Origins of Rotary

The Rotary Club's founders were based in Chicago. It was a few year's before Rotary spread across the world to places cities such as Bristol (and of course the Rotary club of Keynsham). Keynsham Rotary club meets on Wednesday evenings.

The founders of Rotary based in Chicago

Origins of Rotary

It was in Chicago in 1905 that Paul P. Harris, an Attourney, first set up a Club for Professionals. He wanted to form a club with the same friendly spirit that he had experienced in his youth in small towns in America.

 The first four Rotarians were Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris.   The name "Rotary Club" derived from the fact that, in the early days, they rotated meetings between each others' offices.

 The early mission was to serve social and professional interests of members. However the concept spread across American cities where clubs were established by charter. By 1921 there were clubs across six continents which led to the organisation becoming known as Rotary International in 1922. The current memebership is over 1.2 million Rotarians in over 200 Countries and geographical areas world wide.

 As the organisation grew it expanded its mission beyond personal and professional interests to utilising professional resources and expertise to serve communities in need. This mission is summed up in the organisation"s motto "Service above Self".

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