Taken From A History Of Exchange Clubs In Georgia
Compiled And Written By Joe F. Pruett
Georgia had it’s introduction to Exchange when National Secretary, Harold M. Harter come to Atlanta from Toledo, Ohio headquarters and presented 30 members of the Exchange Club of Atlanta a charter on Friday, January 26th, 1923.
Secretary Harter in presenting the main address told the grtoup that he had hopes of organizing a state organization, but it would be necessary that there be four charter clubs before such an organization could be formed. Among the cities requesting charters at the time were Savannah, Macon, and Carrollton.
The news off Exchange began to spread and Secretary Harter, recognizing the potential in Georgia sent Mr. Percy Wright, Extension Chairman of the Exchange Clubs of Florida, to follow leads from clubs desiring affiliation Mr. Wright’s first stop was Macon and with the help of the Atlanta club Macon was presented their charter on July 13, 1923. Next came Augusta on August 8th of that year.
The first three clubs were followed the 1924-25 year by Griffin, and Reynolds, Savannah, and Unadilla joined the ranks in 1925-26.
Georgia Clubs Become Affiliated
It was Spring and on April 4-5, 1926, 76 men and 42 of their wives representing nine Georgia communities gathered in Macon to organize the Georgia Affiliated Exchange Clubs.
At that meeting, an address “Exchange From The National Viewpoint” was given by National Secretary Harold Harter. Later in the business session which followed, the By-Laws were adopted and officers elected. Sid R. Phillips, an aggressive newspaper man from Macon was named President; William H. Beck Jr.,an attorney from Griffin, First Vice-President; W. Lee Morrison from Atlanta, Second Vice-President; William M. Lester, another attorney from Augusta, Third Vice-President; C.R. VanSant, owner of a musical store from Macon, Secretary; W.A. Nipper from Rochelle, Treasurer; R.D. Ernest from Savannah, Marshal, and Robert A. Collins, Sentry. Following the session, delegates and guests posed for a picture in front of the Dempsey Hotel by photographer Henry Merker, a member of the Macon Club.