On May 31, 2014, the Stockton East Rotary club (Renamed Stockton Pacific Rotary August 2011) celebrated it's 40th birthday. The club has been in existence just over four decades. Stockton Pacific Rotary club is as strong as it has ever been.
Stockton East was founded during the 1973-74 governorship of Rotarian John Lunney. At that time, as large as the city of Stockton was, it had only two Rotary clubs - Stockton (est. 1914) and North Stockton (est. 1957). There have been six clubs in Stockton since 1987. Governors preceding Lunney had talked about expansion; none had acted. John Lunney acted. He asked Duke Duecker of the Stockton club and Bob Hough, the North Stockton president that year, to help him out. Hough, in turn, asked North Stockton's immediate past president, "Bushy" Crump, to be the DG's "Special Representative" and to take charge of the project. Several other North Stockton members provided Bushy with able assistance. Founding Members Dan Walker and Collins Wight were assigned to become the core of the club.
Governor Lunney had known Army Officers Dan Walker and Collins Wight of the Manteca club for a long time. Both men lived in Stockton. Col. Walker was a member of the Manteca club because of a Gentlemen's Agreement. By tradition, the Commanding Officer of the Naval Communications Station on Rough and Ready Island was a member of the Stockton club. The C.O. of Sharpe Army Depot (Col. Dan Walker at that time) was a member of the Manteca club.
Dan Walker and Collins Wight went to work with a passion. Col. Dan, in particular, was very well connected in the Stockton community. He was a Board member of the United Way, 49er Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Better Business Bureau, and the Stockton Delta Humane Society. Among them, the members of the project team recruited more than thirty new Rotarians. In December of 1973 they formed a provisional club.
The Stockton club met at noon Wednesdays, North Stockton met at noon Tuesdays. It was suggested that the new club meet at noon Mondays or at noon Fridays. Wisely, the club adopted the Friday time. For several months the provisional club met at a variety of locations. The Stockton Inn, Shadows, West Lane Bowl, and the Islander at Ben Holt and Pacific. Eventually the Islander went out of business and the building was moved to Highway 99 and became the Chicken Kitchen-Pollardville. About a month before the club was chartered, the members settled on West Lane Bowl as its permanent home. Charter member Ray Delucci was then, and for many years after, West Lane Bowl's manager.
Stockton East Rotary club, named for its meeting location on the east side of Stockton, was chartered May 31, 1974, at the Stockton Inn. Lino Giovanetti was the club's first president. Jay Baker became the club's first newsletter editor. He selected the name The Grapevine as a name that represented this geographical area. Jay also created the newsletter's original logo. Hank Damos had the honor of becoming the club's first post-charter member.
* Collins Wight passed December 2, 2007
* Dan Walker passed December 22, 2007
Both will be dearly missed.
Renamed Stockton Pacific Rotary Club August 2011