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ROTARACT CLUB OF BISHOP APPASAMY CAS

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KNOW MORE ABOUT ROTARY & ITS MILESTONES

PAUL PERCY HARRIS - FOUNDER OF ROTARY
PAUL PERCY HARRIS - FOUNDER OF ROTARY

CARL-WILHELM STENHAMMAR RI PRESIDENT 05-06
CARL-WILHELM STENHAMMAR

 

Rotary History

A Brief History

Rotary History in Depth
The Early Years
Rotary Goes Global
Evolution of The Rotary Foundation
Programs for Young People
Rotary Today and Tomorrow

The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name "Rotary" derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.

Rotary's popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving the professional and social interests of club members. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. 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 31,000 Rotary clubs in 166 countries.

About Rotary

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 31,000 Rotary clubs located in 166 countries.

Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community's business and professional men and women. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.

The main objective of Rotary is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.

Although Rotary clubs develop autonomous service programs, all Rotarians worldwide are united in a campaign for the global eradication of polio. In the 1980s, Rotarians raised US$240 million to immunize the children of the world; by 2005, Rotary's centenary year and the target date for the certification of a polio-free world, the PolioPlus program will have contributed US$500 million to this cause. In addition, Rotary has provided an army of volunteers to promote and assist at national immunization days in polio-endemic countries around the world.

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes world understanding through international humanitarian service programs and educational and cultural exchanges. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and others who share its vision of a better world. Since 1947, the Foundation has awarded more than US$1.1 billion in humanitarian and educational grants, which are initiated and administered by local Rotary clubs and districts.

Rotary Milestones

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

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