George joined our club in 1966 and was club president in Rotary year 1973-74. Until he moved to Vermont in 2007, he was the most active, involved member of RCWP. Our club elected George as a lifetime honorary Rotarian so he could continue his White Plains membership while living in Vermont.
George had a reputation for being one of the most organized people ever. He had files for everything and knew where to find it. Unknown to most of us, however, was that George was a specialized stamp collector. He collected commemorative Rotary postage stamps issued by countries around the world -- only postage stamps recognizing Rotary International -- and there are literally thousands of such stamps from all over the world.
Here for posterity are photographs comprising a partial archive of George Koplinka's stamp collection:
Some archival photos of George Koplinka:
Bill Leeney was the founder of our club and served as the second president (1920-21). In the Spring of 1919, William L. Leeney, formerly Chairman of the Board of Genungís Department Stores, was urged by a member of the New York City Rotary Club to organize a club in White Plains. Bill thought well of the idea and invited several local business and professional men to meet and discuss the possibility of such an organization. All were in hearty agreement.
The first meeting place was the Orawaupum Hotel. The next place was on the second floor of a building at Grove and Main Streets, which apparently was far from suitable as Bill Leeney dubbed it ďa terrible dump.Ē
The archival information below was sent to us in 2008 by Jonathan Hughes, whose grandmother was Rhoda M Leeney, a niece of Bill Leeney. Jonathan was researching his ancestry and thought we would be interested in knowing about our founder. Thanks, Jonathan!
Bill Leeney died in 1971 at the age of 87. His wife did not die until September 1982, so they both lived long lives. Their son Arthur Cortney Leeney died in an accident at age 18 (PDF:NYTimes 8/20/1934). One week later, Bill's father, Harold Leeney, age 82, also died (PDF:NYTimes 8/29/1934). The daughter, Muriel, born about 1914, was mentioned in the Times when she got married (PDF:NYTimes 12/29/1937): "Miss Muriel Leeney, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Leeney of this place, was married this afternoon to Ulric R. Jaeger, son of R. Richard Jaeger of Mamaroneck, in the Westchester Country Club."
This remainder of this page is basically "old stuff" that probably has little or no value... but is retained on this page until I find a better place for it. Also, as we discover other archival information, I'll add it to this page. -- Webmaster
Her poem referred to several characteristics of the prior year's meetings, such as having the club recite the 4-way test, a practice Ted introduced but many old-time members found annoying. Following the 2007-08 year, as new presidents presided, the 4-way test was no longer recited.
To Our Little Rotarian "Teddy Bear"
Your type ďAĒ personality, sometimes a bit on the edge,
kicked in every Tuesday when you started reciting the pledge.
We know you love photography, email, anything techno and fine;
Letís not forget youíre an expert, connoisseur of real fine red wine.
We enjoyed your year as prez, and think your web is the best.
What we miss most of all each week, is reciting the four-way test.
You gave of your time, and would sometimes say,
Iíll teach you to fish as in the bible; thatís just my way.
Now that your year is up, you can again enjoy your lunch.
With you at the head of the helm, ours was a great Rotarian bunch.
Congratulations on a job extremely well done.
I enjoyed being your president-elect.
Together we had great fun.
2008 By Georgene Mongarella, RCWP
The Rotary Club of White Plains is Club 5043, District 7230, Zone
32, Region USCB, Federal tax ID 13-6111471. The "Foundation of the
Rotary Club of White Plains" is tax exempt, New York State #219346,
tax ID 13-6165380.
The Rotary Club of White Plains was chartered October 1, 1919, charter number 540. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1712, White Plains NY 10602. Website created August 2001.
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