Rotary was founded in 1905 by Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney, who wanted to encourage fellowship among business acquaintances. Rotary quickly took on a primary service component which continues today in the words of the well known Rotary motto - "Service Above Self."
The weekly meetings in those first years literally "rotated" among the offices of the members, providing the new service club with its name. As Rotary grew in numbers, the rotating of meetings among the members became difficult; however, the focus of Rotary on business is still preserved in the system, which identifies each Rotarian to a business or professional role in the community.
Rotary brings together people of all races, nationalities, religious faiths and political beliefs in a common mission of service to the community.
Rotary is truly a large international organization which promotes peace and understanding throughout the world.
The Four Objects of Rotary
To encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise, and in particular to aid and foster:
First: The development of acquaintances 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 idea of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life.
Fourth: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.