Brazil Rotarians are eagerly looking forward to April 28, the date they will celebrate the parent organization's 100th anniversary with Rotary International Vice President John Germ. Germ will become President of Rotary International in two years.
At 11 a.m., Rotarians will gather at the Clay City Welcome Center on S.R. 59 to unveil a monument honoring Sylvester Schiele, Rotary International's first president, who was born south of Clay City, on what is now S.R. 59.
"I feel that we in Clay County want to emphasize that Sylvester Schiele was the first president of the first Rotary Club in Chicago," Amos Thomas, long-time Rotarian and Rotary historian said March 22, the day before Rotary's actual 100th anniversary. The Brazil and other Rotary Clubs gathered in Terre Haute for a special meeting at noon on the 23rd.
Following the monument presentation on the 28th, the group will travel to Schiele's birthplace to lay a wreath in his memory.
At 6:30 p.m., April 28, local Rotarians, their spouses and guests and dignitaries from Indiana Rotary Clubs will gather in Traditions on National Ave. in Brazil for dinner. A social hour is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Indiana State University Faculty String Quartet will play through social hour and dinner.
Special guest speakers for the event will be Germ and Thomas.
Sam Glover, President of the Brazil Rotary Club, is excited about the occasion.
"Since it's the centennial year and Clay City has special ties to Rotary International through Sylvester Schiele, it's neat we can do this," Glover said Monday.
Schiele and Paul P. Harris, acknowledged to be the founder of Rotary, had been friends for five years before they started the first club. Both men were from small towns and appreciated one another's company in the big city of Chicago, Amos said. When the first Rotary Club was formed, Harris nominated Clay County's Schiele to be the first president.
Schiele was a coal dealer and Harris was an attorney.