About Rotary

About Rotary

On 23 February 1905, a 37-year-old Attorney Paul Harris began to change the World. He conceived an organisation that has now spanned over 115 years.

So started the Rotary Club of Chicago. It was three years before the second Rotary Club in San Francisco was formed, and then other Clubs were started in cities across the United States before, in 1910, Rotary moved into Canada.

It was 1911 when Rotary crossed the Atlantic and moved into Dublin and in the same year the London Rotary Club was created. In 1917 the Cardiff Rotary Club became the first Club in Wales.

Since those humble beginnings Rotary International has become a global network of service volunteers. It is now the world's largest service organisation for Business and Professional people with some 1,180,000 members across 166 Countries. Rotary is an organisation for both men and women.

Within Great Britain & Ireland (Rotary GB&I) there are over 40,000 Rotarians in over 1,800 clubs helping those in need both locally and internationally and working towards world understanding and peace.

Rotary runs the largest non Government Scholarship Scheme in the world through the Rotary Foundation.  This gives more than 21 million every year to educational and humanitarian programmes that promote international understanding.

Perhaps the greatest testimony to Rotary over the last 115 years is the continuance of its own historic principle that demands membership of Rotary is a privilege, an opportunity and a responsibility which demands honest and efficient service and thoughtfulness to ones fellow men and women around the world.

It is this declaration that will ensure that Rotary continues for another 100 years.

Rotary in the South West Peninsula

Here in the South West Peninsula of England (Rotary District 1175) there are 77 clubs with over 1800 members each different to the next in their own little way. They all share the same goal though - helping the communities we live in both at home or abroad.

It’s a fulfilling role, and Rotarians can get involved as much or as little as their time will allow. 

Our clubs are based in local communities where members meet on a regular basis to enjoy friendship, networking and to plan projects that will benefit the lives of others. Clubs utilise the skills, expertise and dedication of their members to help improve the lives of people in communities both at home and abroad.

Rotary clubs worldwide have been working with partner organisations since 1985 to End Polio in the world.

Polio eradication is just one worldwide project and clubs here in our district have done many projects to help overseas.  These range from providing clean water to remote villlages, literacy aids, medical and emergency vehicles and the infamous ShelterBox started in our district.

Closer to home, clubs do many great things for the more local community.  Stroke Awareness campaigns are run by several clubs and as a result many lives have been saved.

The young in our society also feature heavily in what we do with many projects and events run to help develop the talent and skills of the young.  Here in District 1175 we run an annual Rotary Youth Leadership Award programme (RYLA) which is the envy of many districts around the UK.  Then there are competitions such as "Young Chef", "Youth Speaks" and "Young Musician" to name but a few.

About Rotary pages:

Paul Harris - our Founder