How it All Started

The Original Rotary Members
The first Rotary Club in the world was organized in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. on February 23, 1905 by Paul P. Harris, a young lawyer, who gathered together in a spirit of friendship and understanding a group of men, each of whom was engaged in a different form of services to the public. That basis of membership–one man or woman from each business and profession in the community–still exists in Rotary. At first, the members of the new club met in rotation at various places of business of the members and this suggested the name of “Rotary.”

Since 1905, the ideas of Paul Harris and his friends have become ideals which have been accepted by men and women of practically all nationalities, and of many political and religious beliefs.

Today the world of Rotary is divided into territories within which a group of Rotary Clubs are associates; there territories are known as Rotary Districts. We are district 7510. There are 532 Districts in over 200 Countries and Geographical Areas.

The general objectives of Rotary Clubs in every country are the same–the development of fellowship and understanding among the business and professional men and women of the community, the promotion of community-betterment endeavors and of high standards in business and professional practices, and the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace. Rotary Clubs everywhere have one basic ideal–THE IDEAL OF SERVICE– which is thoughtfulness of and helpfulness to others.