A Friendly Volunteer Community of Men and Women Making The World a Better Place

A short history and background about Rotary


Paul Harris, Founder of Rotary



Rotary was founded by businessman Paul Harris and three colleagues in Chicago in 1905 as a networking club to support the local community with the motto "Service Above Self"


Rotary was a place where people of good standing from diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, enjoy fellowship and form lifelong friendships


Rotary expanded and the International Association of Rotary Clubs was established in 1914, becoming the now familiar Rotary International (RI) in 1922


Rotary venues were created in Belfast, Dublin and London in 1911. A further 5 venues were established by 1914 and together formed the British Association of Rotary Clubs, rebranded Rotary in Britain and Ireland in 1922 and now known as Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland (RGBI)


In Europe, Madrid was the first venue to be established, in 1921


In the 100 years since RI was established, the Rotary International community has grown to approximately 1,200,000 members in 35,000 venues in 200 countries, administered by RI in 530 Rotary Districts, each lead by a local District Governor

Haddenham Rotary is in District 1090 spanning Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Middlesex with about 1600 members in 58 venues. There are approximately 40,000 members in the UK

Rotary has earned a global reputation for high ethical standards. The Rotary Foundation, which is Rotary's charitable fund, has donated over $3billion to humanitarian projects and has ranked in the top 10 list of charities for 12 consecutive years, for "doing good in the world"


The Object of Rotary


The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise, and in particular, to encourage and foster:



The Four Way Test


A guiding principle for Rotary Members, suggested by Rotarian J Taylor in 1932 and adopted by RI in 1943:

"Of 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?


Find out more about Haddenham Rotary


Use your business and social skills and have fun while helping others less fortunate than yourself

Rotary is open to both men and women and we invite you to contact us to find out more

Forge new friendships, exchange ideas and help us deliver humanitarian aid
with lasting benefit to local, national and international communities

Ask about helping with our events or to come along to one of our meetings

You do not have to join Rotary to be able to help us









A Friendly Volunteer Community of Men and Women Making The World a Better Place sub-pages:

Rotary Areas of Focus or 'Our Causes'

more Causes that Rotary Foundation will support to create a better world

Paul Harris Fellowship

more Rotary prestigious Award

The Rotary Foundation

more 2017: One hundred years of "doing good in the world" and 3rd in the list of top charities

Rotary Service and the Four Way Test

more Rotary values service above self

The Rotary Wheel

more A short history and evolution of the Rotary wheel - the 'Mark of Excellence'

Why does the Rotary year run from 1 July to 30 June?

The Rotary Year

more Why does the Rotary year run from 1 July to 30 June?