CHARTERED May 27, 1927

District 7890                                                                                        Club 6491

Founded in 1927, the Rotary Club of Bristol, Connecticut is very much a "legacy club," having been established in the first generation history of Rotary, and organized in a smaller New England city with a traditional and typical early 20th century social structure.  Bristol could,now as then, be described as a "working class community."  As the city has grown and the managerial and service sectors of the local economy-along with the cultural aspects of the community-have diversified, we are now an "admirably average" American city, and damned proud of it?  The membership of our club, which as best as its history can be recalled, has rarely varied from its current level... 40 to 60 wise, energetic, committed and generous Bristol Rotarians.  Our roster of "Professional Classifications" includes representatives of the fields of education, manufacturing, municipal and state government, broadcasting, transportation, human services, law, real estate, insurance, building and construction, medicine and insurance.  One of our older members just celebrate his 91st birthday; our newest member is in her very early 20's and is a third generation Bristol Rotarian!  Nearly every member of our club is a past President, has served on our Board of Directors or chaired another significant committee, and many Paul Harris Fellows!  The beneficiaries of our fund raising programs range from our local health care facilities to early education initiatives, from museums and historical entities to environmental and scientific programs.  Our thematic focus is not restricted to but is largely directed toward causes which will address the needs of the young people of the community.  Our annual golf tournament has been our largest fund raiser for nearly thirty years.  In keeping with our club's "legacy" heritage, its two central supporters are local companies with deep roots in and generous commitment to the well being of our hometown.  They are ESPN, founded in 1978, and Barnes Group, Inc., a Bristol-based business since 1857!  Most conspicuously and similarly representative of Bristol Rotary's considerable "legacy" in our community, is our annual Karl J. Schwartz Scholarship program.  Thanks to a bequest from the estate of this former member of our club, the Rotary Club of Bristol is able to award more than $50,000 each year to deserving graduating seniors from a number of high schools in and around our community.


-Hank Cleary