Rotary is a world fellowship of international business and professional persons who accept the ideal of SERVICE as a basis for success and happiness in their business and community life.
Rotary is not a secret organization and does not, in any manner, seek to supplant and/or interfere with religious or political groups or organizations.
Rotary was organized in Chicago on February 23, 1905, by a young, somewhat lonely attorney, Paul Harris. That first group met in rotation in the charter members' offices: thus the name ROTARY. Three (3) years later the second Rotary group was founded in San Francisco. By 1910, there were sixteen (16) clubs in the United States. That same year, the first club outside the United States was organized in Winnipeg, Canada, and in 1912, Rotary International was formed with Paul Harris serving as the first International President. Evanston, Illinois is now the headquarter location for Rotary International. Today the Rotary world encompasses 166 countries, 529 districts, 31,561 clubs, and over 1,227,545 individual Rotarians.
It might be interesting to note that a Rotarian is NOT a member of Rotary International. A Rotarian is a member of a local club and, in turn, that particular club is a member of Rotary International.
Rotary and Rotarians are known for their warm singing fellowship. At the same time, Rotary does not have an "official" song. Rotary's official emblem, however, is a gear wheel.
The motto of Rotary International is "Service Above Self" and is widely practiced by caring Rotarians around the world. It is rather self-explanatory as is another well known and used Rotary motto, "He Profits Most Who Serves Best". This year's International President's theme is "LEND A HAND", which can be accomplished through sharing and caring.
Rotary chooses and invites individuals to become members and does not accept applications for membership. Membership in Rotary is restricted to a specific club. A member cannot transfer membership from club to club for each club is autonomous.
The Manual of Procedures is a reference book on policies and procedures of Rotary. The Rotary fiscal year begins July 1 and the official magazine of Rotary International is The Rotarian. It is published monthly and comes to the individual member of Rotary as a part of the annual dues. Membership dues and fees are set by the local club.
No Rotary club should express an "official" opinion on any controversial public issue; nor should it recommend and/or endorse any candidate for any political office. It is expected that no Rotary club will raise money by any means that is not looked upon with complete favor by the people within the scope of the fund-raising area.
The Rotary Foundation is a philanthropic trust whose object is the furthering of understanding, friendly relations, and world peace among the many peoples of different nations. A Paul Harris Fellow is an individual who contributes, or in whose behalf is contributed, $1,000.00 or more in any one year to the Rotary Foundation. There are over 795,908 Paul Harris Fellows throughout the Rotary World.
Our club belongs to Rotary District #6110, the largest in the western world and whose area covers a portion of four (4) states (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri).
We do not have an active spouses organization in Sand Springs, but our spouses play a very supportive role in our Rotary involvements. "Fireside Chats" are held from time to time in the evenings at a host Rotarian's home or at noon on Friday at a meeting separate from the regular Rotary meeting, to share and discuss detailed workings of Rotary and the Rotary World.
Five (5) items will be given more complete explanation here due to the nature of their content, as follows:
A. The Classification System for Membership.
Rotary limits membership in a club basically to five persons, or 10% of the club membership, from each classification of business, vocation, or profession (except newspaper and religious classifications). These are the principal reasons:
1. These limits enable the club to be a true cross-section of the industrial and professional life of the community, and prevent the club from being dominated by any one business group.
2. These limits develop fellowship based on diversity of interest rather than similarity of interest.
B. Types of Membership.
Each Rotary club is permitted to have two (2) different types of members. They are:
1. ACTIVE members are candidates who accept membership, filling a classification that is loaned to them by the club.
a. There may be five (5) active members with the same classification or 10% of the club's membership.
2. HONORARY members are adults who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals, provided that they must reside or be definitely associated with the territorial limits of the club. HONORARY members are the only type of members who cannot hold office and who are not required to pay dues.
C. Attendance Regulations.
Obviously, all Rotarians should make every effort to attend the meetings of their own club. Otherwise they cannot take an active part in its programs and neither they nor the club can benefit. If, however, for business, health, and/or personal schedule conflicts, members cannot attend the regular meetings of their club, they may "make-up" at any other club in the area where their schedule will permit and receive attendance credit at their own club. "Make-ups" should be made either fourteen (14) days prior to or fourteen (14) days after our regular Friday meeting. Attendance is important as your record reflects both on your personal involvement in Rotary as well as our club's record in the District. When a Rotarian misses, both suffer. The member suffers from a lack of Rotary input into their week and the club suffers from a lack of the member's input into its total program. Failure to comply with a 60% attendance requirement or missing four (4) consecutive meetings as detailed within the club's constitution will result in an automatic termination of membership for that individual.
D. Rotary's Four (4) Avenues of Service.
1. CLUB SERVICES committees promote the development of acquaintances as an opportunity of service. This avenue of service is made up of committees such as program; attendance; public relations; fellowship; Rotary information; etc.
2. It is the responsibility of the COMMUNITY SERVICE committees to initiate, develop, and to complete projects designed to improve our community. These committees work through the avenues of community development, environmental protection, human development and partners in service.
3. The VOCATIONAL SERVICE committees are interested in stimulating every club member to exemplify and share the ideal of service with all their associates in business or profession. Promoting the use of The Four-Way Test among members and the community is of prime importance. Career development, vocation at work, vocational awareness and vocational awards are all important in this avenue of service.
4. The avenue of INTERNATIONAL SERVICE is to involve every member of the club in an effort to advance international understanding, good will, and peace by using the world wide resources of Rotary. The highly successful Rotary Foundation is a part of this avenue of service. International youth projects and world community service are also a part of this avenue.
E. Four-Way Test.
For many decades Rotarians around the world have used the Four-Way Test as an instrument to develop respect and understanding among peoples. If you get into the habit of checking your every thought, word, and/or deed against the Four-Way Test, the experiences of others has shown that it will greatly assist you in becoming happier and more successful in your personal relationships with other individuals.
THE FOUR-WAY TEST
of the things we think, say or do
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?