Rotary 101

Definition of Rotary


How do you describe the organization called “Rotary”? There are so many characteristics of a Rotary club as well as the activities of a million Rotarians. There are the features of service, internationality, fellowship, classifications of each vocation, development of goodwill and world understanding, the emphasis of high ethical standards, concern for other people and many more descriptive qualities.

In 1976 the Rotary International Board of Directors was interested in creating a concise definition of the fundamental aspects of Rotary. They turned to the three men who were then serving on Rotary’s Public Relations Committee and requested that a one-sentence definition of Rotary be prepared. After numerous drafts, the committee presented this definition, which has been used ever since in various Rotary publications:

“Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will and peace in the world.”

Those 31 words are worth remembering when someone asks, “What is a Rotary club?’

Oldest and Largest Service Organization

More than 160 countries worldwide

Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide

More than 30,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide

The 4-Way Test

One of the most widely printed and quoted states of business ethics in the world is the Rotary “4-Way Test.” It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 when he was asked to take charge of the Chicago-based Club Aluminum Company, which was facing bankruptcy. Taylor looked for a way to save the struggling company mired in depression-caused financial difficulties. He drew up a 24-word code of ethics for all employees to following in their business and professional lives. The 4-Way Test became the guide for sales production, advertising and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company was credited to this simple philosophy.

Herb Taylor became president of Rotary International during 1954-1955. The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than 100 languages and published in thousands of ways. The message should be known and followed by all Rotarians.

“Of the things we think, say, or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”


Brentwood Rotary Club – QUICK FACT

Did You Know?. . . . . .

The members of the Brentwood Rotary club have been providing service to the Brentwood Community since June 1960 and celebrated their 50th Anniversary on July 11th, 2010.

The Rotary Club of Brentwood has hosted a holiday party for the Special Services Children of the Brentwood School District every December for 47 years; providing gifts delivered by Santa at a Pizza Party; along with cotton candy, popcorn and “Mark” the Balloon Animal Clown.

The Brentwood Rotary Club literacy program provides English and Bi-lingual dictionaries to every third grade student in the Brentwood School District.

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