After serving the community for 71 years, members of the Smithfield Rotary Club voted to dissolve the organization this week.
Due to a decline in membership, the Monday night Smithfield Rotary Club held their last official meeting on June 29th. The remaining members have the option to join other clubs in the area, including the Central Johnston Rotary.
The Smithfield Rotary Club was sponsored by the Clayton Rotary Club on May 7, 1944. The charter meeting was held a few weeks later on June 2, 1944. The founding president of Smithfield Rotary was J. Ernest Bobbitt.
Some of the founding members in 1944 were: John P. Rogers, Norman Humphrey, C. L. Massey, E. O. Brown, John W. Best, C. E. Bingham, G. A. Martin, Guy C. Lee, Willie Gaskin, H. V. Rose, T. W. Simmons, Ed Gregory Jr., G. A. Allen, Fred Walters, E. S. Paddison, R.T. Atkins, Woodrow Jones, William B. Wellons, E. V. Wilkins, Adams J. Whitley Jr., N. L. Perkins, W. A. Rose, Dixon Wallace, and Marvin Jordan.
Current Club President Maria Johnson said the decision was difficult but the organization had not been able to attract any new members in more than a year.
The club plans to hold an event in the near future and invite current and former members to gather one last time.
The Smithfield Rotary conducts a number of community service projects every year including funding the Carl and Marjorie Lamm Scholarship at Johnston Community College. Its remains uncertain if any other Rotary organizations will pick up those projects.