Paul Harris on what Rotary will be in 100 years

Quote

“May our happiness increase with our usefulness. What Rotary will be one hundred years hence, none living can imagine.”

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

Rotary founder Paul Harris was a semi-regular contributor to The Rotarian magazine, and the February issue often included an anniversary message from him.

In 1915, he wrote, “We are passing our tenth milestone now. May our happiness increase with our usefulness. What Rotary will be one hundred years hence, none living can imagine. There is nothing impossible to Rotary now.”

Harris noted that Rotary had demonstrated its ability to “contribute toward the world’s supply of happiness” in terms of promoting ethical Continue reading

If Paul Harris started Rotary today

Evan Burrell and Room 711

Evan Burrell, left, with other members of the Joint Committee on Alumni Relations during a visit to Room 711, a recreation of the room where Rotary began.

By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

I wonder, as we approach yet another Rotary anniversary, what Paul Harris would think of the Rotary of today? Would he smile, or grimace? He probably didn’t imagine how far his little idea would go when he sat down for that first meeting on 23 February a full 111 years ago.

As a fun exercise, I tried to imagine what it might be like if Paul Harris started Rotary today. To do this, I first imagined what a Gen Y Paul might be like. Continue reading

How is your club celebrating Rotary’s anniversary?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rotary clubs worldwide marked the 111th anniversary of the first Rotary club meeting by holding an event, hosting a fundraiser, or lighting a notable building. Thanks to the more than 70 clubs that sent us photos of their events, some of which are shown above. We could not use them all, but clubs are also posting their photos on Facebook using #RI111.

A day at the orphanage

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo at the Red Cross Orphanage. Photo courtesy of Yomi Lawson

Members of the Rotary Club of Onigbongbo, Lagos State, Nigeria, decided to celebrate 110 years of Rotary by donating supplies to a Red Cross orphanage that provides a home for 200 abandoned or vulnerable children. The club delivered 10 packs of diapers, 150 liters of diesel fuel, two cartons of infant formula, ten crates of eggs, two cartons of biscuits, five cartons of noodles, three cartons of fruit drink, and detergent. Members stayed to play with the children after dropping off the goods.

Paul Harris on the need for Rotary

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

In My Road to Rotary, Paul Harris recalled how his longing for friendship like that he had known in Vermont was one of his inspirations for founding Rotary in 1905. But in 1935, in This Rotarian Age, he wrote of the need for Rotary, from a wider perspective:

“It is conceivable that Rotary might have been born under sunnier skies, in a climate more equable, and in a city of mental composure; but many will contend that there could have been no more favorable birthplace for Rotary than paradoxical Chicago, where the battle for civic righteousness was being so fiercely waged.” Continue reading

Clubs celebrate Rotary’s anniversary, 30 years of PolioPlus

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This week marks 110 years since Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting. It also is 30 years since Rotary launched its campaign to rid the world of polio.

Rotary clubs are celebrating the milestones in a variety of ways. The Rotary Club of Mt. Warning AM, New South Wales, Australia, gave away pancakes and handouts on the village’s main street. Continue reading

How will you celebrate 30 years of PolioPlus?

Rotary members in Panama City, Panama, celebrated Rotary's anniversary last year by lighting up the Biodiversity Museum with the End Polio Now logo.

Rotary members in Panama City, Panama, celebrated Rotary’s anniversary last year by lighting up the Biodiversity Museum with the End Polio Now logo.

This year marks 30 years since Rotary launched its campaign to rid the world of polio.

During a speech at Rotary’s annual training event for leaders in February 1985, then President Carlos Canseco announced what he called “the biggest news in Rotary,” an organized campaign to eradicate polio by working alongside the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Prior to that, Rotary Foundation grants had supported immunization activities in individual countries.

Leading up to Rotary’s anniversary, 23 February, we will have coverage of our progress in eradicating polio, and what Rotary clubs are doing to celebrate, on Rotary.org and endpolio.org. Send photos of your club’s celebration to blog@rotary.org to be included in a special gallery here.

Clubs celebrate Rotary’s 109th anniversary

Gallery

This gallery contains 17 photos.

By Rotary editorial staff From Panama City, Panama, to Visakhapatnam, India, Rotary members found creative and diverse ways to celebrate Rotary’s 109th anniversary the week of 23 February. They illuminated buildings, held health fairs, took part in swimming fundraisers, handed … Continue reading

How is your club celebrating Rotary’s anniversary?

The Rotary Club of Lahore Sharqi, Punjab, Pakistan, celebrates Rotary’s anniversary in 2013 with a cake. Photo courtesy of Faheem Asghar

Rotary clubs in Lahore, Pakistan, celebrate Rotary’s anniversary in 2013 with a cake. Photo courtesy of Faheem Asghar

Sunday, 23 February, will mark 109 years since Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.

From a swimming marathon organized by Rotary members in England to a balloon launch in Portugal, Rotary clubs are observing the occasion. How is your club or district planning to celebrate? Send us photos of your event, and we will create a special gallery on Rotary Voices. Continue reading

See a slideshow of photos celebrating Rotary’s anniversary

Gallery

This gallery contains 23 photos.

Rotarians around the world celebrated Rotary’s 108th anniversary, 23 February, with a variety of events ranging from global swimming marathons to the illumination of landmark buildings with the End Polio Now message. See a slideshow of images from this year’s … Continue reading