In the coming year of Rotary's 117th year, Rotary International has its first women a president of the whole organization. She is President Jennifer Jones of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. But we get ahead of our story. The history of the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach began in July of 1924 when the then-district governor appointed Gene Tilden of the Los Angeles Rotary Club (LA5) to undertake a survey:

July 1924 District Governor Harry S. Mason appointed Gene Tilden of the Los Angeles Rotary Club to survey the City of Redondo Beach in the hopes of being able to organize a Rotary Club. In his 1924 report to Rotary International, Governor Mason noted that a "survey of Redondo Beach was under consideration for a long time, the matter have (sic) been taken up by three district governors preceding myself.

August 1924: Gene Tilden submitted his survey to Governor Mason. He described Redondo as "working class, many who live in this city are employed in surrounding towns and in Los Angeles." He recommended C. Ernest Perkins to chair an organizing committee. Perkins' classification was "state bank" and he was President of American Commercial & Savings Bank.

November 1924: The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach formally applied for membership in Rotary International on this date with 15 charter members. C. Ernest Perkins was elected the club's first president. The club met Thursday at 12:30 in the Elks Club House.

November 1924: The newly organized Rotary Club of Redondo Beach paid the $100.00 charter fee to Rotary International.

December 1924: Membership fees were set at $25 and annual dues at $36. Regular weekly meets were held Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the Elks Club House.

December 1924: In a ballot-by-mail action the Board of Directors of Rotary International voted to admit the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach to membership in Rotary International.

December 1924: The club was formally admitted into Rotary International on this date. It was given the official number 1864.

(left) Charter Banquet at Elks Hall Auditorium, February 6, 1925

February 1931: In correspondence, Russell V. Williams of RI wrote about the "talk of consolidation with Lions Club."

January 1940: Marge Johnson, President of the Redondo Beach Rotary Ann Club, suggested in a letter to the Governor District 107, that "The Rotary Ann pin adopted by Redondo Rotary Ann Club . is the only Rotary Ann pin ever designed so far as we have been able to find out. We hope someday to have it as the official emblem and a means towards the federation of Rotary Ann Clubs." (see Editor's Note below describing how women were admitted to Rotary as full members.)

September 1941: In a letter to President C. Hilker Williams, District Governor Carlos G. Stratton noted that he had forwarded "to Rotary International your club check . for boxes for Rotarian prisoners of war."

April 1958: The Club Activities Report for the District Governor's official visit noted the Redondo Beach Rotary Club sponsored a Little League Baseball Club, contributed to the newly organized South Bay YMCA, contributed $1500 to purchase a "late model 49 passenger bus for the South Bay Salvation Army, sponsored a girl scout troop, worked with the Chamber of commerce on the Neptune Days festival and more.

August 1964: The club continued its association with a Sister Club in Brazil. Also, interclub meetings with the Rotary Club of Ensenada, Mexico were planned.

July 1968: With membership dipping to 45 active members, "all members have been alerted to be on the lookout for good prospective members. Out goal this year is for 12 new members," according to Dr. Jack W. McLaughlin, president of the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach.

November 1970: Membership this year increased to 61 active members, excluding honorary members. But by the following June 30, membership dipped to 49

April 1975: The Rotary Club of Riviera Village, California submitted a letter resigning its membership in Rotary International to R.I. headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. The club had been considering this action for two years with the objective of merging with the adjacent Rotary Club of Redondo Beach.

April 1975: Plans to consolidate the Redondo Rotary Club No 1864 and the Rotary Club of Riviera Village were approved by then District 528 Governor Earl A. Smith. The proposed club name would be Redondo-Riviera Rotary Club effective July 1, 1975, and would operate under the Redondo Charter No. 1864 since the Riviera club was not issued a charter number.

