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The first four Rotarians

Rotary counts it’s history since February 23, 1905, when in Chicago, in the Unity Building on North Dearborn street 127, the first meeting of the future Rotary club was held, which was attended by a mining engineer Gustavus Loehr, coal dealer Silvester Schiele (he will become the first President of the club), tailor Hiram Shorey and lawyer Paul Harris.


first wheel


Paul Harris subsequently became the ideological inspirer of the organization. Paul Harris idea was to develop the spirit of friendship and solidarity in the business world of large cities. Soon the group was joined by new members of the Rotary club, and they alternately gathered at the place of work of another Rotarian, and where did the idea of rotation and wheel as an emblem came from(original emblem was a cartwheel). Beyond friendship and business communication emerges the idea of public service and the implementation of humanitarian actions. The first projects implemented by rotary were buying the horse for the local priest, and installation of a public restroom near Chicago city hall.




Пол Перси Харрис

Paul Harris

Soon there were established Clubs in other U.S. cities. In 1910, during the first Convention with the participation of 16 Rotary clubs, Paul Harris was elected President. In 1911-1912 the first Rotary Clubs were founded outside the U.S. – in Dublin, Winnipeg and London. In 1912 the iInternational Association of Rotary Clubs was founded, which in 1922 received the modern name - Rotary International.

Since that time, the Rotary movement has evolved and strengthened throughout the world, acquired organizational definition and earned the respect of their humanitarian actions. In the late 1980s they began accept women in Rotary, and today women constitute about 15% of the Rotary members. In 1989, Rotary received its current slogan "Service above self". This slogan became the spiritual basis of life for Rotarians around the world.

Many prominent figures in world politics, science and culture were the members Rotary in different years. Among them U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill, the German writer Thomas Mann, the oceanographer and explorer Thor Heyerdahl, the Nobel peace prize laureate philosopher Albert Schweitzer, the king of Sweden Carl XVI Gustav, composers Franz Lehar and Jean Sibelius, singer Luciano Pavarotti, boxer Manuel Pacquiao and many other famous personalities.

Today Rotary is a global network of public volunteers that consists of more than 1.2 million leaders in business and public life. More than 35, 000 rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical regions realize service projects in their local communities and beyond, to overcome such negative phenomena as poverty, disease, hunger, illiteracy and pollution, to support the new generation.


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    koma 03  Rotary for me during many years is the part of my life, which I really appreciate. Because it allows me to help others, do good deeds, constantly communicate with old friends and make new, significantly increase my positive impact on the world and the people around me.  koma 07

    Serhii Zavadskyi
    Governor D2232 2018-2019, Rotarian since 2000
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    koma 03  When joining Rotary, you think it will be the social component of your life, besides family, work, hobbies, etc. But over time you begin realize that Rotary is a way of life in which all your life choices are made according to the Four Way Test. Four simple questions...but how they change your life!  koma 07

    Mykola Steblyanko
    Rotary e-Club of Ukraine First President, Rotarian since 2006
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    koma 03  The mission of life embodied in actions – that's what Rotary movement means for me. Fellowship at the level of the intellect and the soul. Common living space of people united by the same Spirit! Creativity, embodied in the men’s work !  koma 07

    Olga Zmiivska
    Head of ICC Ukraine-Belgium, Rotarian since 2006
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    koma 03  Rotary - community with great positive motivation і  and mission of doing good - everyday!!! koma 07

    Myroslava Novosilska
    Chair of ICC Ukraine-Israel, Rotary member since 2012
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    koma 03  For me, Rotary is a willingness to give themselves, their time, effort, and money to serve the people, for the sake of hope in the eyes of the victims, the smile of a sick child, improvement the lives of people around you. This, together with Rotary international fellowship, allows you to do the impossible and fills your life with special meaning.  koma 07

    Oleksiy Kozhenkin
    District Governor D-2230 2014-2015, Rotarian since 1992
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