Joyce Steward

History of Order of Rotary International Fellowship

 History of Order of Rotary International Fellowship
International Goodwill Weekend is a celebration of the historical event, which transformed Rotary to Rotary International.

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In 1910, the Rotary Club of St. Paul Minnesota was successful in sponsoring a new Rotary Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Rotary Club of Winnipeg was the first Rotary Club established outside the United States. The Winnipeg Rotary Club was organized as Club # 35 on November 3rd, 1910 and is the oldest Rotary Club outside of the United States. The club was organized with the assistance of the Duluth Rotary Club and that is how Rotary became International.


According to the Rotary International publication Focus on Rotary (991-EN(1186)-408M) at page 9:


�Paul Harris� first attempt to establish a club outside the United States was aimed at Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where, after several unsuccessful efforts, a club was organized in 1911.  Thus Rotary became international.�


On April 13, 1912, Paul Harris signed the Charter of

the Rotary Club of Winnipeg.


At the Rotary Convention held in 1912 in Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.A., the name was changed to �The International Association of Rotary Clubs�, which was shortened in 1922 to �Rotary International�.


The 1917 Convention proved to be a significant milestone in the History International. The first Rotary International president from outside the United States was Dr. E. Leslie Pidgeon, from the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, Club 35.  Rev. Pidgeon was elected the Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. as the 8th president of Rotary International in 1917.


At that same Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, Arch Klumph (president 1916-1917) planted the seeds for the creation of the Foundation.



In Minneapolis on July 24, 1924, a Rotarian International Day took place.  Arthur Johnson of the Winnipeg Club was present.  The Union Jack flag and the Stars & Stripes flag were placed side by side for the first time at a Rotary meeting.


Bruce Richardson of the Winnipeg Club attended an International Meeting in Duluth later in the same year and hoped �that the Winnipeg Club would encourage the idea by arranging an International Day�.  While in Duluth, Bruce Richardson secured the promises of a number of Rotary Clubs to send American representatives to a similar meeting to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Pledges were also secured from Minneapolis and St. Paul Clubs.


It was suggested that the date of this proposed �International Day� meetings coincide with the anniversary of the organization of Rotary International.


The first International Goodwill Meeting was held February 23, 1925 at the Royal Alexandra Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  In attendance were representatives from 11 American clubs and 7 Canadian clubs.  The speaker at the first International Goodwill Meeting was Past International President of Rotary International, Dr. Leslie Pidgeon.  Through the following years the number of visiting Rotarians continued to grow.


In 1929, Paul Harris Paul Harris attended International Goodwill Weekend.  His speech was on �Early Days of Rotary and its First Meetings in Chicago�.


Past President of the Winnipeg Club, Gordon Hunter felt that proper recognition should be accorded all Rotarians attending Goodwill Meetings year after year.


Rotarians attending the International Goodwill Meetings wished to form their own organization of an international nature and on February 17, 1934 the �Order of Rotary International Fellowship� was created.


In 1935, the Rotary Club of Winnipeg celebrated its 25-year anniversary.  Paul Harris sent a message of congratulations to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, which was read at International Goodwill Weekend.  The Rotary Club of New York sent the following message, which was read at International Goodwill Weekend: �the first stepping stone towards the Rotary goal of world-wide understanding through a world fellowship of business and professional men united in the ideal of service.�  A Rotary Club from Jerusalem wrote: �Your Club set the Rotary Wheel in motion on a journey which shall never end until the desired achievement of world peace is accomplished.�


Rotarians, visiting from outside of Winnipeg, were eligible for admission to the �Order of Rotary International Fellowship� (O.R.I.F) after attending five Goodwill Meetings.  Induction to membership was arranged to take place at a solemn ceremony during the Goodwill Banquet, with each new member receiving a gold-plated pin.  In 1978, the Order of Rotary International Fellowship was expanded to include Winnipeg Rotarians.


The first 50 International Goodwill Meetings were conducted and hosted entirely by the Rotary Club of Winnipeg.  After the 50th Goodwill Meeting in 1975, the International Goodwill Meeting was conducted and hosted by the combined efforts of all the Rotary Clubs in Winnipeg. In 1999, it was proposed that the International Goodwill Meeting be sponsored by O.R.I.F with the help of the combined Rotary Clubs of Winnipeg.  In October 1999 the Winnipeg Rotary Clubs transferred responsibility for the Goodwill Weekend to the membership of O.R.I.F.


Of particular significance, the two American Rotary Clubs responsible for organisng the Rotary Club of Winnipeg, thus transforming Rotary into an international organization, St. Paul and Duluth, continue to participate in this annual celebration.


The International Goodwill Weekend welcomes participants from all Districts.  Districts 5550, 5580, 5950 and 5960 are regular participants.  All Rotarians are welcome to attend.


3. International Goodwill Garden and the Boy with the Boot


Assiniboine Park, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, comprises of153 hectares (378 acres) on the Assiniboine River. Winnipeg’s only cricket tournaments are played here. A miniature steam powered railway, zoo, Conservatory, English Garden, Leo Mol Sculpture Garden, Tudor-style Pavilion, and French Formal Gardens are only a few of the features found in the park. Picnic areas, cycling trails and walking trails are popular with visitors. In the winter, cross-country skiing, tobogganing and skating are activities enjoyed by all ages. Most public areas in the park are wheelchair accessible. The main entrance to the park is located at 2355 Corydon Avenue. The park may also be accessed from Portage Avenue via a footbridge over the Assiniboine River.


The �Boy with the Boot�, also referred to as the �Boy with the Leaking Boot�, was originally donated to the City of Winnipeg in 1897 by the Young Peoples� Christian Endeavour Society and the Trades and Labour Council to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria�s reign.


The statue depicts a boy, with his right hand in his pocket, and holding a leaking boot in his left hand. The boy watches a stream of water pouring from the toe of his boot.  The boy�s right foot is bare.

The actual origin of the statue is unknown.  It was likely one of 10 statues manufactured in an Italian foundry and donated to cities throughout North America.

A  �Boy with the Boot� statue may be seen in Ellenville, New York.  A �Boy with the Boot� statue once stood in Seattle, Washington, however, the statue was stolen in the early 1960s and never seen again.


There also used to be a �Boy with the Boot� statue in front of the Porter Hotel in Sandusky, Ohio, which faced Lake Erie. The world�s first porterhouse steak was reputedly served at the old Porter Hotel.  According to Gene Telpner, former journalist with the Winnipeg Sun, �Boy with the Boot� statues exist in Toronto, Ontario, London Ontario and a brewery in Michigan.  One statue is located in Sweden.


One firm in New York City offered to make copies of the statue for $1,800.00 each.  Another company in California was going to manufacture solid bronze copies of the statue for $3,500.00 each.


Legend has it that the �Boy with the Boot� was a newsboy who drowned.  Another legend is that the boy was a drummer boy in the American Civil War.


The statue initially stood in front of the old city hall as part of a fountain until 1953, when it was restored and placed at the English Garden by Order of Rotary International Fellowship.


The garden area leading to the entrance of the English Garden and the placing of the statue of the �Boy with the Boot� were funded by O.R.I.F.  The small garden in which the �Boy with the Boot� stands is formally called �International Goodwill Garden�, but is also referred to as �International Garden�.  A plaque on the ground at the front of the garden marks the commemoration date and gives credit to the Order.


On Monday, June 15, 1953 at 3:00 p.m., formal ceremonies were held, commemorating the �International Goodwill Garden� in Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Among those present at the Dedication Service for International Goodwill Garden were Gordon E. Hunter, founder of O.R.I.F. and originator of the idea of International Goodwill Garden, Winnipeg Mayor, Garnet Coulter, Reverend Burton Thomas, and Caroll L. Hurd, Mayor of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.


Over the years the �Boy with the Boot� has been stolen many times, but has always been recovered.  In 1985, the statue was stolen two times.  In June 1994, park officials thought the statue had been removed for repairs, only to discover that the statue had been stolen three months prior as part of a fraternity prank.  The statue was returned in September 1994.  The pranksters left the statue in the barn of local radio talk show host, Peter Warren, with a note stating: �Timmy went on a journey, Timmy is lonely and wants to go home.  Peter, Take care of him�.  The note was signed with the Greek letters Tau Kappa Phi.


The Order continues to make an annual contribution to the Winnipeg Parks Board for upkeep of this garden, which is identified by a metal plaque.



4. International Music Camp Scholarship


O.R.I.F. has provided scholarship funds each year for an American student and a Canadian student to attend the annual Music Camp, held in the International Peace Gardens.


5. Model United Nations Assembly (M.U.N.A.)


O.R.I.F makes an annual contribution to the Model United Nations project of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg.


O.R.I.F. donates to Model United Nations Assembly (M.U.N.A.) to cover their         administrative costs.


Model United Nations Assembly is held each spring in Winnipeg, Manitoba, attracting school students from Canada and United States.


6. The Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution


In 2000, Rotary International established the Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution, a six-year project to advance research, teaching, publication and knowledge on the issues of peace, goodwill, causes of conflict and world understanding.


O.R.I.F. is dedicated to fostering goodwill, understanding and peace, without regard to race religion or politics.


In 2001, O.R.I.F., committed a donation of $1,000.00 to the Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution.


16. The O.R.IF. Pin


Gordon E. Hunter created the original O.R.I.F. pin in 1934.  The pin comprised of a gold coloured medallion, which hung under a gold horizontal bar, joined by a chain.   The gold coloured medallion bears a Rotary International wheel.  The words �Rotary� were placed on the top portion of the wheel and the word �International� was placed on the bottom of the wheel, which is consistent with the Rotary International wheel presently in use today.  The wheel has a square fort superimposed on the wheel cogs in the centre of the Rotary wheel.  The Rotary wheel is encircled by two olive branches, which cross on the bottom.  There is a small gap between the olive branches at the top of the pin.  On the top of the medallion are two loops to join the medallion to the horizontal bar.   The letters �O.R.I.F.�, in raised Times New Roman lettering are on the horizontal bar. The base of the horizontal bar had loop on either side for attaching to the medallion.  A single gold loop was the interposed between the horizontal bar and the O.RI.F. medallion to connect the horizontal bar to the medallion.


The fort depicted in the medallion is the entrance to Upper Fort Garry.  The fort symbolizes enduring strength.


The two olive branches symbolize two nations standing side by side in peace.  The two olive branches, like the two nations physically touch each other at the roots.  The two olive branches surround the Rotary wheel, symbolizing the Rotarians from the two nations, that have surrounded themselves with the goals of Rotary International and the goal of fostering goodwill, peace and understanding throughout the world, without regard to race, religion or politics.  The two olive branches do not meet at the top, symbolizing that a Rotarians work is never done.  According to Gordon E. Hunter, the goal of O.R.I.F. was to further one of Rotary�s great four objects which is to encourage and foster: �The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men (and women) united in the ideal of service.�



Prepared by George Derwin

Rotary Club of Winnipeg St. James – District 5550


Rotarians Eliminating Malaria a Rotarian Action Group


Rotarians Eliminating Malaria a Rotarian Action Group was one of the first Action Groups, if not the first, to be recognised by The Board of Rotary International in November 2005. It came about after many suggestions from senior Rotary leaders throughout the world and my personal experience of working in African countries and as a Volunteer with the Rotaract Overseas Projects where we were always having to face at first hand the often fatal consequences of workers and African friends contracting Malaria.

REMaRAG purpose:

To promote the malaria control efforts of Rotarians and the work of Rotarians � alone and with others, including organisations, governments, NGO�s, health agencies and the public at large � towards the common goal of total control and possible elimination of Malaria.


REMaRAG coordinates all the excellent work being carried out by dedicated Rotarians & The Family of Rotary to form a global picture of what is happening – and where – in the fight against Malaria.

REMaRAG does not intended to take over or organise any group of individuals therefore groups such as Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Tanzania (REMIT), Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM), Roll Back Malaria (RBM) have nothing to fear when informing REMaRAG of their progress, strategy and concerns against Malaria.


Country representatives will act as conduits in the process of keeping succinct information on our website and where and how to put best practise before as many people as possible.


Visit for a full picture, both from Rotary circles and non-Rotary connections / consortiums and coalitions, press releases, and medical journals etc. Post a question or comment and join us NOW.

Talking about health, it’s important to understand that people who are lacking in fitness or who lead sedentary lives tend to be affected more than those who are active and fit. Mostly, because if you are unfit, your immunity levels will be low making you vulnerable to several types of infections.

The Rotary club takes its responsibilities seriously. Every cause they associate with is taken up with zeal and all efforts are pooled in to ensure that the cause is fulfilled. Roll Back Malaria is a great cause as this infection is deadly and affects so many lives.

What makes malaria dangerous is that it presents itself as a regular flu and fever but can weaken the immune system. Secondly, it’s hard to contain, because no matter how hard you try you cannot possible eliminate all mosquitoes from the planet.

When we talk about malaria or any other infection, we have to mention the recovery also. Malaria can weaken the body a great deal and though there are easily accessible medicines to combat the illness the recovery takes a while.

You feel weak and lethargic for days. Frequent headaches and fatigue become common when one is recovering from Malaria. At such times it wouldn’t hurt to use supplements to ensure the body gets the nutrients required to speed up the recovery. Products like Fitobalt can help boost immunity, provide energy and over time speed up metabolism. One can recover faster and get back on their feet and back to everyday life.

Back to REMaRAG,

Rotarians have much to be proud of in the fight against this deadly menace, let us not duplicate efforts nor reinvent the wheel!  Together REMaRAG is there to be of help, give guidance but more importantly to tell Rotarians and THE WORLD what Rotarians are doing.

Rotario Club of Havana, First Club of Latin America

Rotario Club of Havana, First Club of Latin America

1 June 1916

Rotario International Distrito

Rotary International Convention Host Club 1940

When one has enough savings, they can help the needy by contributing the money towards some charity organization or if they want their money to have a bigger impact, they can contribute to one of Rotary club’s projects, by becoming a Rotarian.

However, despite all this if one wants to stay invested in the market to earn good returns and benefit from the market movement; they can enter into Binary options trading. Binary options have grown at a good speed and have many people investing in it. The increase in investment has led to the surge in the number of brokers, signal providers and even automated platforms for trading like the HBSwiss.

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How does automated trading help exactly? Read on to find out:

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El Club Rot�rio de la Habana was started in Cuba by two members of the Tampa club, Angel Cuesta and John Turner. (Reference pg 239, My Road to Rotary, Rotary Begins to Spread). Rotary Headquarters hotelFrom the collection Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler
Paul Harris visited Cuba in 1927, seen here in this May 1927 photo from The Rotarian. Courtesy of Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler, RGHF Senior Historian Our complete history of Rotary in Cuba Courtesy of Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler, RGHF Senior Historian 31 May 2006

Paul Percy Harris

19 April 1868 DECORATION:

Paul Percy Harris is born in Racine, Wisconsin to George H. and Cornelia E. Harris.

There’s evidence that his mother’s side of the family had roots as far back as the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock.

Paul Harris was only to live in Racine until the age of three as a result of his parents financial instability. George Harris had been largely supported by his own father, but it even that was not enough for the Paul’s parents.

1860-1871 The most critical Paul Harris is of his parents is on page 8 of “The Founder of Rotary” in 1928. It explains why he was to leave their home in Racine and to be raised by his grandfather. He offers further explanation when he writes “My Road to Rotary” nearly 20 years later.
1871  Paul and his older brother Cecil are brought, by their father George Harris, to live with Paul’s grand-parents, Howard and Pamela Rustin Harris in Wallingford, Vermont
1871-1888 Paul writes that his grandfather was a strong influence on his future life. Though he may have over indulged his own son, George, he appeared to be a remarkable parent to Paul. “Founder” page 19,  “My Road to Rotary” page 208
Early 80’s Expelled from Black River Academy, attended by Calvin Coolidge, then graduates from Vermont Acade
1885  Enters the University of Vermont, only to be expelled. This time he is not at fault. Why does Harris not appeal the decision?
1888 While Paul is at Princeton, Howard Harris dies March 17th, 1888. Paul’s grandfather had given him a road map for success in life. He had taught him one thing above all else. “Tolerance”
1890  Paul entered the law department of the University of Iowa in the Autumn of 1890. When word came that his beloved grandmother had died, there was no time to return to Wallingford for the funeral. His ties to family were virtually cut.</style=”font-size:>
1891 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Paul gains his law degree and hears a former law student tell his class, “Go to a small town and make a fool of yourself for five years, then go to the big city.” Instead Paul gave himself five years to see the world as a reporter, actor, cowboy, seaman, granite salesman, fruit picker and hotel clerk.</style=”font-size:></style=”font-size:>
1896 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris arrives in Chicago and starts the practice of law. He becomes one of Chicago’s outstanding attorneys. An early client is a man named Silvester Schiele who needed an attorney to collect a $10.00 debt owed to him. He becomes one of Chicago’s outstanding attorneys with a thriving law office. Due to ill health he no longer practices law after the early 1930’s. But the firm of Harris, Dodds and Brown went on for many years and the succeeding law firm has the same phone number yet today.</style=”font-size:></style=”font-size:>
1900 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Invited to dinner by a fellow attorney, <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Bob Franks, Paul Harris is inspired to start an organization where men of different professions could gather in fellowship. He spends some five years considering this possibility.</style=”font-size:></style=”font-size:>
23 February


<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Thursday evening,  23 February 1905 in Chicago, <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Illinois, U.S.A. 37 year old attorney Paul P. Harris, fresh from a wild five years footloose and four years building a successful law practice, had an idea… It was regarding observations of success and respect which could come from organizing professional acquaintances. Five more years past. He had given this much thought by the time he and Silvester Schiele (right) walked over to Gus Loehr’s office, in Room 711 that cold winter night in 1905, almost 9 years from his arrival in Chicago.  </style=”font-size:></style=”font-size:>
1905 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Gus Loehr, whom Harris describes as a “promoter” had invited a tailor, Hiram Shorey, (right) to join the other two men. Neither Loehr nor Shorey remained more than a few weeks with the new organization. However, Room 711 is still recognized as the birthplace of our world wide movement.</style=”font-size:>
1905 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris had several other names, among them another friend, Harry Ruggles, a printer. Harry, known for his singing, is also the “fifth” Rotarian.Harris had discussed the idea of such an organization with both Schiele and and Ruggles.


1905 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”>Several weeks later, Schiele was elected the first president of Rotary as a courtesy since the meeting was held in his office. Harris suggested several names, one of them being “Rotary.”</style=”font-size:>
1908 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Paul Harris sends a former roommate, Manuel Munoz, to seek out an interested businessman when he travels to San Francisco to represent his company. Homer Wood, (right) a San Francisco attorney was just that person. He became responsible for much of Rotary on the West Coast and even clubs on the East Coast.</style=”font-size:>
1908 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Arthur Sheldon and Chesley Perry (right) both joined the Chicago club in 1908. Sheldon created the classification system and penned “He Profits Most Who Serves Best.” Harris describes his understanding of Sheldon’s philosophy. Meantime, not everyone in the Chicago club was in favor of “extension” which may have taken up too much of their meeting time. Ches Perry is appointed head of the extension committee in hopes he will stop Harris’s foolishness, particularly of “World Round Rotary.”</style=”font-size:>
1908 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>How important was the Harris – Perry relationship?</style=”font-size:>

<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> In the mid 1940’s Paul wrote: “I realized the necessity of doing one of two things, either losing entirely the sympathy of the Chicago club or converting the newly appointed chairman of the extension committee to the broader viewpoint.</style=”font-size:>


So it came about that I called Ches by phone one Sunday when he had ample time to talk. During the course of the interview, Ches asked me the question: ‘Why do you think, Paul, that the Chicago club is as nothing compared with what you have in mind?’


I don’t know how I answered but I considered the situation desperate and fired all of my broadsides in defense of my idea. Ches said little at the time but what he did say was enough. When I hung up the receiver, I felt convinced that I had won a friend to the cause. Shortly thereafter he and I, with the help of others, planned the formation of an association of the then existing clubs. Ches took the laboring oar in outlining and organizing the first convention of Rotary clubs.” Paul P. Harris, from Chapter 35 “My Road to Rotary”

(Harris and Perry in 1923, left)

1910 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Harris is elected the first president of the newly formed “National Association of Rotary Clubs” meeting in Chicago, 15-17 August, with sixteen clubs in Rotary. Paul Harris served two terms. </style=”font-size:>
1910 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> founding member of the Prairie Club of Chicago. On one of the club’s early hikes a beautiful young woman from Edinburgh, Scotland points out a tear in his jacket and offers to fix it. Jean Thomson and Paul Harris were married several months later. In two years he bought her a large home and they named their home after a road in Edinburgh, Comely Bank.” There they started their life long friendship garden.</style=”font-size:>
1911 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris is elected for a second term as president at the convention in Portland. 15 new clubs had joined the ranks of NARC. Many others were organized and “doing” business as those in the United Kingdom were.June 3rd of that year, he sends a letter to the Dallas club asking if they intend to be a “secret” organization.


1912 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Paul and secretary Ches Perry learn that former San Francisco Rotarian, Stuart Morrow, has returned to his home in Ireland and is independently organizing Rotary clubs.</style=”font-size:>
1912 Paul Harris is named President emeritus as 50 Clubs meet in Duluth with delegates from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and the organization becomes “The International Association of Rotary Clubs.”  <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Also that year he suffers a serious heart attack. General secretary Ches Perry provides one of the best descriptions of Harris’s health at the 1947 convention, in San Francisco</style=”font-size:>
1913 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> The 1913 convention saw Glen Mead become the second president of Rotary. Paul Harris did not attend, but his leadership was felt.</style=”font-size:>
1914 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>For the February 1914 issue of The Rotarian, Harris write an article entitled, “The Distant Sense.” The article was about ethics in business.</style=”font-size:>
1915 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Paul Harris sent a message to the 1915 convention in San Francisco with a concern about Rotary.</style=”font-size:>
1916 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>He did not attend the 7th convention in Cincinnati, but sent a message regarding the growth of Rotary.</style=”font-size:>
1917 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>War breaks out in Europe and Harris sends a message to the Atlanta convention. Arch Klumph talks about an “endowment.” In February of that year, Paul writes a “12th Anniversary” message to Rotarians.</style=”font-size:>
1918 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris’s letter to the Kansas City convention stresses methods for getting Rotary into the general public. </style=”font-size:>
1919 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>The First World War continues and Paul Harris’s letter to the convention in Salt Lake City is about the pain of war and Rotary role in peace.</style=”font-size:>
1919 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Paul Harris’s mother, Cornelia Bryan Harris dies in Denver, Colorado. Paul had spent very little time with his parents who never seemed to be able to keep their family together. It was Paul’s grandfather whose quiet generosity maintained his parents. Paul’s father, George, never very successful in life, is vigilant as his wife’s caretaker at the end of her life.</style=”font-size:>
1920 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Paul’s message to the Atlantic City convention stresses the “service way.”</style=”font-size:>
1921 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Rotary’s first convention away from the continent of its birth. Edinburgh, the birthplace of Paul’s wife Jean Thomson Harris, yet Paul’s health would not allow the trip. His impassion speech, was read, as usual, by long time general secretary Ches Perry.“First time across the sea… Yesterday, Rotary was a child…”   “God grant that Rotary be clean and free from the corrupting influences of politics.”  “The power of Rotary is friendship… Friendship means peace.”


1922 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Los Angeles hosted the 13th convention and Harris wrote about the expanding international aspects.</style=”font-size:>
1923 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>U.S. president Warren G. Harding addresses the 8,000 Rotarians in St. Louis. It was his last major speech, dying a month later. Harris writes in his address about “service over wealth” and stresses the importance of our exclusive representation as a reason or our success.</style=”font-size:>
1924 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris sends a greeting to Toronto</style=”font-size:>
1925 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>A short message to the Cleveland convention. Silvester Schiele does attend.</style=”font-size:>
1926 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris sends a message, saying among other things, that Rotary had “reached its majority” being now 21 years old. The convention was in Denver where his father would die that same year.</style=”font-size:>
1926 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> At the age of 84, George Harris, Paul’s father, dies in Denver, Colorado. Having finally inherited his mother’s estate George had been able to continue his life’s practice of inventions and schemes that never succeeded. Paul Harris wrote that he cherished one fond memory of how his father cared for his mother in her final years.We as Rotarians, should be thankful to Paul’s grandfather, Howard Harris and his grandmother, Pamela Harris without whom there is little doubt Paul’s own genius would not have found its “Road to Rotary.”


1927 The first convention on the European continent was in Ostende, Belgium. Vivian Carter, secretary of R.I.B.I. read Harris’s speech.<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> �The three generals in command of the destructive forces are: Suspicion Jealousy and Fear. </style=”font-size:>

Let us stimulate and encourage the constructive forces and place in their command, the three greatest generals the world has ever known: Faith Love and Courage.�

1928 Paul was traveling in Europe as a <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> delegate of an Illinois bar association at the time of the Minneapolis convention, but sent a short message.</style=”font-size:>
1928 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Paul Harris’s signature is all that is seen on the cover of his 1928 autobiography “The Founder of Rotary,” with a forward by RI General Secretary Chesley R. Perry. The entire book is online to be read or printed</style=”font-size:>
1928 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Harris’s tour of Europe, as a delegate of his bar association, is described in his personal journal. He also visited many Rotary clubs in England and Europe during this trip.<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>Also, a summary of his speeches to clubs during that trip where he answers some of the critics of Rotary.</style=”font-size:>


1929 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Ches Perry announced at the Dallas convention, that the Rotary Foundation was well under way. Paul Harris’s message took up a sporting theme -entitled – The Big Game is On. Paul asked Rotarians – What will your batting average be? And Have you learned the rules of the game?</style=”font-size:>
1930 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris attends the 1930, “Silver Anniversary” convention, in Chicago. His first convention since leaving office in 1912.. He was not expected due to his health. However, he surprised the nearly 10,000 in attendance and delivered his message in person for the first time in 30 years!</style=”font-size:>
1930’s <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> After Harris’s death in 1947, Ches Perry, then retired, attended the San Francisco convention to deliver a memorial to his former boss. In this copy of a portion of that speech he talks about Paul’s illness and the board’s invitation to visit clubs around the world when his health recovered in the mid-1930’s.</style=”font-size:>
1931 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Paul’s letter to the Vienna, Austria convention talks about the new ideas of Rotary coming from “young counties” to “older countries” in Europe and also about the great depression.</style=”font-size:>
1932 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>World conflict is again on the rise. The secretariat has moved to new offices. There’s a heated debate about allowing more than one club in a city. And, the convention chairman reads Paul Harris’s speech to the Seattle convention.</style=”font-size:>
1932 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Paul Harris’s unpublished diary of his journey to Europe in 1932, during which time he planted “Friendship Trees” in many European cities.<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>The final summary of the journal was about patriotism.</style=”font-size:>


1933 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:>Hear Paul Here!  In 1933, Rotary International held its 24th convention in Boston, MA, USA.  Harris attended remaining active as president emeritus. During the convention, a radio broadcast was arranged heard “around the world” and addressed to “non-Rotarians.” General secretary Chesley R. Perry introduced Harris who told his audience ” Friends of the air” that if they have “Love of ‘men’ in their heart,” then they are potential Rotarians! Now you can listen to a recording of this famous broadcast.
1934 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>Harris attends two conventions in a row and again is on the Radio, this time from the Detroit convention, where he receives the Boy Scouts of America’s highest award. The ceremony is broadcast to the host community.</style=”font-size:>
1934 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>In 1934, Harris writes the first in a series for The Rotarian by presidents. Harris writes “A Road I have Traveled” about his 29 years in Rotary.Also, in 1934, Harris wrote an introduction to a book about Jim Davidson, who was often referred to as the “Paul Harris” of India and other far flung parts of the Rotary world.


1934 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>Paul Harris makes trip to England and South Africa. There is a very important meeting with R.I.B.I with importance still today. Then on for a round of meetings in South Africa. His journal is online.<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>While in London, during the 1934 trip, Paul hears of a letter which may have political undertones. His comments are contained in an article.</style=”font-size:>


1935 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>His health improved enough to travel, Harris attends the Mexico City convention and again broadcasts on the radio. It is his third consecutive convention and the Harris’s are now traveling around the world. Harris, though, must sometimes, cancel appearances due to exhaustion.</style=”font-size:>
1935 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Peregrinations II. Paul writes a statement of international philosophy from Parramatta, Australia. Along the way they plant many of the Friendship Trees, now on display as part of our fellowship.<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>While in Valparaiso, Chile, in 1936, Paul wrote his thoughts on the planting of trees.</style=”font-size:>


1935 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Paul Harris writes his second autobiography, “This Rotarian Age,” this time mostly about the evolution of Rotary in the first 30 years of the organization.”At last, we have the story of Rotary by its Founder, Paul P. Harris. It is not merely a recital of what happened in 1905 or the years immediately following. It is an interesting story of Rotary � of yesterday, of today, and of tomorrow” From the book’s forward by general secretary Ches Perry


1935 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>In his 1935 text of Rotary’s past, present and future he also writes about his health. He describes what he terms a “nervous breakdown” sometime in the early 1930’s. He leaves one copy of his book with a thank you message to the family who gave him a place to rest while he was writing “This Rotarian Age.” (There is a section devoted to signatures of some interest such a check written in later years to his only sister.)</style=”font-size:>
1935 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Also, in 1935, Harris makes a rare attendance at a Rotary convention. This one in Mexico City. Harris told of how it was a joy to meet friends in unaccustomed places. “God must have loved mankind when he created friends for them”, he told his audience.Also, <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>for the 30th Anniversary of Rotary, Paul Harris wrote: Rotary is 30 Years Old</style=”font-size:>


1936 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″>Paul Harris did not attend the Atlantic City convention as he and Jean Harris were still visiting Rotarians in South America but his Convention Message was read out by his old friend Silvester Schiele. </style=”font-size:>
1936 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” face=”Arial”> Paul and Jean travel, again, at the invitation of the board of directors, to Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Harris writes about the travels, but continues to record his philosophy of Rotary’s power for peace.  They also plant many more Friendship Trees.  The travels are published as Peregrinations III and, as with Peregrinations II, the publication is copyright by Jean Harris.</style=”font-size:>
1937 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Returned from their South American travels, Harris crosses the Atlantic, is made an officer of the French Foreign Legion and then speaks to the Rotary convention in Nice, France.Paul received many decorations and belonged to numerous organizations


1938 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>At the 1938 San Francisco convention, general secretary Ches Perry suggested contributions to the Rotary Foundation rather than birthday cards for Paul Harris’s 70th Birthday.</style=”font-size:>
1939 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>At age 71, Paul attended the 30th convention in Cleveland and spoke of Rotary’s power for peace, as war loomed.</style=”font-size:>
1940 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Harris’s health would not allow the trip to Cuba for the Rotary Convention there. Years earlier, Paul had wondered if Rotary could take hold in a non English speaking country. Havana, though not active now, was the first such club.</style=”font-size:>
1941 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Both Paul and his wife Jean attended the convention in Denver, the former home of his parents.</style=”font-size:>
1941 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Paul and Jean attend a business exposition at Rotary Club of Chicago and present some of Paul’s own artwork.</style=”font-size:>
1942 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Again Paul and Jean were present in Toronto and both spoke. He said the war was to preserve civilization. At that convention, Ches Perry ended 32 years as the first secretary general and the only Rotarian with a perfect convention attendance record.</style=”font-size:>
1943 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Jean and Paul were together for a third year and both spoke in St. Louis.  Harris was now 75.</style=”font-size:>
1944 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>403 were all that attended the Chicago convention that year, but Paul Harris made his fourth appearance in a row and received an award from the Dominican Republic.</style=”font-size:>
1945 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> In 1945 the United Nations charter was signed in San Francisco. Rotarians were involved in the organization and remain so today. Paul Harris explains, in “My Road to Rotary” how this came to be.</style=”font-size:>
1945 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>We have no record of Paul Harris attending the second Chicago “war” convention. However, there was a memorial to Paul’s friend, and 32 year RI treasurer and fellow Chicago Rotarian, Rufus Chapin, who had died that year.</style=”font-size:>
1946 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>No doubt the 1946 convention in Atlantic City was saddened by the passing of Silvester Schiele, the first president of a Rotary club. He was also one of Paul’s earliest clients, close friend and neighbor. At the next convention, in San Francisco, there would be the memorial to the first president of a “Rotary Association.”</style=”font-size:>
1946 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>As he is writing “My Road to Rotary” Harris describes the “Friendship Trees” and war.Months before his death and in ill health, Paul is asked by Leland Case, editor of The Rotarian, to write a “routine” article for the coming February anniversary of Rotary. It is believed to be his last published writing.


<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> 27 January</style=”font-size:>


<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> After a many years of ill health, </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#0000ff”> Rotary founder Paul Harris dies </style=”font-size:>

 | Chicago Tribune obituary  | Day of his death/Service<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#0000FF”> | </style=”font-size:>

 | Tributes from presidents Hedke, Warren, Mead and GS Perry

1947 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″> Just as Vivian Carter, the second editor of The Rotarian is completing a book about Rotary in London, he learns of the death of his friend Paul Harris. He writes a very revealing tribute. </style=”font-size:>
1947 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#000000″> The San Francisco convention saw the return of retired general secretary Chesley R. Perry to deliver the memorial for his former boss Paul Harris. It was Harris, in 1908 who had called Perry on a Sunday afternoon and managed to convince Perry to help him.</style=”font-size:>
1948 <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> the third book and second autobiography, written by Paul P. Harris is published. The first edition included 14 pages of highlights from 1905 – 1948. These were written for the publisher A. Kroch and Son, by Rotary International under the direction of Rotary’s second General Secretary, Philip Lovejoy.  In this book you’ll hear Paul tell how Rotary came to be. How he became the person who had the vision to create this great movement. It is the only way to understand the values of Rotary from the man who taught them.  For his words, sent to you each week by email:
1952  Harry Ruggles, the Fifth Rotarian writes an article for The Rotarian about his long time friend and fellow Rotarian, “The Paul Harris that I Knew.”
1979 “Paul Harris will forever be remembered as the founder of Rotary International.

This account of his life, the first to be published, makes fascinating reading and marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Rotary, which today has nearly one million members in more than 150 countries.”  James P. Walsh

1957 The “Paul Harris Fellow” designation (later to become “Paul Harris Fellow Recognition” was created in 1957 to recognize the gift of US$1,000 to The Rotary Foundation. There were also several other awards, including ones for $500 and $100, but they were subsequently discontinued.See our article by PRIP Cliff Dochterman


Today There are many memorials to Paul Harris, the greatest is “Rotary” itself and becoming a Paul Harris Fellow and knowing that every dollar of that investment will go to an effort to bring goodwill and understanding to our world.
This section  was created by Rotary First 100 founder John M. Selway, the History Fellows, with contributions from members of the entire history committee and credit for an original design by Rotary International

Paul Harris has created history with Rotary and put this club on the global map as an esteemed organization that works towards improving the lives of many people, all over the world. Just like how Eco Slim revolutionized weight loss technique for those who weren’t keen on compromising on a good coffee, Paul Harris revolutionized the way social responsibilities were carried out.


(Walt Disney, who brought some of the Harris tales to the movie screen, was an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Palm Springs, California, U.S.A.)  Another daring adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl, is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Larvik, Norway.  Marshall Carl-Gustaf Mannerheim who was a honorary member of The Rotary Club of Helsinki from 1934 until his death in 1951. Submitted by: PDG Kari Tallberg H.M. Vittorio Emanuele III, King of Italy, honorary member of Rotary Club of Rome
 Many of the illustrious figures in world affairs have been and are Rotarians.  Royalty and elected political officials have been drawn to Rotary’s ideal of “Service Above Self.”  
The Presidents of the United States that were Honorary Rotarians are: Woodrow Wilson (RC of Birmingham, AL) (TR April 1915 p.76), Calvin Coolidge, (Obituary)  Other honorary U.S., Presidents were Herbert Hoover, …  Franklin D. Roosevelt (honorary member of the RC of Albany,,  Harry S. Truman, … ..
Portrait of Woodrow Wilson Portrait of Herbert Hoover Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt Portrait of Harry S. Truman
 Dwight D. Eisenhower,  (honorary member of the RC of Abilene, Kansas (1942), Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1952), and Newport, Rhode Island, (1957)), .. John F. Kennedy have been honorary Rotarians. . Richard Nixon – Whittier, CA since 1948
   Portrait of John Kennedy Portrait of Richard M. Nixon
Ronald W. Reagan – Pacific Palisades, CA  George W. Bush – RC of Washington DC (made an honorary member by RI Past President Frank Devlyn at a ceremony on 2 July, 2001 at the White House) HRH the Prince of Wales, honorary member Windsor, Ontario, Canada, from The Rotarian May 1921, (Dr. Wolfgang Ziegler) Charles H.R.H the Prince of Wales, Honorary Member, Rotary Club of Banchory-Ternan, D1010 UK (webmaster Rtn. Chris Engle)
Portrait of Ronald Reagan Official portrait of President George W. Bush. HRH The Prince of Wales
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Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor – Honorary member of two Canadian Rotary clubs. TR March 1936 p. 27.


<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister, Birmingham, UK</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>

 Another honorary member was  Associate Justice William O. Douglas.


<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Sir Winston Churchill was an honorary member of the Rotary Club of London, England. </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> There is royalty in Rotary.</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> The honorary president of the Rotary Cub of Monaco, Monaco, is Prince Rainier III.  </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> King Baudouin I of Belgium, is an honorary member of the Rotary Cub of Brussels.  </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> King Hassan II of Morocco, </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> hassan picture</style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Albert I King of Belgium</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””>I. K. Gujaral, Prime Minister</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> H. R. H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – honorary member of the Rotary Club of Windsor and Eton, England – TR June 1970 p. 28 an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh.</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – 1990</style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Princephil2.jpg</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Thatcher.jpg</style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> King Carl VI Gustav of Sweden, and …</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands are patrons of Rotary in their countries.  </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, chief executive of Chile, was, at one time, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Santiago.</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Many of the world’s leading industrialists and businessmen are Rotarians. </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> Copyright : RVD/Foto John Th�ring <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Dr. Karl A. Menninger, M.D. – Chairman of the Board of Trustees Menninger Foundation – Honorary Member Rotary Club of Topeka, Kansas. Rotary International Archives / Central Files-Subject Files / Notables – General. Letter dated 28 January, 1977 from Claire Hettinger, DG 571.</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer, philosopher and physician, was an honorary member of the Rotary clubs of Colmar, France, and Passau, Germany.</style=”font-size:> The opera singer Florence MacBeth, born in Mankato/Minnesota, Primadonna of the Chicago Civic Opera, was made honorary member of the RC St. Paul, Minnesota as early as 1915.

Crown Prince Umberto of Savoia, was honorary member of the Rotary Club of Cuneo (district 2030, Italy), because this city was his born place.

 (provided by Pietro Brunoldi)

<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:>

Provided by Wolfgang Ziegler

Crown Prince Umberto of Savoia
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Rotarians are impressive travelers.  Sir Edmund Hillary, an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Auckland, New Zealand, has trekked to the top of Mt. Everest.  </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Another honorary Rotarian has flown to the moon!  Former U.S. astronaut Neil A. Armstrong is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Wapakoneta, Ohio, U.S.A.  </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Former astronaut Alan B. Shephard, Jr., was an honorary Rotarian in Derry, New Hampshire, U.S.A.</style=”font-size:> Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper was once a down-to-earth honorary Rotarian in Space Center (Houston) Texas, U.S.A
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Edmund Hillary</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Neil Armstrong (NASA Photo)</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Frank Borman, Astronaut, <style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#0000FF”> Houston #53</style=”font-size:></style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Charles Lindberg, First Trans-Atlantic Flight</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Thomas A. Edison – Inventor – Honorary member of the RC of Orange, NJ – The Weekly Letter Monday, 26, 1931 page 1.</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> General John J. Pershing – WWI US General – Honorary member of the RC of Lincoln, NB 14 – The Rotarian December 1938 page 33. </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> Frank Borman (NASA Photo)</style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> JJ Pershing PHOTO</style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> General Douglas MacArthur – WWII US General – Honorary member of the RC of Tokyo, Japan (Approximately April or May 1949) The Rotarian – July 1949 page 21.</style=”font-size:> H.R.H. the Duke of Aosta was honorary member of RC Naples, Italy, District 2100.

(provided by Pietro Brunoldi)

<style=”font-size: 9pt”=”” color=”#0000FF”> </style=”font-size:>
<style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> </style=”font-size:> <style=”font-size: 9pt”=””> H.R.H. Duke of Aosta

People are known and remembered for a number of reasons. When they do something that has an impact on others or something impressive, they are honored by a number of organizations across the world. Rotary has asset of such honorary members too. These are members who are famous and are well recognized in the world. They are given a honorary membership and are not expected to attend meetings or have attendance like other members. They could have invested something of significance, could have developed software like The Brit Method, etc that brought about a big change in the trading industry, or could have contributed in some other way.

Duarte: The Mouse That Roared

 Duarte: The Mouse That Roared
 The year was 1976. About 12 miles east of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, near the intersection of I-210 and I-605, is Duarte, a small town in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Between Monrovia and Azusa on Route 66, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, Duarte is a quiet bedroom community with a very small Rotary Club.


With only eight members, including the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Key, the club votes to invite three women to join the club. Two school principals, Mary Lou Elliott and Donna Bogart joined the same day. Just a few months later, in the spring of 1977, psychologist Rosemary Freitag became the third woman member of Duarte. The club had nearly increased 50 percent in size with the addition of women.

Women were seen to come forward and contribute to the society they lived in, just like the men. These women had more ideas and were knowledgeable in matters relating to a household and what is required to run a family, etc. These women members, over a cup of Eco Slim, would discuss and make the other members understand what really mattered in many family related issues.

The late Paul G. Bryan, from Pasadena, was the Governor of District 530 (now 5300) in 1976-1977. On his advice, the club listed the women with only their initials for their first names and the data was sent to Rotary International.

On June 1, 1977, the Duarte club held its 25th Anniversary Celebration. In front of the backdrop of RI officialdom, who were present for the celebration, the three women were introduced as members. Needless to say, official Rotary International representatives expressed alarm at the presence of women in the Duarte club. Word spread rapidly throughout Rotary International. Requests to terminate the women were rejected by the club.

Eight months later, in February of 1978, Rotary International revoked the charter of the Duarte club. The club requested a hearing with RI’s Board of Directors. The Board told Duarte that it must remove women members. They refused again. Undaunted, the club members raised funds to send a club member, Luke McJimpson, to Tokyo for the next Council on Legislation. The club began fund raising in earnest, and the entire Duarte community supported the fundraisers.

On March 27, 1978, the Rotary International Board of Directors officially revoked the Charter of the Duarte club after the appeals process was concluded.  

Duarte member Luke McJimpson flew to Tokyo for the Council on Legislation. His instruction from the club was that they would take no legal action before appealing to Rotary�s Council on Legislation. Jack Davis, President of Rotary International wrote the COL, “The unity of Rotary International was jeopardized by a single club’s unilateral move to change bylaws.”

The matter is heard and discussed. The vote is 1060 to 34 against changing the constitution of Rotary International to admit women to Rotary. That vote upheld the previous decision of Rotary International’s Board of Directors.

Upon McJimpson�s return, the entire club met, and decided to continue to meet as a quasi-Rotary Club. An X was placed over the Rotary insignia, new pins were made, and the club was called: The Ex-Rotary Club of Duarte.

