This is the page where our research project began. On Wednesday 11 October 2000, John M. “Jack” Selway, then a member of Rotary Club of Pueblo, CO #43, received a list of the first 50 Rotary clubs. This list was faxed to Selway by RI staff member, Joaqu�n Mej�a. It was the only list which could be found and was from an old fashioned typewriter. (seen on the left) Within a few days Selway had created a page for each club telling where they were located, when they met, maybe something about their communities. Then Founder Selway had the thought that perhaps their histories might be of some interest… From then on, volunteer Rotarians around the world worked on hundreds of projects:
Stories about all the presidents, first clubs of every country, early clubs of every continent, the philosophy of Rotary, the story of women in Rotary and the list goes on.
Within a few weeks of our founding the project became “Rotary First Fifty” with the authorized domain of www.rotaryfirstfifty.org still used to reach this page.
But here you can learn about the first nine years. From 1905 until 1914 — 100 Rotary clubs joined together to form this marvelous organization. By studying these clubs, you’ll find common goals, lasting values, traditions, abilities to adapt and great Rotarians.
Today the technological development is so advanced that people have the computer and various software and techniques to document everything properly. Putting such details on a webpage is the reason people all around the world know everything there is to know about Rotary. If every president of every club were to recall these details in all their important speech (as that will be the only way such details could have reached people otherwise), the audience would have eventually tuned out and lost all interest in the speech, as they would have heard this a number of times. The presidents would have been forced to repeat it for the sake of new members and the old members who have been there for years would have been the crowd that lost interest in the speech.
Now with a website carrying all the information available, one can refer to it from any part if the world. When everything goes online, it makes the world a much smaller place and easier to access. Such is the case with the stock market too.
When traders were selling stocks physically, one had to be there in person and scream on top of his lungs and buy the stocks he felt were right to invest in. then when trading went online, the entire trading scenario became more civilized and easier. It attracted more people with money, who were initially hesitant about going to such crowded places.
Now it has developed further and softwares like Fintech Ltd, remove the need for a human trader completely. This software is fully automated and makes investments on your behalf, the way you want it to. This makes it easy for everyone to invest in the stock market.
What is remarkable is that these 100 clubs are “the” original “First 100 Clubs” of Rotary. Not one of them failed. They are in five countries. They’ve weathered two world wars. Some had war in their streets and there were awful financial times. They are still here. Enjoy meeting them as we continue to discover them ourselves.
One of the objectives Rotary Global History Fellowship was to cover the history of Rotary’s early years. We chose the “First 100 Clubs” and were authorized to use www.rotaryfirst100.org, as a number during the centennial of Rotary International. For reasons satisfied by the Four Way Test, we added five clubs, all of which could have been number one-hundred. We also added eight clubs mentioned in the “1905-1948” appendix found in the first edition of “My Road to Rotary” by Paul P. Harris and published by A. Kroch and Son. The result is a study of one-hundred and thirteen clubs which cover the entire Rotary life of Rotary’s founder Paul Harris.
Rotary historians, around the world, continue to maintain and improve this archive of Rotary’s history.