Rotary Year 1981 — 1982

District 690 GovernorThomas L. Cooper
Rotary PresidentStanley E. McCaffrey
Home CountryUSA
ThemeWorld Understanding and Peace through Rotary
Convention LocationDallas, TX

The joint committee for the division of the State into three districts met in Athens early in July, 1981. At an all day meeting the committee accepted a plan drawn up by Dr. Walter Martin, outgoing Governor of District 692. This plan split the State down the middle from North to South following 1-75 with allowance for county lines. The East- West line would cut off the top third of the State by following 1-20 from the Alabama State line through the middle of Atlanta and on to Augusta. This division would reduce the geographic areas of each district and have approximately the same number of clubs in each one.

In early visits to Rotary clubs the two 1981-82 governors discussed the redistricting plan with the affected clubs at club assemblies. There was strong opposition to the proposed plan in District 690 relating to the splitting of the clubs in metro Atlanta into two districts. Governor Tom met with the presidents of the metro clubs in September and explained the necessity of reducing the number of clubs and the geographic area of the present districts. There were 19 Rotary clubs in the Atlanta metro area and there was a strong feeling in these clubs that they were a part of Atlanta and that economic, social, and cultural bonds unite them in a manner beneficial to all Rotary clubs in the area. It was obvious that no re-districting plan could pass with this much opposition.

The re-districting committees of both districts met on October 17, 1981, in Marietta and adopted an alternate plan. The new plan moved the East-West dividing line from the middle of Atlanta to the top of Polk, Paulding, and Cobb Counties. The North-South line line from this point followed the outline of DeKalb County south to Jones County and NE to to the top edge of Richmond County.

The proposed new District 690 would have 48 clubs, with 3493 members. District 691 would have 31 clubs with 2011 members, and District 692 would have 38 clubs with 2615 members. This plan left District 690 with a disproportionate number of clubs and members, but it is dominated by the 19 clubs in the metro area. It was the feeling of the committee that there would be little future growth in the metro area. The new District 691 with 31 clubs would be in the fastest growth area with rapid development in the Forsyth and Gwinnett County areas.

(The predictions in growth have proven to be true. Since re-districting in 1983, the three districts have grown from 117 clubs to 186 clubs, and membership from 8,119 to over 12,000 in 1999.)

Tom Cooper was chosen to write up the new proposal and it was submitted to Rotary International Re-Districting Committee in November 1981. The plan was approved by RI and accepted by the clubs in both districts. It was to be effective July 1, 1983.

Tom held a President - Elect conference at Callaway Gardens in March, 1982, with all clubs represented with one excepted. He had a successful District Conference at Jekyll Island in May under the capable chairmanship of John Callaway, of the West End Club. He concluded his year with the District Assembly in Columbus with PDG Harry Jackson, Mayor of Columbus, welcoming the delegates. One of the most articulate of Rotary In