History of The
International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians
The International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians, formed in 1947 in Great Britain, is recognized as the oldest of the Rotary Fellowships. It was to become the first of many recreational fellowships formed with the World Fellowship Activities of Rotary International.
In 1947, Rotarian John G. Barrett of the Brixton Rotary Club of London, England, conceived the idea of flying a burgee bearing the Rotary emblem on the masthead of his vessel. He enlisted the help of fellow Rotarians from his own and neighboring clubs and proposed a new yachting association of Rotarians. Rotary International approved this new Rotary recreational fellowship under the name "The Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians."
This fellowship quickly spread all over Great Britain and then throughout the world.
In 1956 at the Rotary International Convention, the first International Commodore from outside Great Britain was elected. Bob Stuart of Chicago, Illinois, USA, took over the helm. It was also about this time that the fellowship name was changed to "The International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians.
The first international rendezvous of IYFR was held in 1964 in conjunction with the Rotary International Convention of Toronto, Canada. Since that time, the fellowship has expanded greatly with new fleets being added under the enthusiastic leadership of the many Past International Commodores who have been elected from a diversity of countries within the world of Rotary.
The Golden Anniversary of lYFR was celebrated in 1997 at the RI Convention in Glasgow, Scotland. Past International Commodore Andrew Mitchell authored, produced and distributed copies of the 'Golden Jubilee 1947-1997', a book commemorating the fifty years of IYFR history.
An IYFR trophy which is presented to each incoming International Commodore, "The John Barrett Bell" was made by one of the founding fellowship members, Denis Dalby, and presented to the fellowship in honor of our Founder, Commodore John G. Barrett.
Today, we are not only the oldest but probably the largest of the Rotary fellowships, according to Rotary International. Over time, we have lost some of our earlier established local Rotary yachting fleets, however we constantly continue to charter new ones.
There are 109 active Rotary yachting fleets in 37 countries (as of March 31, 2015) throughout the world: Argentina, Australia,Bulgaria, Brazil, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (Hong Kong SAR), Crimea, Croatia, Czech and Slovak Republics, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay and the USA.
We have a world wide membership of nearly 3300 members who are “enrolled” in the said 109 Fleets and in the World E-Fleet, created to connect the mariners that have no other fleet that they can join.
When you join IYFR, the benefits are:
Objects of the Fellowship:
Rotary Mariners combine an acceptance of the principles of Rotary with a love of boats and the sea, rivers and inland waters, and use the shared interest of yachting and seamanship as an opportunity to encourage and foster the objectives of Rotary. Mariner objectives are: