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Rotary

Our history.

For more than 110 years, Rotary members have been addressing challenges around the world.

Grassroots at the core, Rotary links 1.2 million members to form an organization of international scope. It started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.

Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.

Rotary Guiding principles

"Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves." - Paul Harris


Object of Rotary

  • The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service
  • High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society
  • The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business and community life.
  • The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace thorough a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

The Four-Way Test

The Four-Way test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

Of all the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

The Presidential Theme
for the Rotary Year 2018-2019

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Since Rotary was founded 113 years ago, its role in the world and in the lives of its members has been in a state of continuous evolution.

Rotary still is, and always will be, the organization Paul Harris envisioned: a place where people from every corner of the earth can come together to become something greater than themselves. Yet Rotary today offers something of singular and enduring value: the chance to be part of a global network of people who have the talent and the drive to change the world.

Globally, Rotary is more relevant than ever before, and its potential for good is vast. Unfortunately, not enough people fully understand what Rotary is and does. Even within our clubs, many Rotarians don’t know enough about Rotary to take full advantage of what Rotary membership offers.

We need to Be the Inspiration for positive change, inspiring our clubs, our communities, and our organization to face today’s challenges head on, with courage, optimism, and creativity.

Barry Rassin
President, Rotary International, 2018-19