What is Rotary?

Rotary is an organisation for business and professional men and women who are prepared to give of their time and expertise to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Its scope extends from the local community to some of the most impoverished people on earth. At the same time we believe in having some fun, so that service and fellowship are the two pillars upon which Rotary stands.


ROTARY is non-sectarian and non-political and is growing in numbers. Each Club shares the common principals of Rotary but each is autonomous and free to prepare its own programs and control its destiny.

ROTARY started in 1905 when a small group of businessmen in Chicago began meeting to learn from one another and to enhance their business relationships. While making business contacts is still a useful facet of Rotary, the focus quickly moved to include doing good deeds in the community and helping those less fortunate.

ROTARIANS throughout the world encourage high ethical standards in their vocation, conduct humanitarian projects and work towards world peace and understanding.


The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

FIRST: The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.

SECOND: High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

THIRD: The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business and community life.

FOURTH: The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.



From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives.
This led to the early adoption of 'The Four Way Test':-

"Of the things we think, say or do

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"




The badge of Rotary originated in 1905 as a simple wagon wheel representing "civilization and movement".

The cogged wheel version was made official by a 1919-1920 decision of the board. A key way was added in 1929 to signify that the wheel is a worker - not an idler. The energy of the wearer is the key to Rotary activity.


(This is not a Hierarchial Structure of Authority, but only for Information & Communication)


Rotary International is the association of Rotary Clubs worldwide. The administration of Rotary International is managed by Officers, Directors and Committees from the Rotary Clubs throughout the world. Annually, Rotary International holds a Convention in various countries to stimulate, inspire and inform all Rotarians at an international level and to motivate them to develop Rotary at the Club and District levels.


Rotary International groups Clubs into Districts to support the administration of Clubs and to make local administration easier. There are over 500 Districts throughout the world, with each district being led by a Governor assisted by appointed officers. The annual District Conference emphasizes fellowship, and gives a chance to share ideas and to conduct District business.


There are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians working in some 32,000 Rotary Clubs in over 160 countries worldwide.

In summary, Rotarians belong to Rotary Clubs and Rotary Clubs belong to Rotary International which groups Clubs into Districts to support and assist the Clubs in their role.

RI President-elect announces 2021-22 presidential theme


Incoming Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta urged members to become more involved in service projects, saying that caring for and serving others is the best way to live because it changes not only other people’s lives, but also our own.

Mehta, a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, revealed the 2021-22 presidential theme, Serve to Change Lives, to incoming district governors on 1 February during the Rotary International Assembly. The assembly, a yearly training event for district governors-elect, was originally set to take place in Orlando, Florida, USA, but was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mehta spoke about how participating in service projects through Rotary changed him as a person and made him empathize more with the needs of others. Soon after joining his club, he helped carry out projects that benefited rural communities in India.

Some of the poor conditions he saw in those communities strengthened his commitment to service. “I truly understood the plight of my brethren,” he said.

Mehta participated in initiatives that brought artificial limbs to children, clean water and sanitation to homes, and better health care facilities to communities.

“Rotary kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity,” he said. “Service became a way of life for me and I, like many others, adopted the guiding philosophy that ‘Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth, and I want to be a good tenant of this earth.’”

Mehta encouraged district governors-elect to lead by example during their term and inspire Rotary and Rotaract members to participate in projects that have measurable and sustainable impacts. He’s asking each club to conduct a Rotary Day of Service.

“At the end of your term as district governor, you should feel that because of your leadership, because of your inspiration to Rotarians and Rotaractors, the world has changed for the better because of the service done by them during the year,” he said.