Rotary Global History
 /  Rotary Global History


This 500 page web site is dedicated to recognizing the founding principles and founding clubs of Rotary International whether in 1905 or 2001. At our own club's web site you can learn how Rotary Club of Calcutta spread "Rotary 100 Spirit" in the Indian subcontinent. click here

Now on this web site you can learn about all 100 of the first clubs. As the site grows, you'll find information to enrich your own Rotary experience.

There are individual pages for each of the First100 clubs pointing the way for visitors to the "First100Cities" as well as interesting hints of history. One of the pages lists the clubs in order of admittance into Rotary at Links to the club, district and zone web sites are also provided.

Another section of the web site recognizes all Rotary organizations participating in this project. This page is for clubs 101-30,000 as well as their districts and zones. This page also includes individual Rotarians, such as: Frank J. Devlyn, RC Anahuac, Mexico, President 2000-2001

Is history important? This is what RI Past President Frank Devlin wrote to the staff: "Your web site is an instrumental tool for those forward thinking people who wish to learn from our history, in order to guide our future."

The first club in the world, Chicago, known as ROTARY/One has an extensive site produced and maintained by This site will be a source of information regarding Chicago's 2005 centennial. The Chicago/ site is gathering information about Paul and Jean Harris that many Rotarians would not know.

The story of the clubs in Great Britain and Ireland is developing at RotaryHistory. This is a very interesting and is one reason why the site expanded to 100 clubs. David Liddiatt, 2001-2002 President of RIBI (Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland) writes: "This web site allows us to reflect on our past and also view the clubs of today through links to zones and districts which fan out to reach the globe. It has become our collective history - combining the pioneering spirit of the early clubs on the one hand with the founding spirit of the men and women chartering our new clubs today."

"The Spirit of Rotary is one member's initial talent - a latent talent - developed and enhanced by service to others through Clubs, Districts and Rotary International worldwide." David Liddiatt, President, RIBI; Ex-Officio RotaryHistory, 30 July 2001

One other expanding and interesting part of "RotaryHistory" is the "room" where Rotary began. is the producer and host for "The Paul Harris - Room 711 Club" where four men on 23 February 1905 met to hear what was on Chicago attorney Paul Harris's mind. He told them, "Each of you must have several friends," and with that they "rotated" the meeting to the next person's office with "more" friends until today, Paul Harris, would now have well over a million friends in 30,000 "rotating" clubs.

Here's what 2001-2002 RI President Rick King had to say about the "RotaryHistory" web site and why it is important for our club and our neighbor clubs.

"I would like to congratulate you for your efforts in creation and expansion of "rotaryfirstfifty" to (Now expanded to include ) This is an informative web site, which aids communication, shares information and tells the stories of Rotary's first one hundred clubs in a useful and informative manner. On behalf of Rotary International, I would like to express my appreciation for your hard work and commitment to increasing communication among clubs, while also informing people about the history of Rotary.

I hope that Rotary Clubs will be able to utilize this resource as a means to make contacts with others and to share the history of our organization with prospective members. ... I am counting on you to demonstrate to the world that for Rotarians everywhere, Mankind is Our Business" Richard D. King President, 13 July 2001

The most popular feature of the project is a "RotaryMinute" sent each week by email. "What Paul Harris Said" features quotes from the founder's writing with brief commentary and is used by clubs around the world. Subscriptions are free and can be obtained at . Another new feature is , a single page that "tells it all," which you can copy and past to your website. It includes links to the three history websites already built in.

In 2002 the website began a project to collect the contributions and stories of the "early leaders" of Rotary at to recognize the "First Lady" of Rotary with a website of her own at and to follow the world wide goodwill tour of Jean and Paul Harris at In 2002 the project completed its third website, to house portions of out-of-print books and other publications. Also the website was chosen first place in its category in the 2002 "Best of the Web" recognitions by ROTi/ICUFR.

The project is a global history effort with lists of the first clubs on each continent posted on separate websites listed below. The web site was started by Rotary Club of Pueblo #43, in October of 2000, and is managed by a committee of dedicated Rotarians from throughout the world Visit and find for yourself who the "other" early clubs where and how they really got started.

Rotary's Global History Project Websites:

One Page History

General History

Rotary's First 100 Clubs

Books, publications & exhibits

"This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again!" ~ Paul P. Harris

Short-Cut Addresses: This for Your Website) Lost in Rotary History here) Paul and Friends First Met) First Rotary Club) Paul Harris Rotary Minute), In Paul Harris's Own Words) About Paul Harris) who created Rotary) Goodwill trips of Jean and Paul Harris)

www.comelybank.orgSaving the Founder's Home) Founder's Wife)

Your gateway to the global history of Rotary

Contact: Jack Selway,


231 Dittmer Avenue, Pueblo, CO 81004-1020 USA,

1-800-973-5929 USA only,

or 719-583-9798,