Rotary Club of Cohoes - District 7190


About Rotary
What is Rotary? 

Club History

Board, Officers
and Committees 

Our ByLaws



Club Calendar

How to Join Rotary?




Rotary International
 Memorial Site

Rota-Briefs - Club Business Newsletters

Cohoes Rotary


Clean Cars for Rotary

Ornament Sale

The Rotarian

Rotary Google

CNY Rotary



Contact Us


  History of the Cohoes Rotary

History of the Cohoes Rotary When the Cohoes Rotary Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1977, the opening page of the program book read: “The history of Rotary is indelibly interwound with the history of our nation, from the beginning of the first Rotary Club in Chicago in 1905 to the formation of Rotary International five years later. The significance of an organization such as Rotary, with its hundreds of thousands of members in more than 150 countries throughout the free world, is liberally etched in living monuments-men in whom giving and serving are firmly implanted and intensely rooted in the Rotary ideal, which is nowhere more evident than in our own club here in Cohoes. The humanitarian response to charitable appeals, the foresight and vision, the desire to serve our community continues after half a century to inspire good deeds and good works. ‘Service Above Self’ is a golden thread which knits together the fifty years of Rotary service here in Cohoes with its ideal untarnished as we set our course for the future, with pride in our past and confidence in the continued flourishing of those achievements which spell Service.”

On May 20, 1927, when newspapers were filled with stories about the famous Lindberg flight, The Troy Record also featured an article about the formation of the Cohoes Rotary Club. It read that more than one hundred Rotarians, including a delegation from the Troy Rotary Club, attended ceremonies on May 19, 1927 to present the charter from the headquarters of Rotary International to the newly organized Cohoes Rotary Club. Edward C. Doyle, a member of the Troy club acted as organizer of the new club as the special representative of the Rotary district governor.

District Governor Otto F.L. Mohn of the 29th Rotary District presented the charter to Cohoes club president Chester A. Davis. District Governor Mohn stated, “It is the men who live in a spirit of friendship and kindliness which Rotary desires to obtain. The men who are interested in other men, in the places in which they live, where they work, and where they play, make the ideal Rotarians. Service is the dominant note of Rotary. You can hear it at every meeting of a Rotary Club, and it is sounded in everything that Rotary Plans to do.”

Other speakers at the charter event included Past District Governor Raymond J. Knoeppel of New York City, District Governor Nominee J. Thatcher Sears of the Glens Falls Club, President James W. Smith of the Troy Rotary Club, President Charles H. Johnson of the Albany Rotary Club, and President Edward H. Rushmore of the New York City Rotary Club.

President Smith of the Troy club stated that his club was proud to be the “father” of the new Cohoes Rotary Club and promised assistance to the new organization. He urged the new group to choose its membership with care, and to obtain for its ranks only men of the highest type in each classification. He also recommended that the membership committee be kept secret, a practice of the Troy club and many others in the district. In this manner, new members could be chosen impartially without undue pressure from interested parties.

Following the presentation of the charter, Dr. Mortimer J. Barrett, past president of the Troy Rotary Club, on behalf of the parent club, presented a Rotary bell and striker to President Davis of the Cohoes Club. Edward C. Doyle, the Master of Ceremonies, presented American and Rotary flags to the new group.

Besides delegations from Troy and Albany, the Rotary Clubs of Schenectady, Catskill, Saratoga Springs, Mechanicville, Ballston Spa, Amsterdam, Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, and Kingston were represented. Letters of congratulations were received from Hastings-on-Hudson and Staten Island.

A double quartet from the Troy Rotary Club entertained during the evening and George Elwell of the Albany Club led a program of community singing.

The officers of the newly formed Cohoes Rotary Club were Chester A. Davis, President; J. Harry Lear, Vice President; Perry U. Fuller, Secretary; Dr. M. J. Keough, Treasurer; William S. Clark, Sergeant-at-Arms. The club’s Board of Directors included Mr. Davis, Dr. Keough, Mr. Lear, Mr. Fuller and James P. Dooley, George A. Buchanan, and Ernest C. Game.

One major change has occurred in Rotary since it was founded. The 1989 Rotary International Council on Legislation voted to admit women into Rotary Clubs worldwide. But the desire for camaraderie among business associates that brought together four men in 1905 led to an international organization of service and fellowship that still exists today. Rotary International now has 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide whose members believe that changing the world starts with a commitment to “Service Above Self.” You'll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio.

Today the members of the Cohoes Rotary volunteer their time and talents for the betterment of the people of the City of Cohoes and the world. The club sponsors an annual scholarship awarded to a graduating senior from Cohoes High School. The Cohoes Rotary has adopted Cayuga Plaza and works to maintain the area as part of the City of Cohoes Beautification Program. The proceeds from all fundraising done by the club each year is given back to the community or Rotary International in the form of donations to organizations such as the Cohoes Community Center, the Cohoes Senior Center, the Cohoes Library, the Salvation Army, Counseling Care and Services, the Juvenile Diabetes Association, and the Rotary Foundation. Members of the Cohoes Rotary are looking forward to another 85 years of service to the community and the world. For further information about Rotary go to or for information about the activities of the Cohoes Rotary go to

    Thank You To
Spindle City Historic Society

Rotary Club of Cohoes
P.O. Box 81
Cohoes, NY 12047

“Cohoes...a community that cares.”

"Service above Self"