Mrs. Oliver Golding in 1923 took the first step to form an organization which today is considered as one of the largest organization of women in this world. The objects of Inner Wheel is to promote true Friendship, to encourage the ideals of Personal Service, to foster International understanding.
Mrs. Oliver Golding was born in the town of Hay on Wye and was of Welsh origin. She was trained as a nurse and served as
such during the First World War
Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905 formed the first Rotary Club. Mrs. Oliver Golding called a meeting for the purpose of setting up a club on the Rotary lines - on 15th November 1923 at Herriot's Turkish Baths in Deansgate, Manchester. Jay French writes – “it was a curious first meeting place, held in the cooling room of baths, On being asked much later why such an exta – ordinary “choice of venue' had been made, Mrs. Golding admitted naively that it had been the only room that they could get for nothing. This thriftiness has always been the guiding factor of Inner Wheel.
The next meeting was held on the 10th of January 1924. It was held at the social Club, Lower Mosely Street, Manchester and marked the actual commencement of the movement. This day is celebrated as “International Inner Wheel Day”.
From the carefully preserved minutes – the First Inaugural of the first IW Club of the world, was attended by 27 members. The objects were clearly defined as “friendship & Service”. In 1936 the decision was taken to mark the occasion of a Club's formation by granting a Certificate of membership (now called Charter).
Birth of Inner Wheel in India
The first Club in India was formed at Ahmedabad in 1955. Mrs. Minnie Camma was the Charter President of Inner Wheel Club of Ahmedabad. Slowly the Inner Wheel movement spread its wings to other cities in India. Four Districts, Dist. 75,Dist. 317(S), 315, and Dist. 310 were formed in the year 1966 – 67.
When the first International Inner Wheel President Lavender Weightman visited India there were 22 Clubs with three Inner Wheel Districts. And by the end of her term as International President there were 85 Clubs with 2000 members in India.
A National Council was formed in the year 1968 with Dr. Malti Rana as the first International Inner Wheer Representative (I.I.W.R). District 75 was later changed to Dist 305. 1970 saw more Districts added to the National Council. Dist 320, 318, 314. 310, and 311. Dr. Malti was followed by Dr. Dipika Shah, Malati Ramakrishna Rao, Meher N. Framjee, Asma Mascati and Nagamani Chandrashekar as I.I.W.R's.
History of Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in India & SriLanka
On the 1st of July 1976 the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in India and Sri Lanka was born with Raksha Mehta as the first Association President. The first Association President Mrs. Raksha Mehta was installed on the 11th of July 1976 in Bombay. The Association had a Governing body with 10 Council Members from Districts 305, 306, 310, 311, 314, 315, 317, 318, 320 and 321.
Association Council Meetings were held on 11th & 12th July 1976 and 9th , 10th of February 1977 at Bombay and Madras respectively. The Council worked to consolidate and improve the administrative work of the Districts. Some guidelines for District Conferences and Assemblies were formulated at the Council Meeting held at Madras. Discussions on division of Dist 310, 318, and 321 were held. Dist 310 bifurcated into 309 and 310 with 14 Clubs each. Dist 318 divided into Dist 318 and Dist 319 with 24 Clubs and 19 Clubs respectively. Dist 321 did not wish to bifurcate, six clubs of Sri Lanka did not wish to bifurcate either. The four non Districted Clubs in Dist 325 formed a new District 325 which was later renumbered as Dist 329
The first Association Conference was organized by the Council and was held in Bombay on the 5th/ 6th January 1977. About 410 Delegates attended from all parts of India and Sri Lanka.
In 1985, both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh became separate entities.
Silver Jubilee : The Silver Jubilee of the Association was celebrated on 18th – 19th December 2001 at Mumbai. It was but natural for Mrs. Raksha Mehtha as Chairman of the Silver Jubilee Committee to host the Silver Jubilee celebrations in Dist 314, the birthplace of our association. IIW President Mrs. Carole Buchanan was the Chief Guest.
Silver Jubilee Project : The Silver Jubilee Celebrations brought more than 800 Clubs in India together to work unitedly for helping the victims of the devastating earthquake in Gujarat. The focus was on Children and Education.
Constructed 7 Balwadi's , provided certain infrastructure facilities like equipments, Teachers and nutritional meals for the children. Three Multi Purpose Community Halls were constructed. Scholarships for Standard 12th Students, Children who had lost either one parent or both in the catastrophe were selected. 150 Children were helped. Constructed a Primary Health Centre
The Association was fortunate in getting funds from various sources. All the District in India, 9th Triennial Conference, IIWR's Forum personal donations, help from IW Club of Milano Sempione (District 204) Inner Wheel District 204 (Italy), IW Club of Ankora(Rome), IW Club of Geneva ( Switzerland) Dist 199, IW Club of Athens North Dist 247, New Zealand and Bangladesh helped in various projects.IIW President Mrs. Carole Buchanan inaugurated these projects on 13th December 2001 at Bhuj.