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                                                                      Rotary District 7780 History Trivia

Which clubs transferred from District 7790 to District 7780? 

Chip knew this answer as he was in one of the clubs that transferred to District 7780 from District 7790 – Boothbay Harbor and Damariscotta-Newcastle were the two clubs that transferred into our district. There was some discussion about the Waldoboro Club also but it never happened and unfortunately they soon folded.

When did they become part of District 7780?

The two clubs transferred to our District on July 1, 1992 when Mort Schmidt became District Governor.  A Club transfer between Districts takes place only at the start of a new Rotary year. 

September 19, 1997, Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor Clubhouse.

 They were one of the few clubs in the USA that owned their own building but are currently tenants and considering other space options.

How many clubs transferred from District 779 to District 778 on July 1, 1990?  Thirty one clubs consisting of twenty-two clubs in Maine, eight in New Hampshire and one in Massachusetts, with a membership of 2,035 began our activity as a charter Rotary District 778 on July 1, 1990 with Daniel W. Mooers as our first Governor. 

Which Clubs were they?

The clubs were as follows:

Portland, ME                                       Portsmouth, NH                     Newburyport, MA

Bath, ME                                            Dover, NH

Biddeford-Saco, ME                          Exeter, NH

Sanford-Springvale, ME                     Rochester, NH

Brunswick, ME                                   Hampton, NH

Kennebunk, ME                                  Somersworth, NH

Rumford (River Valley), ME              Durham-Great Bay, NH

South Berwick, ME                             Seabrook-Hampton Falls, ME

Scarborough, ME

South Portland/Cape Elizabeth, ME

Westbrook-Gorham, ME

Ogunquit, ME

Bethel, ME

York, ME

Windham (Sebago Lake), ME

Freeport, ME

Oxford Hills, ME

Wells, ME

Kittery, ME

South Portland-Maine Mall (Portland Sunrise), ME

Saco Bay, ME

Bath Sunrise, ME

To learn more about the history of our District go to District 7780’s Website Yearbook Page and check out the Historical Notes & the District’s “Family Tree”.


Who is the only Past District Governor whose “Memories of his/her year as District Governor” are on the District History page under his/her name?

“Memories of Joseph “Joe” Hahn.  (That was a tough one.)

 Joe Hahn was District Governor in District 779 during 1986-1987.   He is a member of the Rotary Club of Bath, ME. 


 (The RI President M.A.T. Caparas and his wife Nita came to our District on August 3, 1986.)

 Betty and I met M.A.T. and Nita Caparas when they arrived at the Portland airport.  When Nita learned that they would be spending their next three nights at the Shawmut Inn in Kennebunkport, she was delighted.  She had been through many previous nights of “one-night stands” and really wanted to settle down for a while.

Bearing in mind that we made this (club) visit at the end of August, we were required to wear heavy winter clothing.  It was very cold and we managed to find ourselves crawling all over an iceberg that had been stranded on the beach.

 To see more pictures and learn more about Joe’s memories from being District Governor (before, during and after) please go to the District Website, click on Yearbook, then on 1986-1987 and finally click on Joe’s Memories.  Joe did a wonderful job telling about the experience of being District Governor!  So much History is revealed! 

  What types of Scholars have been sponsored by District 7780 Rotary Clubs and how many of each have been sent out?

ImageThe answer is:  We have had 35 Ambassadorial Scholars.  The first Ambassadorial Scholar from what is now District 7780 was Harland Eastman in 1952 sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sanford-Springvale, ME.  He joined the Rotary Club of Sanford-Springvale in 1979 and was club president in 1989-1990.  He is now an honorary member.  Harland is very proud of the fact that he was the first Ambassadorial Scholar!  Our last Ambassadorial Scholar was in 2003, Timothy Warren Little sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brunswick, ME.  We have not sponsored Ambassadorial Scholars since then.  Check out the District History page to see who else has been an Ambassadorial Scholar and which clubs sponsored them!

We have had one University Teacher Grant Recipient.  It was Professor Douglas Morris sponsored by the Rotary Club of Durham-Great Bay, NH in 1995-1996.  He went to Hangzhou University in China which at that time was a non-Rotary Country for 3 months to teach English.

 We have had three Rotary Peace Fellows chosen but only the last two opted to go.  In June 2007, we nominated Brian Sandberg who attended the Universidad del Salvador in Brazil and completed the Master’s Degree program.   In 2009, we nominated Darren Wallach who attended Chulalongkorn University and completed the Professional Development Certificate.  They were both sponsored by The Rotary Club of Portland, ME.  There are only 70 picked each year in the entire Rotary World and we have had three picked and two go – good job District 7780!

What are the names of the District Governors that served as GSE Team Leaders prior to becoming District Governor?


The names of GSE Team Leaders who later became District Governor (or are in line to be District Governor) are as follows:

Craig Wellman – 1992-1993 GSE Team Leader to Australia and District Governor in 1996-1997.

Peter Johnson – 1996-1997 GSE Team Leader to Sweden & Poland and District Governor in 2001-2002.

Marty Peak Helman – 2007-2008 GSE Team Leader to the Philippines and District Governor in 2012-2013.

Carolyn Johnson – 2008-2009 GSE Team Leader to Poland and will be District Governor in 2013-2014.

Lawrence Furbish – 2011-2012 GSE Team Leader to Germany and will be District Governor in 2014-2015.

