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A History of District 5080
We all know that Rotary began when Paul Harris formed the first club in Chicago in 1905.  It wasn’t until 1908 that the second Rotary Club was started in San Francisco.  The West Coast proved to be fertile ground for the growth of the fledgling organization.  1909 saw clubs organized in Oakland (#3), Seattle (#4), and Los Angeles (#5).  In the next year, Tacoma became the 8th club in Rotary.  In 1911, Spokane became the 21st Rotary Club in a rapidly growing organization.  Soon thereafter, Rotary became International with admission of the 35th club, Winnipeg.
In 1912, for administrative purposes, Rotary was divided into territories known as “Divisions”.  In 1914, the clubs in the Division, which included all of the Pacific Northwest, decided to hold their own conference.  Held in Tacoma, this was the first of what we know today as “District Conferences”.
In 1921 “Divisions” were changed to “Districts”.  We were in District #1.  When Rotary expanded into Alaska in 1925, District #1 included Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
Rotary continued to expand and Districts were divided and re-numbered.  In 1936 we became part of District #102.  The following year this was split and we were in #101.  In 1945 we were split into District #103 which is the area comprising our current District and our neighboring District to the West, District 5060.  In 1949 we were renamed as District 153 and in 1956, we were split into our present territory and designated as District #156.
At that time, with our current territory, we had 24 clubs and 1,459 members.  The following year we were renamed as District 508 and, when Rotary went with four digit District numbers, a ‘0’ was added and we achieved our current designation – District 5080.
In our history as a district, from #1 in 1921 and through all our territorial divisions, we have always been international.  Our clubs lobbied long and hard to maintain that international status at every proposed territory split.  District 5080 proudly proclaims the true spirit of Rotary: “There are no Borders”.