Skip to main content

Stanwood Camano Rotary Club

Service Above Self

Home
About Us
Thanksgiving Food Drive
Club Newsletter
For New Members
Rotary History
Rotary Values
At A Glance
Club Committees
Rotary Foundation
Our Club
Your Next Steps
Youth Exchange Program
Oktoberfest
Rotary Parade
Imagination Library
For Members
Funding Requests
Contact Us
Member Login
Site Map
History of Rotary
Believe it or not... It all began with a simple business lunch. Rotary's name comes from the fact that the original founders ROTATED where they met.
Rotary was founded February 23, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois by attorney Paul P. Harris and three friends. Harris had in mind a club that would kindle fellowship among members of the business community. Harris's thought was that this new club should represent a cross-section of the business and professional life of the community. From this idea was developed Rotary's Classification Principle. (In Rotary, we talk about our classification, or the type of work we do, rather than a specific job or place of work.)

The weekly meetings of this new club "rotated" from business to business, and gave rise to the name "Rotary.” The club members suggested a “wagon wheel” for their emblem. By the end of 1905, the club had 30 members.

The club’s first community project was in 1907 - the installation of a public comfort station near the city hall in downtown Chicago.
Growth of Rotary
The second Rotary club was formed in 1908 half a continent away from Chicago in San Francisco, California. Then a short leap across San Francisco Bay to Oakland where the third club was formed. Others followed in Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York City.

The first convention was held in 1910 in Chicago where the clubs organized themselves to form the National Association of Rotary Clubs

Rotary became international in 1910 when a club was formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; followed in 1911 with a new club in Dublin, Ireland.

These new clubs resulted in a name change in1912 to "The International Association of Rotary Clubs”.

By 1921 the organization was represented on every continent, and the name Rotary International was adopted in 1922, which remains today.