NOTE - We have had three Past District Governors who have also been GSE Team Leaders.

James Labrie – 1990-1991 GSE Team Leader to Mexico and was District Governor in 1989-1990.  Jim was the only GSE Team Leader that was able to take his spouse, Ellen Labrie, before the rules were changed not to allow couples.

Orville Ranger – 1993-1994 GSE Team Leader to India and was District Governor in 1983-1984.

Elias Thomas III – 2002-2003 GSE Team Leader to India and was District Governor in 2000-2001.

You can obtain more information on all the Past District Governors if you visit the District History Yearbook and the current and future District Governors are listed on the first page of the website.  


Which country has District 7780 had the most GSE exchanges with and what Rotary year did District 7780 have two outgoing and two incoming GSE teams?

The answers are India is the country with which we have had the most exchanges - four exchanges.  In the 2000-2001, there were two outbound and two inbound teams.

 As of November 30, 2012, India was number two in the Rotary World for the most clubs and Rotarians with 3,164 clubs and 121,082 Rotarians with the USA being Number one with 7,820 clubs and 343,130 Rotarians.


In 1987, District 3110 was welcomed to then District 779.

May 28, 1994 District 7780 welcomed District 3050 GSE Team consisting of Team Leader Vimal Raj. Singhvi, Deepak Singh Gehlot, Dr. Sunita Kumbhat, Veenu Paliwal and Dr. M.R. Prakash.  Their picture is in the June 1994 Governor’s Newsletter.

In 2003, District 3010 was welcomed to District 7780.

In 2010, District 3030 was welcomed to District 7780.  A team member got DG Jeff Pelkey up doing a tradional Indian Folk Dance at the District Conference.  Dr. Choudhary’s hobby is classic dance which she demonstrated for us.  Pritam Nikal, Master of Arts in Music did a duet with District 7780 Team Member Elizabeth Trice.  Check out the May 2010 District Newsletter for pictures!

Unfortunately, I do not have all the names of the incoming team members.  If you or your club have never spent time with an incoming GSE Team when they are in the district, you are missing out on a wonderful experience!  You should have our District outgoing team to your club upon their return to do a presentation – what an experience!

In 2000-2001, we had two GSE exchange teams – one to Turkey and the other one to Ethhiopia/Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda

Where was the first RYLA Conference held and which location has had the most District 7780 RYLA Conferences?

The answer: The University of New Hampshire in Durham New Hampshire hosted the first, but the most RYLA conferences have been at Camp Hinds in Raymond Maine.
Image Image

Who is the only District Secretary that has also served as a District 7780 Governor?

The answer: PDG Mort Schmidt from the Rotary Club of Portsmouth


Mort was District Secretary in 1989-1990 for District Governor James Labrie while we were still part of District 779.  Mort was District 7780 Governor in 1992-1993.  He is a long time member of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth, NH.  Mort has his own veterinary business in Portsmouth, NH.  Whenever he is introduced in his club some of the long time members “bark” like dogs because of Mort’s profession.  Mort is a very dedicated Rotarian and strong supporter of the Rotary Foundation.  To learn more about Mort go to the Yearbook Page on the District Website  Mort Schmidt and check out his biography under his year as District Governor. 


Who is the Rotarian that served as District 7780 Secretary twice, but has never been a Club President?

The answer:  Pamela (Pam) Gray from the Rotary Club of Kittery.  Pam was the District Secretary the first time for DG Marie Williams in 1997-1998 and the
second time for DG Jeff Pelkey in 2009-2010.

Pam joined the Rotary Club of Kittery on June 1, 1989.  She has been very involved in the club over the years.  She was Club Secretary from 1989-1994 and again from 1996-1997.  She has chaired for a number of years the clubs involvement in the Red Cross Blood Drive.  The Club hosts it every other month and the Lions do the alternate months.  She is usually there every month from start to finish!   She is Club Membership Chair once again this year.  To help promote membership last year Pam came up with the Foster Award!   Many of you may know her, as Pam is a well known real estate broker in the Seacoast.  She is very involved and supportive of the club.  There are very few club events or fundraisers that you don’t see Pam there! 

Which DGE was the first one to have their picture in color in a newsletter? 

The answer:  Patricia (Trish) Hunter in 2002-2003 during DG Tim Placey’s year.  Tim was the first DG to email his newsletters out and it was the first one in color.


Patricia & Ted Hunter

Patricia “Trish” Hunter, District Governor 2003-2004

Trish was the second woman governor of District 7780 and the youngest District Governor in the world in 2003-2004.  She started the District Website in 2003 and put up the first District Newsletter in August 2003.  It was the start of the District 7780 Newsletter being available to anyone in the Rotary world!

Trisha was born in New York City and raised on the coast of Maine.  She met Ted Hunter, from Woolwich, and they married and settled down.  In 1992, Trisha and Ted joined the Brunswick Coastal Rotary Club.  She served as Club Secretary for four years and was elected President in 1999 for two successive terms.  During her tenure, the Coastal Club applied for and was awarded a $150,000 3H Grant from the Rotary Foundation for an AIDS hospice in Kwa-Zulu, South Africa.   Trisha’s Rotary classification is computer software although now she very successfully sells cars.

To learn more about Trish  go to the District Website home page, click on Trish Hunter to see her entire bio from her District Directory and her newsletters to learn what was accomplished by the Rotarians in the District in 2003-2004.