International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians
Americas Region

Tony Watson
IFFR Americas, Newsletter Editor
IFFR World President 2002-2004

Tony is a second generation Rotarian and a native Dallasite. His father, Austin, was District Governor in 1968-69, while Tony was in college, and Austin and Millie came back from the International Assembly telling of new friends and interesting people from all around the world, piquing Tony’s interest in Rotary. At about the same time, Tony became interested in learning how to fly and also met his future wife, Jane. He graduated from SMU, got married, and got his private certificate in 1971. A couple of years later, Tony’s dad proposed him for membership in his own Fair Park Rotary Club. In 1975, he joined IFFR at the Montreal RI Convention, having flown there with a still wet instrument ticket (this was his 4th Rotary Convention to attend).

Tony served as club president in 1982-83, and helped his dad produce the club bulletin every week from the get-go in Rotary. Right after finishing as president, Fair Park member Vactor Stanford, then chairman of IFFR (as the office was called then) asked for Tony’s help for one edition of the bulletin. That turned into an 11-year stint of what became known as the IFFR World Bulletin.

Late in the 90s, Tony served as VP for what is now Americas Region of IFFR, and as World President Elect under WP Sam Bishop 2000-02 did a majority of the planning and administration of the IFFR Fly Out after the San Antonio RI Convention in 2001. His term as WP was 2002-04, spanning RI Conventions in Barcelona, Brisbane and Osaka.

Later, he served as Fair Park Rotary president once again, 2006-07, and helped reorganize and administer the IFFR Fly Out in 2007 out of Salt Lake City. He also served as bulletin editor under WPs Peter More and Michael Graves, as he continued to edit his club’s bulletin, succeeding his father. He has 43 years of perfect attendance in Rotary – his dad taught him right. He’s owned at least part of an A36 Bonanza since 1985, co-owned Arrows for 11 years prior to that. Initially based at ADS, he’s been based at LNC for 11 years now. He has held a CFI certificate since 1978 and ATP since 1985.

Tony worked in his family business, Watson Electric Supply, for 33 years in various capacities. His family sold the business to another family business chaired by a Houston Rotarian in the late 90s. Tony is married to Jane (Reed), and they have 4 adult children: Reed, Peter, Anne and Nancy; and 4 grandchildren: Austin, Audrey, Zane and Knox. Tony and Jane moved to semi-rural Ellis County, Texas, just south of Dallas, in late 2012, to enjoy “retirement.”

Tony played in bands and sang in choirs from an early age, enjoying playing clarinet in a wind ensemble through college and joining his church choir as a bass after college. He continues to hold down the bass section in his choir at Highland Park Presbyterian and serves that church as a reserve elder. He also sings with the Highland Park Chorale, the Highlander Quartet v.2.3.b and the Dallas Christmas Carolers.

In addition to Rotary activities (now a member of the Midlothian Rotary Club), Tony volunteers as a pilot for both Angel Flight South Central and Challenge Air for Kids and Friends.