Categorized | National News

Rotary Celebrates More Than A Century

Rotary International celebrates 113 years of community service all over the world with a mission of Serving Humanity, Service Above Self.

During their weekly meeting, the Rotary Club of West Nassau, celebrated a day early, with President of the club Christopher Dorsett giving a brief history of the Rotary Club.

“The first Rotary Club was formed when attorney Paul Harris called together a meeting of three business acquaintances in downtown Chicago, United States, at Harris’s friend Gustave Loeher’s office in the Unity Building on Dearborn Street on February 23, 1905.

“In addition to Harris and Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey were the other two who attended this first meeting.

“The members chose the name Rotary because initially they rotated subsequent weekly meetings to each other’s offices.

“Although within a year the Chicago club became so large,  it became necessary to adopt the now common practice of regular meetings.

“The next four Rotary Clubs were organized in the cities in the Western United States, beginning with San Francisco, then Oakland, then Los Angles and then Seattle,” Mr. Dorsett said.

Now as to how the club became an international one, Mr. Dorsett further explained that clubs were formed in Canada and Ireland.

“The National Associations of Rotary Clubs in America was formed in 1910 an on November 3, 1910 a Rotary Club began meeting in Winnipeg Manatoba, Canada, the beginning of the organizations internationality.

“On the 22 February 1911, the first meeting of the Rotary Club Dublin was held in Dublin, Ireland and this was the first club established outside North America.

To reflect the addition of clubs outside of the United States of America, the name was changed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912.

“In 1922 the name was changed from International Association of Rotary Clubs to Rotary International.  By 1925 Rotary had grown to 200 clubs with more than 20,000 members,” Mr. Dorsett said.

As to Bahamians becoming involved in Rotary, Mr. Dorsett recounted the club’s establishment some 56 years ago.

“The first club in The Bahamas was formed in 1962, with the Rotary Club of Nassau and the Rotary Club of West Nassau was formed September 2, 1970.

“From that single club of four men in 1905 Rotary, has grown to the world’s largest and oldest service organization with over 35,000 clubs in 200 countries consisting of 1.2 million like-minded persons seeking to make the world a better place,” Mr. Dorsett said.

To date in The Bahamas there are nine Rotary Clubs on three major islands and over 400 Rotarians.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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