What is Rotary?

The Rotary Story

The world’s first service club was formed in 1905 by a small group of American businessmen who, by sharing or "rotating" their offices for lunch-time meetings, became the Rotary Club of Chicago. This club was initiated by Paul Harris.

Paul Harris

The Paul Harris Fellowship Pin

Today, Rotary is a service organisation of business and professional leaders consisting of 1.22 million members in 33,976 clubs across more than 200 countries who conduct humanitarian projects, encourage high ethical standards and work towards world understanding and peace. Rotary is non-political and non-religious and is open to all cultures, races and creeds.

For an overview of our district, Rotary District 9680, please visit: www.rotarydistrict9680.org

The activities of Rotary are many and varied. Possibly the most significant activity is coordinated by the Rotary Foundation. This world-wide project on behalf of Rotary International and the World Health Organisation is aimed at eradicating Polio throughout the world. They are very close to achieving this remarkable objective.

The Rotary Foundation also oversees large humanitarian programs in other areas. These include health and poverty as well as the increasingly important areas of literacy and education. Underpinning these is the promotion of international understanding and peace through the provision of numerous scholarship and cultural programs.

Rotary International has developed a raft of major local, national and international community programs that touch on most areas of life today. For example, their focus on youth development is exemplified by the Rotary Youth Exchange Program that involves approximately 8,000 young people each year in sharing their culture and learning with Rotary families and Rotarians in countries across the globe. The vocational and career guidance and assistance programs are another example of the support offered to young people whereas the massive combined work undertaken by Rotary Clubs across the world in assisting individual families and community organisations is another example of how Rotary contributes both at home and overseas to the well-being of local and global communities.

The work of Rotary is demanding and the commitment of individual members is sometimes hard to maintain against the background of the pressures and demands of modern living, but the underlying spirit is still there and given appropriate support from local business and community organisations, Rotarians can achieve significant results.

The main objective of Rotary is service – in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.
The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.