Centennial Back-Flash, 03-07-2019
Silvester Schiele, The First Rotary Club President
Silvester Schiele First Rotary Club President
29 June, 1870 - 17 December 1945
 It was Paul and Silvester who met for dinner on Thursday evening, the 23rd of February 1905.
Silvester attended school in Terre Haute. Service in the military during the Spanish American war was followed by a move to Chicago. There Silvester involved himself in the coal trade, perhaps using contacts from the mining areas of Indiana.
The story has often been told about how in 1896, he found himself unable to recover 20 dollars which he had loaned to a friend. Passing by his coal office frequently was a young lawyer, and one day Silvester asked this young lawyer to help him collect the money.
The lawyer was Paul Harris and thus began a friendship between the two men which continued for the next 50 years. Schiele and Harris even shared a hotel room in those early years of the century when both were still bachelors. They often dined together at Madame Galli's where, on February 23, 1905, the 'gang of four' met to discuss the formation of what later became the Rotary movement.
In 1909, Silvester married Jessie MacDonald of Michigan who was to assist him throughout their life together. The two couples, Paul and Jean Harris, and Silvester and Jessie Schiele became great friends and neighbors as well as often holidaying together. In death the two men lie close to each other in the Mount Hope Cemetery.
It was Silvester who suggested to Paul that each of the members of the new club should give a talk about their business, thereby starting a tradition for new members which continues to this day. Silvester had become a successful and Christian businessman and was President of the Schiele Coal Company from 1902 until he retired in 1939.   Silvester Schiele became the first President of the Chicago Club and remained involved in Rotary throughout his life.
He did not take any international office until July 1945, when he was made International Treasurer. He was not to fill the post for long, dying in Chicago at the age of 75 on December 17, 1945.
Silvester set a great example for all the thousands of Rotary club presidents who followed him in the first century of Rotary’s growth and service to humanity.
We will honor him along with our own founder and the 99 other presidents who followed him, August 24, 2019, in “Celebrating a Century of Changing Lives in Marshall – and Beyond”
Group Study Exchange
An article in the Marshall News Messenger, dated June 3rd, 1981, describes the experience of the first Rotary Group Study Exchange program in Rotary District 5830, in East Texas, when a group of six men from District 136 in Iceland were hosted by the Rotary Club of Marshall for a few days in March of 1980.
Rotary districts in one country send a team out one year and the next year receive a team from their paired district, which in this case was led by Gene Terry, a lawyer from Jefferson and member of the Jefferson Rotary club.  The GSE program does not benefit Rotarians or relatives of Rotarians, so the other five members of the team were selected on the basis of their own professional or business.
Group study exchange, an educational activity of the Rotary foundation,  offered a unique person-to-person opportunity for friendly relations, by providing travel grants for the exchange of teams of young business and professional men between paired Rotary districts in different countries, enabling them to study the institutions and ways of life of their hosts and to develop personal acquaintances and, as the name implies exchange ideas.
Through such exchanges The Rotary Foundation hopes to promote better understanding and friendly relations among the people of the world.  Each district selects its own Group Study team.  Five men between the ages of 25 and 35, representing a cross-section of business and professions in the district are carefully chosen based on recommendations and interviews. 
Transportation costs are paid by the Rotary foundation. Hey house Rotary district provides meals, lodging and travel expenses in the country. Souvenirs and uniforms were bought District 5830.  Each team member is responsible for personal expenses clothing and incurrence.
In 1980-81 The Rotary foundation sponsored approximately 135 group study exchange team Come up with 675 men, at a cost of $1.3 Million.
The Rotary Club of Marshall has been involved in one way or the other, almost every year since then, but often with little or no public recognition to document it.
The next GSE exchange occurred in 1985 when Sam Moseley was in charge of planning and direction a 6-week tour of East Texas and schedules a week in Marshall in July.  The team leader was a prisoner of war interred in Paris Texas.
Marshall members have acted as Team Leader on several occasions, including Sam Moseley, who led a team to Uruguay, PDG Cecil Tomlinson, who led a team to India, PDG Ben Agnor, who led a team to Tasmania, and Kenneth Fitzgerald, who led a team to South Korea.
Marshall has hosted GSE teams from a multitude of countries, including: Africa, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iceland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Mozambique, Philippines, Sweden, South Africa, Tasmania, and Uruguay.
Uncounted friendships and a deeper understanding and appreciation of and awareness of needs beyond our borders, have come from the Group Study Exchange experiences, and will be long remembered and celebrated August 24, 2919, along with thousands of other equally life-changing experiences remembered and honored from the past century.
 We encourage each of you to submit your own memorabilia, photos, anecdotes about these members and  projects to either the "Official" email of the Centennial Celebration committee, or leave a message on the dedicated phone number.
email:  ---  phone: (903) 471-8030 
Please contact your friends and family who have been a members of the Marshall Rotary Club and ask them to send us their email address, so that we can add them to this "Centennial Back-Flash" list, and share these stories with them as well
Russell Hampton
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