IFMR History

The Formation of the IFMR

  Written by Tony Moyle - IFMR Founding Member (Australia Chapter)   The Rotary Club of Loxton, District 9520 in South Australia, sponsored the formation of the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians. Rotary Club of Loxton members David Ingerson and Tony Moyle were the inaugural Chairman and Secretary of the new IFMR respectively.

Let me quickly add that at the same time as they started applying to Rotary International for official recognition, unbeknown to them, there was at least two other Rotary groups who were also attempting to do the same thing. One of those groups was based in the US, and the other was in Scandinavia. At that time, and we presume that the rules are basically the same today, to have Rotary International sanction a new Fellowship, a number of criteria had to be met. These included a list of potential members (in the case of the IFMR, over 80 were listed), a Constitution, a Logo and the sponsorship of three current District Governors, two of whom must be from a country other than that of the sponsoring club. Picture: David Ingerson (left) and Tony Moyle were the inaugural Chairman and Secretary of the new IFMR respectively.

A phone call to John Harding, the 1991/2 DG for District 9520, resulted in our first sponsoring DG. District Governors in every city where motorcycles were manufactured were written to seeking their support. Within 24 hours of receiving our letter, the DG of District 6270, Frederick Luedke, of Milwaukee, USA, he faxed us back the letter with an Excellent idea! Let us know how else can we assist! Rick Luedke scrawled across it. We had our second DG!

However finding a third proved much harder. Many letters were never answered, and one that was returned summed up what many DGs of that time must have been thinking. It came from DG Fumio Tamamura, District 2580 in Japan. We had included in our letter to him: We have chosen to seek your support because Tokyo is part of your District. The Honda motorcycle is manufactured in that city and many Australians have strong links with that marque, having owned one, or follow the 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix with Australian riders Wayne Gardner and Mike Doohan riding Honda's. DG Fumios reply was dated Oct. 15. 1991. It read in part: In Japan, motorcycle riding is almost totally limited to the younger generation, and to be frank I do not believe that any Rotarian here would like to be seen on one. Especially in Tokyo, where street congestion is almost chronic the only ones seen here are those used for delivering packages and messages, and is far from a pleasurable hobby. Such being the case, I am afraid that it will not be possible for me to give you much encouragement about furthering your particular friendship activity in Tokyo.

After some direct canvassing by the President of the Rotary Fellowship of Antique, Classic & Historic Automobiles, Brain N Henry, Andres L Guillen, the then District Governor of District 3450 (Hong Kong; Macau-Zone 4) willingly agreed to be our third sponsoring Governor. Brian, whose advice was invaluable to the Loxton members, was a Rotarian from the Wagga Wagga Club, and that club sponsored the formation of the Rotary Fellowship of Antique, Classic & Historic Automobiles. That Fellowship was the first Rotary Fellowship started in Australia. This made the IFMR the second Rotary International Fellowship started in Australia.

Rotary International announced official recognition to the International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians (short name: Rotacyclists) on the 13th January 1992.