About Rotary


The Story of Rotary

The start of the Rotary organisation took place on 23 February 1905 in Chicago when Paul Harris, an attorney, invited three of his friends to a meeting with the object of reviving the friendly and co-operative atmosphere he remembered from the small towns where he grew up. It was called Rotary because meetings rotated around members’ houses.

From that point, businessmen and other professionals took up the idea and the movement spread rapidly, initially in the United States and Canada. The first Rotary Club in Britain was formed in Glasgow in 1912 and by 1921 there were Rotary Clubs in six continents.

Farnham Weyside Rotary Club was founded on 8 August 1984

Today there are more than 32,000 Rotary Clubs in over 200 countries with around 1.2 million members.

The motto of Rotary is “Service Above Self”

Today Rotary Clubs worldwide are engaged on thousands of programmes to address such issues as environmental degradation, world hunger, illiteracy and children at risk. For more information about Rotary history see: https://www.rotary.org/en/learning-reference/about-rotary/history


A code of ethics adopted by Rotary says:

Of the things we think, say or do

Is it the truth?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Will it build goodwill and better friendships?