A month later, in June of 1978, the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, helped by Sanford Smith, an attorney from a neighboring Rotary Club, and Carl Agate, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Immediately upon service, Rotary International�s attorney petitioned to transfer the California State Court suit to federal court, using the theory that all Rotary International board members are not Californians. If jurisdiction had been changed to Federal court, the Rotary International board would have gained the advantage of a 1976 Federal court decision which upheld exclusionary rules for private clubs. However, the Federal court rules that the battle be fought back in state court.

The case finally goes to trial in 1983. California State Judge Max Deutz refused to reinstate the club. The Duarte club immediately appealed the decision. In 1986, the State Appeals Court reversed Judge Deutz, stating that Rotary Clubs are business establishments subject to regulation under the state’s Unruh Act which bans discrimination based on race, gender, religion or ethnic origin.

Rotary International immediately appealed the case to the California Supreme Court. That court then refused to hear the case, meaning that they agreed with the State Appeals Court ruling reversing Deutz.

Rotary International then appealed the decision to the U. S. Supreme Court. The RI attorney argued, “�threatens to force us to take in everyone, like a motel.”

Unbeknownst to the Duarte club, the Seattle-International District club, on July 31, 1986, had unanimously voted to admit women.  Because it was believed that admitting only one or two women would create pressure on those individuals, the Seattle-ID club decided to admit several women, and ultimately 15 were proposed and admitted.

In order to prevent their charter being revoked by RI like that of Duarte, the Seattle-ID club kept silent about its admission of women until it was ready to seek an injunction in Federal court, to prevent expulsion. In September, 1986, the Club hired Margaret McKeown of the Perkins Coie law firm as counsel, filed its suit, and announced its admission of the women. Subsequently, Seattle-ID joined Duarte in the Supreme Court case.

 The United States Supreme Court, on May 4, 1987, affirmed the 1986 ruling of the Court of Appeals of California in a 7 – 0 opinion. There was widespread media publicity worldwide. However, there was no communication from Rotary International until the 1987-1988 Rotary year, when the Duarte club received an invoice/recap sheet to list existing members as of June 30, 1987, and pay international dues based on the membership as of that date. To this day, that invoice remains the only communication from the Rotary International Board of Directors or the Secretariat regarding the end of the Duarte charter revocation and its reinstatement in Rotary International.

However, by the time that the Duarte case went to the U. S. Supreme Court, things had changed in District 530 regarding the Duarte club. Of the three original women, only Mary Lou Elliott remained. Rosemary Freitag had moved out of California, and Donna Bogart had moved to Fresno to take over a school there. The club had continued to welcome women as members, and its membership included Marabelle Taylor, Elaine Benthuys, Donna Georgino and Sylvia Whitlock, along with Elliott. In fact Whitlock, who joined in 1982, was the club�s president-elect in 1986-87.

In late fall of 1986, District 530 Governor Tim Keen Siu sent to the Duarte Club and incoming president Sylvia Whitlock an invitation to attend California PETs and a notice of the district dues schedule.

California PETs took place in February, 1987, prior to the United States Supreme Court decision. However, it was incumbent on all California clubs to obey the ruling of the State Court of Appeals. At PETs, the attendance included 310 men and one woman, Sylvia Whitlock, and all were requested to bring a coat and tie for pictures to be taken. District 530 Governor  Siu, in the district session, told of the Duarte Club’s actions, the court ruling, and the decision of Rotary International to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. His comment was, in direct reference to the club’s small number, “This is a case of the mouse that roared.”

The club, in deference to their pride in the “roar,” chose that phrase to appear on the club’s new banner.

Sylvia Whitlock served as president of Duarte for the 1987-1988 Rotary year, although she was unable to attend the International Convention in Munich, coming just one month after the Supreme Court decision.

She had extremely positive things to say about her District Governor, Tim Keen Siu, and he, and the rest of the district leadership, made her feel welcome. She was the first woman club president in the world, although RI did not officially change its constitution and bylaws admitting women until January of 1989, and they did not take effect until July 1, 1989.

During her year, Whitlock was invited to a Rotary Foundation reception in early 1988. It was held on the Spruce Goose in Long Beach. There, the first woman president met Charles Keller, the president of Rotary International. Warm and cordial, Keller demonstrated that the war was truly over, and that women were welcomed to Rotary. Finally, in June, 1988, Sylvia Whitlock attended her first International Convention, in Philadelphia. She was the first woman President to attend an international convention.

To this day, Sylvia Whitlock still serves the Duarte club as secretary, the club celebrated its 50th Anniversary on June 1, 2002, Mary Lou Elliott has retired and moved to La Jolla, California, and women still are a critical part of the spirit of �The Mouse That Roared, the Rotary Club Of Duarte.�

Researched by noted western scene painter Joseph Holbrook is part of historically accurate scenes reproduced in oils commissioned by the Duarte City Council for exhibit in the Duarte City Hall. Suitable for framing, this reproduction includes the boundaries of the original Asuksa Indian Tribe, a branch of the Shoshone Nation; reference to the now famous DeAnza Expedition; the contour of the Andres Duarte Rancho and how the original cattle brand used by Duarte is today the official Logo for the City of Duarte.


 Doug Rudman, Rotary Global History

Also see the story on the First President and her District Governor’s statement.

Rotary Club of Oakland #3 wrote to the general secretary for an explanation of Duarte’s loss of their charter.



Mt. Evans Rotary Peace Memorial
Reported by Stephanie Ursini, Denver Southeast Rotary Club, and District PR Chair

View from the Top of Mt. Evans, ColoradoJuly 15, 2006 � High atop Mt. Evans at over 14,000 feet was a celebration embracing beauty and history � from the brilliant blue sun drenched sky (yet brisk 55 degrees) to the sentiment, to the fellowship, but mostly to the memories. I imagine the day was equally as delightful 65 years ago when the Plaque for Peace was placed by Denver Rotarians atop Mt. Evans. This gorgeous day in July was spearheaded by Mountain Foothills Rotarian Wil Swart, to re-dedicate the monument, to bring about a new awareness, and bring together Rotarians to enjoy its greatness. And that he did!

Rotarians are aware of their health just as they are aware of the society. They know climbing these mountains can be a great workout and combined with a cup of CocoSlimmer, once they reach the spot, it can be veryt refreshing and effective to lose those extra pounds, fast and easy.

Rotarians from all over Colorado gathered to hear Mr. Swart�s remarks along with Past District Governor (PDG), Norris Hermsmeyer�s rededication, and the music accompaniment of �The Original Cow Boy Band*.� Particular mention of a special attendee on this day, revered Rotarian, PDG Loy Dickinson, along with a family that he has been hosting from Czechoslovakia. A family that assisted him when his plane went down during WWII � one can only imagine the impact and memories this day presented for all of them.Past District Governor Norris Hermsmeyer�s remarks were appropriately monumental in scope and are reprinted below for your enjoyment. A special thanks to Wil Swart for his efforts in bringing this important piece of Rotary Global History to our attention.

PDG Norris Hermsmeyer�s remarks:

�Many of the comments here today come from the book, �A Century of Service,� by Daniel C. Forward, a book created to mark Rotary�s 100th anniversary. Other parts of these comments came from articles posted on the Rotary 100 history website.

�One of the things that appeals to me about Rotary is how it continues to evolve. Founded in 1905, the case might be made that it was a club for one guy to get known in his community and looking for a fellowship of professional men. The case could also be made that Rotary was to be a �leads� club, men of different professions dealing with each other based on a mutual respect and common business ethic.

�Shortly after the organizations founding, a new focus was found, that of serving the community as volunteers in ways that were appropriate for and to that community. Rotary�s motto then as it is today, is �Service Above Self.�

�Peace was certainly not considered to be a role for Rotary in the early organizational days.
�During the period of 1912 through World War 1, the idea that Rotary was or might be a medium for the promotion of international peace and good will was voiced many times by many clubs and individual Rotarians around the world. Many of these same individuals and clubs would take action as they saw fit within their own groups.

�In 1920, when Rotary International met in Atlanta, the idea that peace and good will might become a standard of Rotary was first expressed. In 1921, Rotary met in Edinburgh, Scotland. Many of the 2523 attendees had lost friends and family in the WWI conflict. They were weary witnesses to the need for world Peace.

�Just 16 years after Rotary began, it became an organization with the worthy objective to �aid in the advancement of international peace and goodwill through a fellowship of business and professional men (and now women) of all nations united in the Rotary ideal of service.� �Rotary has approached peacemaking systematically�it has sought to breakdown the barriers that cause people to point fingers at one another. By trying to understand people�s points of view and reaching across lines of race, religion and culture to become partners in service to all mankind, tensions are reduced and friendships increased. Humanitarian aid has been Rotary�s answer to hunger, sickness, illiteracy and economic disaster, the seeds of conflict.

