ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF Y’S DOM
Y’sdom had its beginning at a time when the luncheon club Movement was spreading rapidly in the United States. The Rotary Movement had started in Chicago in 1906. The Exchange Club followed in 1913 and Kiwanis, Lions and other Movements came in the next few years.
There were attempts to form similar clubs in connection with the YMCA. These were not successful until in October 1920, a young attorney in Toledo, Ohio, Paul William Alexander, tried to capitalize on the luncheon idea. Seventeen ardent volunteer YMCA workers formed a Booster Club within the Toledo YMCA and called it TOLYMCA Club. Paul William Alexander saw in the sentiment of this group a splendid opportunity to consolidate the enthusiasm of these YMCA workers. When the number grew from 17 to 75, he brought about a constitution and the suggestion that the name be changed to Y’s Men’s Club. The idea grew rapidly.
The first club outside the United States was organized in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. Paul Alexander, who later became a judge, felt the time was opportune to make the Movement truly international and called a meeting of representatives of all the clubs in November 1922, in conjunction with a YMCA conference in Atlantic city. The International association of Y’s Men’s Clubs was born, with Judge Alexander as first International President. The name of the association and its motto were adopted at this conference and, in a very short time the Movement spread to many countries. Already in 1924, the first club outside North America was formed in Shanghai, China.