Paul P. Harris, an attorney, wanted to create a professional group with the same friendly spirit he felt in the small towns of his youth. On 23 February 1905, Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram Shorey gathered at Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago. This was the first Rotary club meeting. They decided to call the new club “Rotary” after the practice of rotating meeting locations.
Within five years clubs had formed across the country, from San Francisco to New York. In August 1910, Rotarians held their first convention in Chicago. The 16 clubs that existed at that time united to form the National Association of Rotary Clubs. In 1912, the name changed to International Association of Rotary Clubs to reflect the addition of clubs in other countries. The name Rotary International was adopted in 1922.
In 1914 the organisation moved across the Atlantic and the British Association of Rotary Clubs was established. The association was renamed Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland in 1924.
By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000 clubs and an estimated 108,000 members on six continents. As Rotary grew, members pooled their resources and used their talents to serve their communities. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.
Today 1.2 million members of Rotary international continue to respond to the needs of an ever changing world, whilst retaining Rotary’s strong founding principles.THE FOUR-WAY TEST
In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created The Four-Way Test. The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:
Of the things we think, say or do
Rotary’s reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other luminaries to its ranks —Click here for more on the History of Rotary international and Notable Rotarians
The District has over 1700 members in 60 Clubs. To find out more about them, or find a Club near you click on the following link postcode search facility
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