A Kodak moment
It took 80 years, including a stop in some woods in New Jersey and diligent online searching, but a vintage Kodak camera is back in Rochester.
In 1936, the Rochester Rotary, marking its 25th anniversary, was playing host to the Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner. At the event, a Kodak Jr. Six-20 camera was given away by one of the Rotary International’s founders, Paul Harris, who was the keynote speaker that night.
This year, on Dec. 6, the Rochester Rotary again served as host to the Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner, and included a special twist. Months earlier, Tracey Dreisbach, executive director of the Rochester Rotary, had received an intriguing call.
“I received a call from a woman from South Carolina,” Tracey says. “She explained she had found a camera in the woods in New Jersey” years ago.
Jacqueline Lowe, as a child, had found that same Kodak Jr. Six-20 camera in Magnolia, N.J. How it came to be amidst the leaves there isn’t known. But she had kept it and it became part of the family’s possessions.
Jacqueline, who now lives in South Carolina, had lost track of the camera until her mom passed away in July, Tracey says. In going through her mother’s possessions, Jacqueline found the camera again.
Jacqueline researched the camera, tracing it to the Rochester Rotary through an inscription that reads: “Compliments Rochester Rotary Club Sept. 8, 1936.” She then contacted Rochester Rotary officials.
“She asked if we would like it, and I said, ‘absolutely,’” Tracey adds.
Kelly Mandarano, director of worldwide marketing and communications for the Print Systems Division at Eastman Kodak, accepted the camera at the dinner on behalf of the company. The camera is destined to become part of the company’s archive and museum.
Rotarians from across the East convened for the 91st annual Eastern Cities Fellowship Dinner at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. The event attracted nearly 500 attendees and featured a speech by Rotary International President John Germ. He highlighted the work of the Rotary to fulfill his presidential theme of “Rotary Serving Humanity.”
The event also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International.
Paul Harris, the keynote speaker at the 1936 event, was the person who got the Rotary started. The first Rotary Club was formed when the attorney called together a meeting of three business acquaintances in downtown Chicago.
The 1.2 million-member organization started with his vision, the Rotary says. He formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on Feb. 23, 1905.
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