Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rotary's Longest Member Remembers

Herald-Patriot, June 26, 2014
Sandra Knebel, Staff Writer

Club celebrates 90th Anniversary

   There are but a handful of Rotarians throughout the world who attain as much as 50 years of service to Rotary.  The Rotary Club of Chariton has one such member, Lynn Johnson, who for five decades has served the local club, the district and Rotary International.  In thinking back, Johnson said, "I grew up with Rotary," and proceeded to remember the people and programs that influenced his life of service.
   Johnson began with his father, Russell Johnson, who was running Johnson Machine Works at the time.  "When I went to school, there was no school cafeteria, so we walked home for lunch each day.  So I would be at home when Dad would come in from the plant and get ready to attend the Rotary meeting.  It was on Fridays then as it has been all these years.  So in 1964 at the invitation of Dr. Glen Garton, I became a member of the club myself.  It was just natural for me to say yes."
   Lynn remembered one of his earliest experiences with how Rotary members are so willing to help one another.  "I had asthma when I was younger.  Dr. Yocom was a Rotarian and suggested to my father that we go to Duluth in August to get some relief from the pollen and its after effects.  Dad had hay fever.  This would have been in the late 40's or early 50's.  So we went to Duluth.  When our symptoms did not get better, dad took out his Rotary Directory that he always kept in the car.  He called the President of the Duluth Rotary Club.  We not only got a recommendation for a doctor, we got appointments for the very next day!"
   His work for Rotary includes a term as President of the Chariton Club (1968-69), the District Governor's area representative, the representative of District 600 in South Africa, member of the Paul Harris couples exchange committee and forum leader on Rotary Foundation at district assemblies.  Johnson was also chairman of the Rotary group study exchange committee.  At that time Johnson was vice-president of Johnson Machine Works.
   In ending, Lynn Johnson said, after 50 years in Rotary, he would describe it as an organization composed of many kinds of men and women - some more fully inspired with zeal than others.  But all members, at one time or another, have managed to progress towards their ideals while having a good deal of plain, wholesome, fun.  Some of this fun is in the form of programming, some of it is in the fellowship of the weekly meetings or other Rotary gatherings, and some of it is in the quiet satisfaction of a job well done.

No comments:

Post a Comment