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Rotary Club of Bay City
Founded 1915
The Rotary Club of Bay City has had only a few secretaries in it's 104 year history. Unfortunately, the names of all the secretaries has not been kept except in memory. Some information can be found in old minutes, but it's not certain where all of those minutes are. Interviewing long time members added other information.

Carl Hendershot
Art Milster and wife Bertha
For the record we know that Arthur K. (Art) Milster was perhaps the longest serving Secretary (1924 - 1973). The club's history book published for Rotary's 100th birthday, states:

Art was born in Grand Rapids and came to Bay City in 1911 at the age of 22. He became the manager of the Western Union office and retired in 1960 at age 71. He joined the Rotary Club in 1923 and a year later was elected secretary. He served faithfully in that capacity until 1973 (49 years) and would have served longer but he had to resign to take care of a sick wife.

Art had the title Secretary but in actuality he ran the club. The president presided at our regular Tuesday meetings and at board meetings, but whenever a question came up it was Art who had the answer.

We had a head table in those days and he always sat at the head table along with the president, the programmer, and the speaker. As he sat there looking out over the crowd he took attendance. He did the paperwork for everyone including the treasurer.

He was married to his wife Bertha and they had two sons Stuart and Harold, both of whom were members of the club.

Art undoubtedly had a greater influence in shaping the Rotary Club of Bay City than anyone else in the history of the club. We made him an honorary Paul Harris Fellow in 1965, the first in our club. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Arthur K. Milster, MISTER ROTARY."

The Rotarian magazine's August 1973 issue noted "Arthur K. Milster, of Bay City, Michigan, was presented several citations including one from U.S. President Richard Nixon for 50 years of service through Rotary - 49 of them as his Club's secretary".

Carl Hendershot
Carl Hendershot
Dr. Carl Hendershot (1916-2001, member 1961-2001) was perhaps the second longest serving Secretary with 26 years. He was appointed to the post in 1973, taking over from Art Milster. Carl held the Job until his death in 2001. Carl took a break in 1982-83 to serve as District Governor. Again from the club history book:

Carl Hendershot left the Ohio School System to move to Bay City and join the faculty of Delta College in late 1960. While he was at Delta, he developed a very successful teaching-aids mailing system. In later years, his system was replaced by the computer systems.

Carl was appointed Club Secretary of the Bay City Rotary Club in 1973 and served for twenty-six years. He revised the Club's by-laws and improved the attendance cards and format. Carl was always very precise, accurate and organized which created a wonderful "office of the secretary". Carl was more than the Secretary; he was the "conscience" of the Club. He was the institutional memory of the Club as well. He was an expert when it came to Rotary International rules and policies.

Whenever a change in procedure was contemplated the Club would always check with Carl before implementing to make sure it met his scrutiny as well as complied with the spirit of Rotary.

The only time from 1973 until he died that he wasn't the Club Secretary was 1982-1983. During that time he served as the District Governor of Rotary International representing District 631. District 631 (since changed to District 6310) included the surrounding Clubs in the area (32 clubs). He acted in the same capacity at the District level that he did in the Bay City Club. He was responsible for writing and implementing policies that are still utilized today. He was the chief editor of the "Manual for Rotarians" which was developed by the District as a means of acquainting Rotarians with the mission, privileges, and obligations of Rotary. There were three editions published and Carl was involved extensively in all three.

Many people in Rotary are sometimes introduced as "Mr. or Mrs. Rotary" however Carl truly was Mr. Rotary of Bay City. He and his wife Anna were dedicated Rotarians. They were both Paul Harris Fellows and supported the Rotary Foundation every year. Carl had 40 plus years of perfect attendance and Anna acted as the support staff for everything that the Club did. Anna predeceased Carl who dies in 2001. We will always miss them."

Carl passed the duties to Barb Fisher who served from 2001 to June, 2005.

Barb passed the baton to Stephen Kent who continues to serve to the present (14 years).

Clipping from the Rotarian Magazine found at Google Books
rotarian Sept 1973