The Rotary Club of Warsaw, established in 1931 at the Hotel Europejski by the then Mayor of Warsaw, Piotr Drzewiecki, stands as the oldest Rotary club in Poland. Its storied history is a testament to the resilience and spirit of the Rotary community.
Before the outbreak of World War II, the club boasted a membership of 80, making it the largest Rotary club in Central Europe. However, the ravages of the war led to its suspension in September 1939. It wasn't until half a century later, in 1989, with the assistance of Rotary clubs from Australia, that the Rotary Club of Warsaw was reestablished, symbolizing hope and renewal in post-war Poland.
Fast forward to February 17, 2021, the club marked another significant milestone with a grand online gathering. The event saw participation from over a hundred individuals, including the esteemed President of Rotary International, Holger Knaack. While the usual in-person gathering was rendered impossible due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the spirit of the event remained undeterred. Attendees expressed their joy and emphasized the core Rotary ideals and the importance of collaboration, even in challenging times.
Among the distinguished guests were Marek Średniawa, the first president of the reestablished Rotary Club of Warsaw, and the granddaughter of President Piotr Drzewiecki, further bridging the past with the present and highlighting the club's deep-rooted connections to its origins.
The event served as a poignant reminder of the club's journey, from its inception in the pre-war era, through its suspension during one of history's darkest periods, to its revival and continued commitment to the Rotary ideals. The Rotary Club of Warsaw's ability to adapt, whether to the challenges of war or a global pandemic, showcases its unwavering dedication to community service and global cooperation.
As the club continues to write new chapters in its illustrious history, it stands as a beacon of hope, resilience, and unity. The recent gathering, albeit virtual, was a testament to the club's enduring spirit and its ability to bring people together, even in the face of adversity. As the world navigates the challenges of the pandemic, the Rotary Club of Warsaw remains a shining example of how communities can come together, celebrate their shared history, and look forward to a brighter future.