�Over the years, RI Boards and clubs have laid out policies and programs of how Rotarians can contribute to the peacemaking role.

�President Warren G. Harding (a Rotarian until his election to office) in 1923 said, �If I could plant Rotary in every community in the world, I would do it, and then I would guarantee the tranquility and forward march of the world.� �One of the initiatives in the period between WWI and WWII was the creation of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on the border between the U.S. and Canada.

�The Rotary Peace marker in this park at the point where the Continental Divide in the U.S. meets the point marking the origin of the Continental Divide in Canada is significant to us today for two reasons.

� A prime motivator of that memorial was Thomas Davis, the RI President from Butte, Montana who would serve in 1940-41. We shall hear more about him in a minute.

� One of the ongoing projects of this District of Rotary, spearheaded by PDG Mat Matson of Conifer Rotary is the development and maintenance of the Continental Divide Trail running 3100 miles from Canada to Mexico. Indeed it is his hope to create a Peace Memorial marker at the end of the Continental Divide when it meets the Mexican border. It may be a little difficult to define that point given the relative flat land of New Mexico at that point.

�With the �Winds of War� again threatening, the RI convention in 1940 was held in Havana, Cuba. The 3700 delegates to that gathering adopted a resolution calling for �freedom, justice, truth, sanctity of the pledged word and respect for human rights.� Fast forward to 1948 when the newly chartered United Nations wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, based on the framework of this same RI resolution adopted in 1940.

�The 1941 Rotary convention was in Denver with 8900 in attendance, 90% of the Rotarians from the U.S. and the balance from other parts of the Western Hemisphere. The dilemma was that many Rotarians around the world were at war, or soon would be. �The Peace Memorial we see before us today was to have been dedicated by the 1940-41 RI President Armando de Arruda Pereira of Sao Paulo, Brazil, but inclement weather made the dedication impossible.

�Perhaps, fortuitously, the RI President who would serve for the Rotary year 1941-42, Thomas Davis (remember him from the Peace Memorial on the Canadian border) of Butte, Montana was able to return to Colorado for the formal dedication.

The Event was carefully monitored by the natives �In his address to the Denver convention, President David knowing what was facing the world stated, �You and I know Rotary�s limitations�but we also know its capacities. We know we can do something. With a world full of reasons for pessimism, I am not pessimistic. For my faith in the ultimate triumph of goodness and kindliness is as deep as my faith in a power infinitely greater than man�s. Yet in that faith I find no excuse, no reason for resignation.�

�It is not surprising that the theme for RI President Davis�s year was �Peace will Come.� We know Rotarians worldwide worked toward that end, just as following the war so many Rotarians were instrumental in the creation of the United Nations, an organization dedicated to bringing men and countries together to end peace and strife in the world.

�Before you, you see a memorial built of active rock, part of a wall, at an elevation of over fourteen thousand feet with a mountain view finder. The finder or finger is of bronze placed on a circular plate of bronze 14 � inches in diameter. The finger is moveable upon the circular plate upon which radiates lines to identify mountains and other points of interest.

�Below that are certain inscriptions denoting Rotary�s objectives, including the one passed at the 1921 Rotary International Convention identifying the �advancement of international understanding, good will and peace through a fellowship of business and professional mean called in the ideal of service.�

*Mr. Swart was instrumental in reconstituting this infamous band that�s roots began in 1878 in Dodge City, Kansas where Will was a former resident. The band �disbanded� in 1890 and the equipment sold to a Pueblo, Colo. resident; who proceeded to reestablish the band in Idaho Springs in 1905. The band was a huge success through the boom mining days and while no one knows when it again was dispersed, it is again alive and well thanks to Will�s reconstitution of the band last year. One hundred years later and also in celebration of Rotary�s Centennial, �The Original Cow Boy Band� is hooting and tooting once again.



Who Are the Hungry and Malnourished? 

Our name, Rotarian Action Group for the Alleviation of Hunger and Malnutrition and our Mission Statement were chosen quite deliberately. Hungry and malnourished individuals and groups are found on every continent, in every country and in most communities.  According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, there are an estimated 800 million persons or 15 % of the global population who comprise the hungry in our World.

The choice of the word �alleviation� rather that �elimination� was intentional in that the causes of hunger and malnutrition are complex and the opportunities to address the global and local problems are many and varied.  Typically, �the hungry� simply do not have access to diets with adequate levels of energy or calories.  The irony is that a rapidly expanding group of individuals world wide are suffering from diseases associated with overweight and obesity.  Obesity and malnutrition typically result from consuming diets with excessive amounts of fat and sugar and which lack balanced levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

We also recognized that the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition is closely linked to the alleviation of poverty.  Where families and individuals have the knowledge, skills, resources, employment opportunities and adequate incomes, they will normally chose to use these to grow or purchase the food they need to feed themselves.  Among the lowest income groups the most vulnerable to malnutrition are; pregnant and lactating women and infants and young children.  Other causes of malnutrition are persons suffering from preventable and debilitating diseases including those caused from drinking contaminated water and from the growing scourge of HIV/AIDs.

We recognized that a goal of ending hunger and malnutrition was, frankly, not be a realistic one.  However, in the words of the ancient sheerer, even the longest journey must begin with the first step.  One additional low income family with access to a community food bank or pantry, one additional child that receives a nutritious school lunch, one additional mother who gives birth to a healthy full term infant, one additional street child provided with access to shelter, food, training and hope, or one additional village with a new potable water supply represent small but achievable steps on that long road.

We would like to encourage every Rotary District, every Rotary Club and every Rotarian, if they have not already done so, to adopt one or more projects or continuing programs which will contribute to the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition globally or in their communities.  As membership and support for the Action Group for Alleviation of Hunger and Malnutrition grows, our objective will be to encourage the development of partnerships among Clubs in order to expand the number of cost effective projects and programs being funded by Rotary which contribute to meeting our Goals.  Working together, Rotarians can have a Global impact.

Dr. Donald Ferguson,
Organizing Member of the Rotarian Action Group
for the Alleviation of Hunger & Malnutrition

In a world of wars and rumors of wars, WE strive for peace and understanding.
In a world plagued with hunger, pestilence and poverty, WE look to end disease and to ease suffering and malnutrition.

Who are WE?
WE are Rotarians, spouses of Rotarians and Rotaractors who share a common Goal: a World where children can grow strong, live in healthy environments, learn to be self-reliant and are empowered with skills to enable them to contribute fully to the economic and social progress in their communities.

We welcome collaboration and support from like-minded individuals such as YOU and with groups who share our vision for a better World.

Does this sound like an impossible dream?
Where do we begin?
As in everything, we must begin with the basic needs of the human condition of which a secure food supply and a balanced diet are critical components for persons of all ages.
A world free from hunger and malnutrition is indeed possible.
As our Mission Statement reads, We are �An association of Rotarians, Rotarian spouses and Rotaractors supporting projects and activities designed to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in our communities and nations including the feeding of the hungry and malnourished among us.
Our objective is to create a strong and effective network of Rotarians and friends who are working to end hunger and malnutrition in all corners of our World.
WE will share our experiences, our projects, our successes and challenges by creating a pool of information and expertise which will enable us to implement successful projects and programs required to meet our goal.

Come grow with us and become a link in our food chain.
Explore our web-site for more information on how you can become a part of what we hope will become an expanding and dynamic part of Rotary Action everywhere.

Hunger is one of the biggest concerns and problems faced by all countries. Be it a third world country or a developed nation, there are sections of people who go hungry and die of hunger. Technology development has helped investors participate in the binary options market without knowing anything about it, through the automated platform Millionaire Blueprint. They can be ignorant about the stock market but they should be made aware of the hunger issues and should be encouraged to help.



Rotary is well known around the world for helping those who need it the most. Many traders have lost their money due to some bad choices. It is in such situations that automated systems like HBSwiss, can be helpful as there is no room for human error. However, Rotary does not help you by giving you the money you lost in a trade, but it helps you find a way to earn back that money and reach a decent lifestyle or even your old lifestyle, all by yourself.


In 1931, the first Rotary club in Poland was chartered on March 19 1931. Other clubs followed at regular intervals, the nine pre-war clubs being:-

Warsaw chartered March 19 1931
Cieszyn Zachodni chartered December 23 1932.
This club was originally admitted as Cesky Tesin, Czechoslovakia but became Cieszyn Zachodni in Poland on May 26 1939.
Lodz chartered on December 4 1933
Katowice was next on June 27 1934
Gdynia was chartered on November 17 1934 Bielsko on February 12 1935
Lwow on December 20 1935
Bydgoszcz on December 30 1935
Pabianice on August 22 1938

As happened elsewhere, some clubs experienced opposition from the Roman Catholic church. The Bydgoszcz Club in particular recorded that the Church had effectively prevented the creation of a Rotary club in Poznan and elsewhere. It seems that the Church believed that Rotary was a form of Freemasonry, an organisation which it felt was in opposition to the teaching and practices of the Church. While it was true that many Rotarians were masons and vice versa, the two movements were always quite separate.

