Happy Birthday: Picayune Rotary Club turns 90

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

party fun: Rotary members participated in photo booth activities during the celebration. Photo by Cassandra Favre

party fun: Rotary members participated in photo booth activities during the celebration.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Last Tuesday, the Picayune Rotary Club celebrated its 90th birthday in style.
Members gathered at Paul’s Pastry Shop for a party complete with food, games, history about the club and a birthday cake, which no birthday party would be complete without.
The group was chartered on February 24, 1925 by the Hattiesburg Rotary, club historian Bill Roberts said. The first club president was Otis Stockstill.
According to rotary.org, the organization identifies specific targets to maximize local and global impact. Rotary International helps individual clubs focus their service efforts in promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.
Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1905, the website states. The club was designed to be a place where professionals with different backgrounds could exchange ideas and form lifelong relationships.
According to the website, the name rotary came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
A.P. Guizerix has been a member of the Picayune Rotary Club since 1964.
“When I came to Picayune in 1963, I bought a business and being a member of Rotary helped me to get to know other business owners in the community,” Guizerix said. “Club members do a lot of good work. We collect money and sponsor projects to make money. We also award scholarships to deserving high school seniors and sponsor a fish fry for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
During the Thanksgiving holiday, the club sponsors a food drive for the needy, Guizerix said.
In 1993, 30-year member Bertha Page became the club’s first female president.
“There were two women members when I joined Rotary,” Page said. “The members are very accepting. Our club promotes volunteerism and service, that’s what we are about. No one has shirked their responsibilities.”
Page now serves as the chair of the Little Free Library at the First United Methodist Church and as a Youth Exchange officer.
During the event, Roberts gave a brief summary of a few notable events of 1925. Calvin Coolidge was president of the United States, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby was published, the total population in the United States was 16 million and the Picayune High School football team won the state championship, he said.
Roberts also named local Rotary past presidents, which were Claiborne McDonald IV, A.P. Guizerix, William Clark, John Pigott, Ron Baumann, Bertha Page, Judy Pippin, Max Huey, Gerald Cruthird, Suzan Wilson, Bruce Kammer, Shane Fitzgerald, Mark Stockstill and Jim Luke. The Rotary’s current president is Mark Herring.
Learn more about the Rotary Club of Picayune at http://www.picayunerotary.com and through Facebook at Rotary Club of Picayune.
Learn more about Rotary International at www.rotary.org

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