By Dick Galitz, president of the 711 Club, at the rededication of Room 711 on the first floor of RI World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA
It’s very special to be standing in front of the rededicated Room 711 on this occasion. It is a special room. When you go into the room, you can just feel, I can feel, the atmosphere and sense of four guys getting together and saying “let’s build a fellowship.”
When they first started, they were talking about business exchange. But within a very short period of time the concept of service came about. They said we have to do more than just be businessmen to businessmen. It’s an opportunity to be of service to others.
This room is where it all began. When Rotary members walk in, they are feeling that perception in their own heads. During the centennial convention in 2005, we had thousands of people come up here to see Rotary Headquarters as well as Room 711 (then located on the 16th floor). Everyone was impressed with what the room said to them and the feeling that they got about the starting of Rotary International.
Rotary history is very important to me. I think it’s important to Rotary and should remain important because it’s our story, it’s like a family history. And we are sharing that history.