What is Rotary?
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. Paul Harris formed the world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 23 February 1905. The name Rotary is derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices. Today there are approximately 1.2 million Rotary club members of more than 30,000 Rotary clubs in 165 countries.
To provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders
Motto : Service Above Self
Rotary arrived in Singapore on 6th June 1930 when the Rotary Club of Singapore was chartered.
“WHATEVER ROTARY MAY MEAN TO US, TO THE WORLD IT WILL BE KNOWN BY THE RESULTS IT ACHIEVES.”
—PAUL P. HARRIS
Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
OUR ONGOING COMMITMENT
Rotarians have not only been present for major events in history—we’ve been a part of them. From the beginning, three key traits have remained strong throughout Rotary:
We’re truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today we’re working together from around the globe both digitally and in-person to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.
We persevere in tough times. During WWII, Rotary clubs in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Japan were forced to disband. Despite the risks, many continued to meet informally and following the war’s end, Rotary members joined together to rebuild their clubs and their countries.
Our commitment to service is ongoing. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. By 2012, only three countries remain polio-endemic—down from 125 in 1988.