Last Tuesday, members of Madera’s Noon Rotary Club celebrated their 90th birthday. Members and guest filled the dining room at the Madera Municipal Golf Course, and their pride in their history was abundantly evident.
It brought to mind two other milestones in the history of Rotary International in Madera. The first was 1922, when Madera’s first Rotary club was organized, and the second was when the Rotarians celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1947.
Madera’s Rotarians were organized in May 1922 in the office of attorney Sherwood Green and began meeting in the Mace Hotel on the corner of Yosemite Avenue and E Street. The operators of the hotel’s restaurant served the club during its meetings, and Virginia Short, a music teacher at Madera High, served as its first song director.
From the hotel, the Rotarians moved to a residence on 2nd and C streets, which later became the home of Dr. and Mrs. G.G. Hawkins. Then, when the First National Bank was completed, the Rotary Club met in the basement of that building. After that, it moved to the Aragon Hotel when it replaced the Alta Hotel, which burned in 1931...