The Rotary club of Tinnevelly of Rotary International District 89 was organised on August 21, 1943 under the Presidentship of Mr.V.N.Viswanatha Rao, Collector and District Magistrate, Tinnevelly. Lt. Col. K.R.K. Iyangar, Director of Pasteur Institute Coonoor and Governor of RI District 91 addressed the prospective members and explained to them the objects of Rotary movement and exhorted them to form a club in Tinnevelly. The first meeting of Our Club was held on October 1, 1943.At first, 48 persons offered to join as members.
The following founder team of office-bearers was elected for the year 1943-44.
President: Sri V.N.Viswanatha Rao, Collector, Tinnevelly
Vice-President: Sri. K. Srinivasan, District Judge, Tinnevelly
Hon. Secretary: Sri. S.R.V. Arasu, Imperial Bank of India
Asst. Secretary & Treasurer: Dr K. Rama Ayyar
Directors: Sri. Daniel Thomas
Sri. Sriman Kanthimathinathan Pillai
Sri. J.L.P. Roche Victoria
Sri. C. Machado
Constitution and by-laws were adopted. A territorial limit was the whole of Tinnevelly District. The fee for membership was only Rs.15/- and the annual subscription as Rs.25/- per member. Our club was admitted as a member of Rotary International on December 18, 1944. The charter number of the club is 15948. The club has been meeting regularly at 6.45pm on Mondays, ever since its inception at the District Club premises, Palayamkottai.
Among the founder members, Mr Daniel Thomas and Mr J.L.P. Roche Victoria became ministers in Madras State later on. Mr J.L.P. Roche Victoria led our RI District as Governor and also awarded a knighthood by the pope.
In the first year (1943), a poor home project was organised and a fund was collected for the purpose. Rtn. S.Meenakshi Sundram Chettiar father of Rtn. S.M. Muthiah offered a plot of land, nearly 5 1/2 acres for the poor people to construct the house for them.
Our club has done various projects for the community. The highlights are:
1. Provision of a room to house the blood bank in Govt. Headquarters Hospital, Palaymakottai.
2. Construction of Eye ward in the same hospital.
3. Donation of an Electro Cardiogram to the hospital.
4. A building of a dining hall for the children in the Orphanage in Kanthimathiammal Girls High School, Palayamkottai.
5. Providing a recreation hall in Schafter High School, Tirunelveli Town.
6. Providing a mid-day meal preparation kitchen in Tirunelveli Municipality.
7. Construction of many bus shelters on the city roads.
8. Construction of vocational block in the local Blind School premises.
9. Organising many eye camps with the assistance of Arvind Eye Hospital to operate cataract and to look after them for a week.
10. Construction of a maternity ward with the help of W.C.S. project in Viswa Hindu Parishad Hospital at Cheraikulam village.
11. A pay and use toilet block constructed for use of pilgrims at Tiruchendhur.
12. Traffic island put up near Palayamkottai Bus stand. A bust of Paul Harris is put up in the traffic island.
13. A Rotary block constructed in Our Lady's hospital, Palayamkottai.
14. Construction of Toilet block at Oorudayan Kudieruppu with the help from matching grant.
15. Construction of Toilet block at Kanthimathiammal Girls High School with the help from the matching grant.
16. Construction of Open Well at Veeravanallur under WCS project.
17. Providing clean drinking water bore wells with the help of matching grants programme of RI at Nazareth.
18. Adoption of Keezhanatham Vadakoor Village where community-based projects are carried out at regular intervals.
Mother of All Clubs
Our club has the proud privilege of sponsoring the Rotary club of Tuticorin in 1945 and Nagercoil in 1949. We had only two Rotary Clubs in our Revenue District for a long time till Ambasamudram in 1960. Later Tirunelveli in the year 1973 and Tirunelveli Venuvanam in the year 2002 in our city.