At the very first Rotary club meeting Paul Harris. Gustavus Loehr, Hiram Shorey, and Silvester Schiele met in Chicago and talked about their personal experiences. At that meeting on February 23rd, 1905, Harris unfolded his general plan for regular club meetings. This was the simple beginning of the world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago. It was created because of Harris’ wish to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members offices.
From the beginning Rotarians have taken pride in their history. The essence of Rotary today has a direct lineage to Paul Harris’ first Rotary meeting. The concept of ‘Service Above Self is as alive today in the hearts and minds of over 1.2 million Rotarians as it was when Harris developed the idea of a club dedicated to fellowship in community service. Mr. Harris’ own words explaining what Rotary is about. In the pages that follow you can learn even more about what Rotary is.
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