement and friendships with service-minded people. Why am I still a Rotarian after 47 years? Why do I continue to attend meetings and participate in other Rotary events?

Because I enjoy the fellowship and good feeling that exists at meetings and other Rotary activities, but beyond that because I consider myself fortunate to be involved in a progressive organization that provides humanitarian services, encourages ethical vocational standards, and promotes goodwill and peace.

Past D6450 District Governors, in 2005, PRID Gifford is third from the left.


Historians who continue this project

Featured writer of RGHF


Joe KagleJoseph L. Kagle, Jr., 2007/2010 Chair/President, RGHF AMBASSADOR, Past History Chairman and RGHF “Peace History” subcommittee coordinator, 2006-2007,, Peace Historian for the “Joseph L. Kagle, Jr., Peace Journey Member: Rotary eClub of the Southwest, USA. Arts Management (art museum director for over 40 years), 50 years as Art and Art History Professor, Fulbright Scholar and Senior Specialist (four Fulbright grants- 1966 to 2004). He was awarded the Dartmouth College Class of 1955 Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service in 2006. Appointed to the board in 2006, serving as Vice President in 2007. Honors: Who’s Who in American Art, 1965- , Who’s Who in America, 1980- , Who’s Who in International Art, 1990- , The Arc Volunteer of the Year for USA, 1992, Who’s Who in American Business and Finance, 2003-, and Who’s Who in the World, 2004- .

Joe Kagle, born May 2, 1932, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, artist, educator, collector, arts/museum consultant, writer and grants specialist. Wife: Anne, married January 19, 1957, retired registered nurse. Children: Samantha, 37, and Christopher Yung Wook, 35. Grandchildren: Erin 8; Matthew 4.

“As a Rotarian for over 36 years (the last 20 with perfect attendance), a little less than half my age, you would think after years of personal and professional travel on World Campus Afloat, Fulbright grants to Taiwan, Republic of Georgia (2) and Mongolia, and academic jobs abroad, your point of view would have been fixed long ago. Not true! In 2006, I joined Rotary eClub of the Southwest, USA (with members all over the world but I was the first Texan, although now there are four from this state) and Rotary Global History (with membership from 31 regions in the world). With both these influences, my view has expanded and contracted all in the same instance. I now realize that the world has no borders for ideas, philosophy, history and pursuits for peace. This insight expands my vision of the world to a flat world point of view for information, communications, images and stories. At the same time, from a satellite point of view, it has contracted my vision to viewing the world as a village where one must think of neighbors and their needs as well as my (and my family’s) own. In these two views, our home, the earth, is an ocean of knowledge and personalities and ideas and we fish who love to swim in it view it as one place, one globe and one people. Rotary Global History adds greatly to this ocean of knowledge. It is truly “service above self” and “without borders”. Learning to be a Rotarian never seems to end.”

Basil Lewis Essays

Historians who continue this project

Senior Historian, RGHF History Researcher RGHF AMBASSADOR, Basil Lewis: Education Adviser (retired and currently working for BBC Radio); RC of Humberside D1270; District PRO 1993-1998, RIBI Communications Committee 1996-7. Sometime columnist RIBI magazine ‘Rotary’; International Genealogy and Heraldry Fellowship of Rotarians (IGHFR) RIBI Branch Secretary and Newsletter Editor 1995-2001, International President IGHFR 2002 – 2005. 2007. Elected a Life Member in 2009.

Author of ‘Paul Harris in Britain’ available at a now discounted price 10 dollars for US. 5 pounds for UK and equivalent elsewhere.

Basil has been a contributor to the Rotary Global History Project since 2002. Lewis became a contributor to this archive in 2005.

“The origins and development of the Rotary movement are important in a full understanding of our present world position. It is only in such an understanding that we can move into a relevant future. This project seeks to encapsulate the evolution of the whole of Rotary in a way no book or other medium has done so effectively before.”



Left – Basil Lewis at the 2004 Osaka Convention booth

Calum Thomson

Featured writer of RGHF

VP of History, Calum Thomson, CPF, PHF, Major Donor, Benefactor. Transport Management, RC of Longniddry & District, RI D1020 Zone 17.

District 1020 District Rotary Foundation Committee Chair 2007-10, District Grants Sub-committee Chair 2004-07, Member, RIBI Foundation Committee 2009-10, Zone 17 Co-ordinator RI Health and Hunger Resource Group 2009-10, Researcher/writer and History Fellow for Rotary Global History since the winter of 2001 Cal is also the coordinator for the conventions and convention host clubs sections. He is also contributing editor for “Our Foundation Newsletter” and a former contributing Editor of What Paul Harris Said 2006-08. Since 2011, Vice President of History for RGHF, and an essay writer since 2011.

He was awarded the “Ches Perry” Fellowship by the Rotary Club of Chicago.

Appointed to the board in January of 2004.

Elected to the 2004 Board and served as vice-chairman to the 2005-06 Board.

Calum served as Chairman/President of RGHF from 2006-2007.

Calum Thomson Has both LLB and MA degrees and is a member of the Institute of Transport and Logistics (MILT) – and an Associate Member of the Institute of Transport Administration (AMInstTA).

“Looking at my Pelican History of America’s index, I cannot find any references to “Rotary” or “Paul Harris”. I do, incidentally, find the names of some eminent Rotarians such as Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt.

We shall have to find our own history.

Understanding the past is, obviously, important in helping to explain the present. Why, for example, did the movement expand so rapidly? The answer lies with the early pioneers who understood that the “Booster” concept of self interest was flawed and only appropriate for short-term advantage. If the movement could adapt to serve the community both at home and abroad, it would be able to attract men (and women) from every part of the globe.

Rotary has to provide history as a resource for all of its 30,000 clubs. In the age of the world-wide web, it is so easy for one inaccuracy to spread like a common cold. The “History of Rotary” Project web site should be a repository of all definitive answers.

Rotarians, the world over, can examine the past and also read of Rotary critics such as G. B. Shaw or H. L. Mencken and realise that in reality, the sternest critics are club members themselves.

So, let us learn from the past and try to live up to those who began these Adventures in Service.”