In Rotary World., 23rd February is designated as World Understanding and Peace Day and the month of February is observed as World Understanding and Peace Month.
The First President of the Club was Silverster Schiele and not the founder of Rotary, Paul Harris.
Weekly meetings were held in Rotation at each member’s place of business to acquaint others, one another’s vocation. Hence the name Rotary was adopted since early days.
In 1910, there were 16 clubs in USA and the first formed outside USA was at Winnipeg, Canada in the year 1911. Prior to this, clubs in USA formed an association, called National Association of Rotary Clubs, soon to change to International Association of Rotary Clubs, once Rotary moved outside the USA.This name was further shortened to Rotary International in 1922. Although Paul Harris was not the first President of the first club, he was the first president of the Rotary International from 1910 to 1912.
As Rotary grew, its objectives from just fellowship and business promotion of Rotarians, changed to the ideal of service and welfare of community. In 1907, Chicago club undertook Rotary’s first Community project, a Public Comfort Station near City hall. The organization’s dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its principal motto: Service Above Self. Rotary also later embraced a code of ethics, called The 4-Way Test, that has been translated into hundreds of languages.
During and after World War II, Rotarians became increasingly involved in promoting international understanding. In 1945, 49 Rotary members served in 29 delegations to the United Nations Charter Conference. Rotary still actively participates in UN conferences by sending observers to major meetings and promoting the United Nations in Rotary publications. Rotary International’s relationship with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) dates back to a 1943 London Rotary conference that promoted international cultural and educational exchanges. Attended by ministers of education and observers from around the world, and chaired by a past president of RI, the conference was an impetus to the establishment of UNESCO in 1946.
An endowment fund, set up by Rotarians in 1917 “for doing good in the world,” became a not-for-profit corporation known as The Rotary Foundation in 1928. Upon the death of Paul Harris in 1947, an outpouring of Rotarian donations made in his honor, totaling US$2 million, launched the Foundation’s first program ‘ graduate fellowships, now called Ambassadorial Scholarships. Today, contributions to The Rotary Foundation total more than US$80 million annually and support a wide range of humanitarian grants and educational programs that enable Rotarians to bring hope and promote international understanding throughout the world.
In 1985, Rotary made a historic commitment to immunize all of the world’s children against polio. Working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and national governments thorough its PolioPlus program, Rotary is the largest private-sector contributor to the global polio eradication campaign. Rotarians have mobilized hundreds of thousands of PolioPlus volunteers and have immunized more than one billion children worldwide. By the 2005 target date for certification of a polio-free world, Rotary will have contributed half a billion dollars to the cause.
As it approached the dawn of the 21st century, Rotary worked to meet the changing needs of society, expanding its service effort to address such pressing issues as environmental degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk. The organization admitted women for the first time (worldwide) in 1989 and claims more than 145,000 women in its ranks today. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Rotary clubs were formed or re-established throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Today, 1.2 million Rotarians belong to some 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary is defined ” An Organisation of business and professional people united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”
Rotary International Calendar
|July 2007||New Rotary officers begin their year of service.|
|August 2007||Membership and Extension Month|
|September 2007||New Generations Month|
|October 2007||31 October: World Interact Week begins|
|November 2007||31 October-7 November: World Interact week|
|December 2007||Family Month|
|November 2007||31 October-7 November: World Interact week|
|January 2008-Rotary Awareness Month||31 October-7 November: World Interact week|
|February 2007′ World Understanding Month||1-3: International Assembly; San Diego, California, USA
23: Rotary’s 102nd Anniversary
|April 2007 ‘ Magazine Month||22-28: Council on Legislation; Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|June 2007 ‘ Rotary Fellowships Month||17-20: 2007 Rotary International Convention; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA|
|1905||First Rotary club organized in Chicago, Illinois,USA|
|1908||Second club formed in San Francisco, California, USA|
|1910||First Rotary convention held in Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|1912||The Rotary Club of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, becomes the first club outside the United States to be officially chartered. (The club was formed in 1910.)|
|1917||Endowment fund, forerunner of The Rotary Foundation, established|
|1932||4-Way Test formulated by Chicago Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor|
|1945||Forty-nine Rotarians help draft United Nations Charter in San Francisco|
|1947||Rotary founder Paul Harris dies; first 18 Rotary Foundation scholarships granted|
|1962||First Interact club formed in Melbourne, Florida, USA|
|1965||Rotary Foundation launches Matching Grants and Group Study Exchange programs|
|1985||Rotary announces PolioPlus program to immunize all the children of the world against polio|
|1989||Council on Legislation opens Rotary membership to women worldwide; Rotary clubs chartered in Budapest, Hungary, and Warsaw, Poland, for first time in almost 50 years|
|1990||Rotary Club of Moscow chartered first club in Soviet Union|
|1990-91||Preserve Planet Earth program inspires some 2,000 Rotary-sponsored environmental projects|
|1994||Western Hemisphere declared polio-free|
|1999||Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution established|
|2000||Western Pacific declared polio-free|
|2001||30,000th Rotary club chartered|
|2002||Europe declared polio-free; first class of 70 Rotary Peace Scholars begin study|
|2003||Rotarians raise more than US$118 million to support the final stages of polio eradication|
|2004||RI’s largest convention with 45,381 attendees, held in Osaka, Japan|
|2005||Rotary Celebrates centennial in Chicago, Illinois, USA|
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:FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The Four-Way Test
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:
“Of the things we think, say or do:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
Four Avenues of Service
Based on the Object of Rotary, the Four Avenues of Service are Rotary’s philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:
- Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.
- Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.
- Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.
- International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.
RI Mission Statement
The mission of Rotary International is to support its member clubs in fulfilling the Object of Rotary by:
Fostering unity among member clubs;
Strengthening and expanding Rotary around the world;
Communicating worldwide the work of Rotary; and
Providing a system of international administration.
Declaration of Rotarians in Businesses and Professions
- Consider my vocation to be another opportunity to serve;
- Be faithful to the letter and to the spirit of the ethical codes of my vocation, to the laws of my country, and to the moral standards of my community;
- Do all in my power to dignify my vocation and to promote the highest ethical standards in my chosen vocation;
- Be fair to my employer, employees, associates, competitors, customers, the public, and all those with whom I have a business or professional relationship;
- Recognize the honor and respect due to all occupations which are useful to society;
- Offer my vocational talents: to provide opportunities for young people, to work for the relief of the special needs of others, and to improve the quality of life in my community;
- Adhere to honesty in my advertising and in all representations to the public concerning my business or profession;
- Neither seek from nor grant to a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship.