Where did Rotary originate?

It started with the vision of one man - Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.

Is Rotary an American organisation?

The main headquarters of the organisation is in Evanston, Illinois in the United States but it is made up of more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary links 1.2 million members to form an organization of international scope.

Why is it called Rotary?

Rotary's name came from the group's early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.

Is Rotary linked with the Free Masons?

No, Rotary is a unique organisation with its own structure and convention. There are many service clubs like Rotary that perform charity work. We all have the same aim of improving the lives of the less fortunate in our own countries and promotion of good will throughout the world.

Does Rotary have any political or religious affiliations?

No, it is totally non-political and secular although members' beliefs and affiliations are respected.

Do I have to attend Rotary meetings every week?

Although this was true in the past, Rotary has now recognised the pressures on many working people these days. There is more emphasis on people doing what they can, at times that suit their busy lives, at a frequency that fits in with their family and professional commitments.

What are the benefits of being a Rotarian?

There are many benefits including feeling good about helping your local community, being in an organisation that promotes health and peace in the world, being welcome to visit any Rotary club in 200 countries word-wide, working and socialising with people from different professions and diverse backgrounds, inclusion of family members in activities of the club and support from a wide circle of friends in times of need.