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Alexis de Tocqueville In the United States associations are established to promote the public safety, commerce, industry, morality, and religion, wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America.
If Tocqueville were driving today into Anytown, U.S. of A., the first road sign he might see would be for local Rotary. And he would not be surprised at the mission of this civic organization.
The Business Monthly ‘Service Above Self’
In 1905, attorney Paul P. Harris gathered three friends together in downtown Chicago as professionals with common interests for the common good. The group expanded and began to rotate meetings among members’ offices, lending the name of “Rotary,” with a wagon wheel (now the familiar cogwheel) as the logo. As the membership grew, they realized that internal networking was not enough. Harris wanted to serve more than just that group.
Rotary International is recognized as the world’s first service club. The organization’s first contribution to the community was a horse. A local preacher’s “transportation” died and the congregation could not afford another. The Rotary stepped in. Harris’s Rotary then built the first public restroom in Chicago and the Rotary began to grow.
Rotary members donate their time, talent and treasure to the local communities.
Thank you (foot)notes:
This article was orginally published in The Business Monthly as Rotary Governance this year.