When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Rotary, as it did in other parts of Occupied Europe, came to a standstill and on October 10, 1940 all the clubs had their charters terminated. When the Germans were driven out, Rotary fared no better under the Communists. One Polish Rotarian, Casimir Zienkiewicz of the Katowice Club, escaped to London and there helped to start the Inter Allied Rotary Club in London in November 1940

The story of how Rotary returned can be found in other sections. When PDG Jack Olsson met Marek Sredniawa on a train in 1984, he told him that Warsaw had had a flourishing Rotary club until 1939 and the subsequent invasion of first the Germans and later the Russians. What happened next can be read in another section.

Note. The list of charter termination shows only 9 clubs in Poland in
1939, but David Shelley Nicholl and others quote a figure of 10.

With thanks to PDGs Kari Tallberg, Jack Olsson and the RI Archivists.
Readers may also like to consult the pages of the Kumeu RC

Posted 5 January 2006 by Rotary Global History historian Basil Lewis

ROTARY IN POLAND The Re-establishment from 1989.

This is a personal account written by PDG Jack Olsson whose help we acknowledge with thanks.

When Rotary was originally established in Poland in 1931, it was reported that it was an inspiring event in Poland, our beloved country, restored in 1918, following the Great War, to new independent life. This came after 125 years of Russian control in a country which was one of the first in history to have a liberal system of government. Therefore, at the proper moment, the great Rotarian movement was able to find unselfish followers in Poland .The principle of ‘Service Above Self’ was ever close to the Polish spirit.

In 1989, it was reported that. “there is again a favourable atmosphere in Poland come back to the ideals of service, fellowship, goodwill and peace”. In this context the possibility of re-establishing Rotary was just one more evidence of a dramatic change and of progress towards an open, democratic society. The achievement of world peace and understanding is one of the major goals of Rotary. Coincidentally this goal was also undertaken in June 1984, when, under the auspices of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, my wife and I participated in a study tour of four communist countries in Eastern Europe including Poland.

As it turned out, when returning by train from Crackow to Warsaw, I met for the first time Marek Sredniawa, a young academic from the Warsaw Institute of Technology . During the course of our conversation, Marek spoke of his professional aims for the future and the difficulties and lack of opportunity. of gaining world experience by visiting other countries. We exchanged business cards and although I said nothing to him at the time, his enthusiasm to help his country and his keenness to improve his knowledge, struck a chord with me . On my return home, I had the opportunity at my Rotary club of giving a three minute talk on my visit overseas and finished up by saying “wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could wave a magic wand and bring this young man to Australia so that he can attend the International Telecommunications Conference in Sydney”. It is now a matter of record that with the help of the Rotary network in Canberra and Sydney, Marek’s dream came true. He attended the International Telecommunications Conference and, before returning home, was introduced and enjoyed his first experience of Rotary service and fellowship.

This could have been the end of the story. Fortunately, however, the spirit of Rotary service and its benefical effect within a community was not lost on Marek. His astute mind quickly picked up the idea and value of such an organization.

Following the success of this visit, I maintained contact with Marek in the hope of extending the hand of friendship to other young academics from behind the Iron Curtain and during my visits to Evanston as a member of the Rotary International Finance Committee, actively pursued the idea of similar projects for young people similarly placed .

It was on one of my final visits to Evanston about 1987, however, I learned that the Trustees of the Rotary Foundation had appointed me to be leader of the first Group Study Exchange program to be undertaken in a communist country, namely to Poland. I immediately contacted Marek to arrange the GSE program and in April 1988 visited Poland to discuss details of the exchange. It was also an occasion to have some informal meetings with the medium level representatives of Polish authorities to discuss prospects of such visits by Rotary, for without state approval no such international meetings would be possible.

At that time Marek also recruited a group of six men of different professions as a host team for the first leg of the GSE visit to Australia . This team, incidentally, ultimately became the nucleus of the future Warsaw club. The successful result of talks gave us the stimulus to arrange a meeting at senior government level and directly discuss the possibility of reestablishing Rotary in Poland.

Fortunately, at this time Michael Gorbachov’s ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroka’ had begun to influence the thinking of people in Eastern Europe .This was not only the watershed of communism but also the turning point for the development of Rotary in Eastern Europe. It was during this preparatory stage of the development of the GSE program that I became increasingly aware of a genuine interest by the Polish hierarchy in Rotary. Of course this was not always straight sailing as evidenced by some of the questions posed to me including ” What is this capitalist organization all about?” and “What is meant by Rotary’s motto ‘He Profits most who Serves Best'”?

On my return home and being aware of Rotary’s policy that no steps could be undertaken for international extension without approval from the Board of Rotary International. I immediately contacted Royce Abbey who was soon to take up the appointment of President of Rotary International. I told Royce of my experience in Poland and of what I believed was the positive reception of the idea of the re-establishment of Rotary. I also suggested that I would be prepared to arrange a visit for him to meet the appropriate authorities. Royce immediately agreed and during July 1988, together with the General Secretary of R.I. Phillip Lindsay, I returned to Warsaw where we were able to finalise not only the GSE program, but to put in train the initial steps for re-establishing the Rotary Club of Warsaw.

In the words of Marek Sredniawa, “In September 1988 we hosted a GSE team from District 971 (now 9710), led by Jack Olsson. The reciprocal visit of the Polish team to Australia took place in February 1989.The GSE program was really successful and helped very much in founding our club”.

Rotary International appointed the Rotary Club of Malmo Sweden as the sponsoring club, and Past R.I President Ernst Brietholtz to represent R.I. President Royce Abbey in presenting the charter to the re-established Rotary Club of Warsaw.

On November 9 1989 at the Royal Castle Warsaw, my wife and I had the honour, together with 500 distinguished guests and Rotarians from around the world, of being present on that most historical occasion

Jack Olsson has many awards for his service to Rotary, among them Rotary and Community awards to PDG Jack C.Olsson; Medal of the Order of Australia- For Services to Rotary and the Community- Citation for Meritorious Service-The Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award-The Trustees of the Rotary Foundation Rotary Service Above Service Award-The Board of Directors of Rotary International


Microcredit projects can be complicated and long-lived, and the details vary by culture and government. Effective projects often involve partnering with MFI’s (MicroFinance Institutions) that have developed best practices and field resources in the target country. During the early 1990’s, RI and TRF have modified their approach to revolving loan grants as a result of many lessons learned. However at this time there is limited practical information readily available for those wishing to start new banks.

The biggest problem in offering such a help is how people misuse it. Many need genuine help, while many are just lazy and want the easy way out they use such charity organizations to get what they want and don’t keep up their end of the bargain. They will become part of the program agreeing to all the terms and conditions. When the product or money reaches their hand, they change back to their old ways and the effort goes waste. Rotary has accepted that not every needy person can be helped or made to see the world in a different hiue.

Where this poses a problem to an institution like Rotary is, the people who are recognized as the ones who need help, may actually not be. many Rotarians want their projects to be approved and take the credit for bringing int his project or idea and being the main reason for this section of people being helped. As a result of this need, people just bring in anything they see. There is no proper research or analysis that is carried out to see if these people really need the help proposed.

As a result, a lot of funds are wasted on unnecessary projects and when the donors see how their money has been wasted, they refuse to come forward the next time. This creates a major setback because finding a good donor is not an easy task. Though all members are required to donate towards projects, it is these donors who contribute the major part and make the project a success. These are people with money and a big heart who want to set some money aside for charity and not just to invest in Fincrowd App and earn more.

There are many sections of people who are just waiting to be “found” by the charity organizations and given help, so that they can have the easy way out. Though Rotary does not give just money but tries to improve th entire lifestyle by helping the needy learn and practice a skill, many don’t do it. If a sewing machine is bought, with the intention of helping the mother sew and sell clothes, to earn a living, the mother might sell the machine for a low price because she wants money immediately. This will bring her back to the streets, moneyless, skill less and no future, for both her and the kids.

Another problem faced with partnering with such micro credit institutions is they are not

That is why we have formed the Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit (RAGM). We’re here to help Rotary clubs around the world launch more microcredit projects, easier and faster, with measurable results, and in a way that capitalizes on Rotary’s unique strengths!

  • A Rotarian Action Group is a voluntary association of Rotarians formed for the purpose of conducting international service projects that advance the object of Rotary.
  • RAGM application filed December 2006, approved February 2007
  • RAGM will identify key Rotarians in each of Rotary’s 529 districts, promoting Microcredit Best Practices.
  • RAGM will provide information, train and/or coach Rotarians on how to establish successful Microcredit projects and partner with international Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs)

Membership is available to Rotarians. Non-Rotarians are invited to participate as partners.