Rotary, the world’s first service club organisation, can be described in many ways. Functionally, Rotary is an association of local clubs gathered into a larger organization called “Rotary International.” The individual Rotarian – the heart and soul of Rotary is a member of his local club; all clubs are members of Rotary International, which is headquartered at Evanston, Illinois, U.S.A. Officially, Rotary is defined as “ an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”
The ideal of service exemplified in the motto, “Service Above Self “, is the thread that runs around the Rotary world and unites like-minded men in thought and action, no matter what part of the world they live in. Currently, more than 1.2 million service-minded persons belong to more than 30,000 Rotary Clubs in almost 160 countries and geographical regions. Membership is by invitation only, and is based on choosing one representative of each business, profession and institution in the community.
Rotarians strive to create order where there is chaos, beauty where there is ugliness, fellowship where there is loneliness and misunderstanding, and health and happiness where there is poverty and disease. Rotary, then works to bring together, in a friendly impartial atmosphere, persons of all races, religious faith, and political beliefs. Its bond is fellowship toward the common end of service, despite individual differences regarding the means of reaching that end. Thus, Rotary cultivates understanding and co-operation by emphasizing common interest while avoiding commitment on partisan measures of activities on which persons are so often divided.