What is Rotary?
In 1905 a Chicago lawyer, Paul P Harris, called three of his friends together with a vision of forming a club that would encourage fellowship amongst its members and the business community: they effectively became the first Rotary Club. The organisation soon grew and by 1922 it was represented on every continent and the name Rotary International (RI) was adopted.
In Great Britain and Ireland the adminstrative body of RI is Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (Rotary GB&I).
There are some 35,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide boasting some 1.2million members. Within the area covered by Rotary GB&I there are over 50,000 members in over 1,800 clubs. A Rotarian can attend meetings of any club in the World.
Rotary is divided into Districts for adminstrative, support and fellowship purposes, the Rotary Club of Wigston being part of District 1070. Broadly speaking District 1070 covers Leicestershire, Rutand, Northamptonshire Lincolnshire and parts of Cambridgeshire.
Rotarians are business and professional people and community leaders of all ages, who are keen to use their skills and resources to help others. We enjoy the opportunity to give something back to communities (whether at home or abroad) learn new skills and expand our social network. Importantly, we also have fun and create lasting friendships.
At Wigston Rotary Club we consider the three important attractions of membership as being:
- A real opportunity to meet regularly in fellowship with like minded people from which lifetime friendships develop and which can expand to national and international levels, if one has the interest and time.
- The opportunity to join in enjoyable and rewarding team efforts to raise money, artifacts and support which can make a real difference to the lives of young, old, sick and generally disadvantaged people.
- The prestige and motivation in belonging to an organisation in which the practice of the highest ethical standards are demanded.
Rotary's motto is "Service above Self" and we apply a four way test to the things that we do, say or think:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
While Rotary is an international organisation the Rotary Clubs are autonomous and determine their own programmes, projects and activities based on local needs and wishes, taking account of the varied skills and resources that the club has at its disposal. Sometimes clubs will embark on joint projects with other clubs for the benefit of others.
RI also has its own charity, The Rotary Foundation, which all Rotarians directly or indirectly contribute to. It seeks to change lives in the UK and around the World. Through the Foundation Rotarians' time, money and expertise is channelled into such areas as eradicating polio, promoting peace and addressing poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition throughout the World.