August 1975: R.I. was not particularly pleased with the proposed merger. But after numerous meetings and lengthy discussions, on this date R.I. Director Keith O. Burnham concurred. In a letter to the Head of the Service Division of Rotary International, Burnham wrote, "Considering all circumstances now as they exist, that in the best interest of Rotary, in this case, the Rotary International and it's Board strongly entertain the approach that the Charter for the Riviera Village Rotary Club be surrendered and that immediate steps be taken to fully recognize the Redondo Riviera Rotary Club."

August 1975: In a memo to new District 528 Governor Eugene F. Dublin, R.I. Director Keith O. Burnham wrote that the Board of Directors of Rotary International accepted the resignation and termination of the Rotary Club of Riviera Village. It took an additional several weeks to sort out the boundaries of the newly merged club.

August 1976:Jim Riewer, president of the Redondo-Riviera Rotary Club reported membership of the combined clubs stood at 87.

May 1979: The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach-Riviera Village approved the organization of an additional club within its territorial limits. The club amended its constitution revising its territorial limits to allow formation of a new club.

May 1979: A Rotary International office communication reported the Rotary Clubs of Redondo Beach-Riviera Village and Lawndale "wish to amend their territorial limits in order to release territory for the proposed new club of North Redondo Beach. Approval is recommended."

June/July 1987: The Redondo-Rivera Rotary Club inducted its first female member. Sponsored by her husband, Rob Swaine, Gay Swaine joined as an Additional-Active Member under the classification of Marketing. After a tumultuous start which saw several male members of the club resign, Gay took on the job of Club Bulletin Editor, retired by her husband. Through personal contact with fellow members she was gradually welcomed by all into the Club through her pursuit to write, print and mail an informative and entertaining weeklybulletin each week. Later, at the '88 District Conference she was recognized for her efforts when Gay was awarded a "Merit Quill Award" from Bill Bowermaster, the Governor of Rotary International District 528, for "Excellence in the Publication of Club Bulletin."

June 1998: Club President Steve Aspel sent a letter to Frank Stryczek, Rotary International Service Supervisor, informing him that "the Rotary Clubs of North Redondo Beach and Redondo-Riviera have voted to merge." He added, "The Rotary Club of North Redondo Beach will be dissolving and joining the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach-Riviera Village to form a single club. The new Club shall be named the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach."

July 1, 1998: On this date the club voted to formally change the name of the organization from The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach - RivieraVillage to The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach.

January 7, 1999: The Board of Directors of Rotary International approved an amendment to Article 1 of the constitution of the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach - Riviera Village, California, USA thereby changing the name of the club to: The Rotary Club of Redondo Beach, California, USA.

September 10, 2003: A letter from the Internal Revenue Service confirmed the "Rotary Club of Redondo Beach Riviera Village" enjoys tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the IRS Code. "Your organization is included in a group ruling issued to Rotary International, located in Evanston, Illinois.

November 2007: The Redondo Beach Rotary Club Community Foundation is organized under the leadership of President Colette Paul and achieves tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization.

(Editor's note: In many Rotary clubs throughout the world, wives of male members are affectionately called "Rotary Anns." This designation was never one of disparagement. However, it wasn't until 1977 that women were admitted to full membership in Rotary. In that year, at its 25th Anniversary Celebration, the Rotary Club of Duarte, California USA inducted three women -- Mary Lou Elliott, Donna Bogart and Rosemary Freitag, to become members. A year later the RI Board withdrew the charter of the Duarte club and the club in turn brought suit against RI claiming a violation of state civil rights law that prevents discrimination of any form in business establishments or public accommodations. The case was appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court which affirmed the 1986 ruling of the California Court of Appeals by a vote of 7 - 0, ruling that Rotary clubs do have a 'business purpose' and are in some ways public-type organizations. In early January 1989 the RI Council on Legislation voted to change the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary to admit women. The change took effect on July 1, 1989 and women are officially welcomed into Rotary. In the ensuing years, many women have served as club presidents, district governors and in other leadership positions in the organization. In fact, in the coming year of Rotary International’s 129th year, 2022-23, Rotary has its first women a president of the whole organization. She is President Jennifer Jones of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.