(6) District History

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Between 1915 and 1930, during the American administration of Haiti, some Rotarian marines used to meet every week in Jeremie. About 1930, a Rotary-club was also projected in Port-au-Prince but never chartered.

The records of Rotary International indicate that Rotary within the islands of the Caribbean began with what was called non-district clubs. The first non-district club to receive a charter was The Rotary Club of St Thomas in 1957, followed by The Rotary Club of St Croix in 1958, and by The Rotary Club of Kingston in 1959. Rotary International continued to charter non-district clubs; until 1973, there were some 41 clubs with charters.

In June of 1973, the first Caribbean Convention of non-district Clubs was held in St Kitts. One of the outcomes of this Convention was a petition to Rotary International for the establishment of a district for the clubs of the Caribbean. Rotary International established District 404 on July 1, 1974. All the French, Dutch, and English speaking islands in the Caribbean Diaspora were included. Dr John Watts of Grenada became the first District Governor of District 404. The first District Conference was held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on September 25-28, 1974 with some 314 Rotarians and participants attending. Forty-three of forty-four clubs were represented.

District 404 continued to grow with new clubs developing in most of the Caribbean islands. By the 1979 District Conference in the Virgin Islands, there were some 57 clubs with 2,041 Rotarians situated in the geographical area from the Bahamas in the western Caribbean to Trinidad & Tobago. This created many logistical problems for the new District. For example, many of the mandatory functions of the District Governor such as visiting every club during the first six months of his governorship were virtually impossible with such a spread out District. Thus, Rotary International was petitioned once again to make changes within District 404. The request was for District 404 to be divided into two separate Districts - 404 and 405. District 405 was created for clubs in the Eastern Caribbean, south of the island of St Martin/St Maarten, and the North and Western Islands remained as District 404. District 404 was a part of Rotary International's SACAMA Zone 5 that was predominantly South America and Spanish speaking.

On July 1, 1991, the District number was changed to 4040 to be consistent with the worldwide four-digit numbering by Rotary International. The January 1992 Council on Legislation adopted enactment 92.140 which transferred District 4040 from SACAMA Zone 5 to USCB Zone 10 effective July 1, 1992.

At its March 1992 meeting, the Board of Directors of Rotary International requested the General Secretary to give the District a new number in harmony with the numbers used by the other Districts in USCB Zone 10. Consequently, District 4040 was renumbered as District 7020 with effect from July 1, 1992. The Council of Legislation in 1995 then realigned the districts around the world and on July 11, 1995, placed District 7020 into Zone 21, the new name for the old SACAMA Zone. This decision allowed District 7020 to affiliate with Zone 34, the Southeast United States, for communication and training purposes. At the Council on Legislation in January 1998, a resolution was passed to move District 7020 into Zone 34 effective on July 1, 1998. The District has thrived within this Zone with increased involvement in Rotary International.

The District 7020 is composed of 82 clubs in ten different countries or territories (as of July 1, 2012) :
- Anguilla : 1 club
- Bahamas (except Grand Bahama) : 9 clubs
- British Virgin Islands : 3 clubs
- Cayman Islands : 4 clubs
- French West Indies (St-Martin & St-Barthelemy only) : 3 clubs
- Haiti : 19 clubs
- Jamaica : 29 clubs
- Netherland Antilles (Sint-Maarten only) : 3 clubs
- Turks & Caicos : 2 clubs
- U.S. Virgin Islands : 10 clubs