Rotary Anns

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Rotary Anns is a term that is used to affectionally call the wives of male members of Rotary clubs.[1]

Origin of the term

The term "Rotary Ann" is said to have originated in 1914, during which San Francisco Rotarians boarded a special train to attend the Rotary Convention that was being held in Houston in Texas.[2] Among the passengers in the train, there was only one woman who were with them – Mrs. Ann Brunnier, who was the wife of Rotarian Mr. Bru Brunnier.[3] As the train picked up additional passengers who will attend the Convention, Mrs. Brunnier was introduced as the "Rotarian's Ann," which then became "Rotary Ann."[4]

Soon after, a Rotarian wrote a "Rotary Ann" chant.[5] Upon the train's arrival in Houston, a delegation greeted the passengers.[6] One of the greeters was Guy Gundaker, whose wife is also named Ann.[7] Then, someone started the Rotary Ann, which prompted the Rotarians to hoist Mrs. Brunnier and Mrs. Gundaker to their shoulders and paraded them about the hall.[8] Immediately, the term "Rotary Ann" was used to refer to all the wives in attendance in the Convention, and eventually to all the wives of Rotarians.[9]

Use of the term today

The term "Rotary Ann" are still used by some Rotarians today, even if women were eventually allowed to be admitted in Rotary clubs since 1987.[10] However, the terms "Rotary Spouses" or "Rotary Partners" are commonly used today.[11]


  1. Ernest Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann," Rotary Club of Lake Houston Area, accessed January 8, 2021,
  2. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  3. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  4. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  5. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  6. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  7. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  8. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  9. Hauser, "History of Rotary Ann."
  10. Rotary eClub One, "Who is, or was, a Rotary Ann?," accessed January 8, 2020,
  11. Rotary eClub One, "Who is, or was, a Rotary Ann?."



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