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What Is Rotary

Historical Look at Rotary

The world's first Rotary club was founded in Chicago on February 23, 1905.  It started with four men, Paul Harris, and friends, meeting to re-live the fellowship they once knew in their smaller hometowns.  Originally started for friendship, the first Rotary club soon used its talents and resources to provide service to others in need. Word spread of the club and soon the first club grew to over 30 members and other clubs around the nation were formed. The name Rotary came from meeting in rotation at various places of business.


Rotary Goes International

In 1911, the first club in Canada was formed then soon after, Rotary spread to Europe with clubs in England, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.  The National Association of Rotary Clubs became Rotary International in 1922.  Before reaching Rotary's 20th birthday, over 200 clubs were formed all around the globe - - Cuba, Asia, Spain, Africa, and Australia.


Women and Rotary

Women are the fastest-growing segment of Rotary membership with over 2,000 women club presidents and quickly moving women into leadership roles.

Rotary Today

Today, there are 32,000 clubs worldwide that continue Paul Harris' vision of fellowship, and friendship, while utilizing talents to provide service to the local world community.


Rotary In The Kennett Square Area

The Rotary Club of Kennett Square likes to have fun.  We are a small, cozy, and comfortable club whose service projects help meet the needs of our neighbors.  From helping our friends with donations to Family Promise of Southern Chester County to holiday stockings for our youth at the Chester County Youth Center to acquiring protective vests for our local police to purchasing journals for the youth at the Garage to running a book drive so that our Young Moms can read to their children.  The Rotary Club of Kennett Square continues the legacy of our founders.


The 4-Way Test - of the things we think, say, or do...

In the early 1930s, Herbert J. Taylor set out to save The Club Aluminum Products Distribution Company from bankruptcy.  His recovery plan started with changing the ethical climate of the company.   First, he set policies for the company that would reflect high ethics and morals.  He later explained that if the people who worked for Club Aluminum were to think right, they would do right. He realized he needed a simple, easily remembered guide to right conduct - - a sort of ethical yardstick - - which everyone in the company could memorize and apply to what they thought and did.  Then, he wrote down these 24 words:

Is it the truth?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Will it build goodwill and friendship?

Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

In the 1940s, when Taylor was an International Director of Rotary, he offered these statements now known as The Four Way Test to the organization and it was adopted by Rotary for its internal and promotional use. Never changed, these twenty-four words remain today a central part of the permanent Rotary structure throughout the world and is held as the standard by which all behavior should be measured.

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