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Rotary International

Rotary International is the  international organization   which is formed by the local Rotary Clubs.

The organization describes its purpose as bringing together professional and business leaders who provide humanitarian services, promote high ethical standards in all professions, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.


Rotary's motto is "Service above Self", which means: subordinate your self-interest to that of society.

Rotary Nederland

In 1923 a first  Dutch  club was founded in  Amsterdam .

In 2022, the Netherlands had more than 500 clubs and 16,000 members.


Rotary International has divided the world into geographical areas.

As of June 1, 2010, there are 533 so-called districts in the world. Each district has a representative appointed by the President of Rotary International, the district governor, or de  governor .


The Netherlands is divided into seven numbered districts (D1550, D1560, D1570, D1580, D1590, D1600 and D1610) each with an autonomous governor.

Rotaryclub Sittard belongs to the district D1550


But just like other service clubs, Rotary in the Netherlands is struggling with an aging problem

Paul Harris

Paul Percy Harris born April 19 in Racine, Wisconsin   1868  was a_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cfb-136bad5_ccf-781905_ American initiator and a founding member of  Rotary International .

Harris studied_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b- 136bad5cf58d_ law at de  University of Iowa .

After several jobs in the newspaper world, as a fruit farmer, businessman and actor and also traveling for several years to and from Europe on ships that transported cattle, he settled in 1896 in  Chicago _cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_als  lawyer .

In Chicago, Paul Harris met the coal merchant Silvester Schiele, the mining engineer Gustaph Loehr, and the tailor's patron Hiram Shorey.

Together they founded the first Rotary Club on February 23, 1905, as a gathering of encounter and friendship.

The initiative to meet weekly as entrepreneurs and independent businessmen for a friendly meeting, to advise each other, to discuss needs in society and to offer solutions, appealed to them.


As early as 1908, a second club was founded in San Francisco. Until 1911, about 16 clubs were founded.

To this day, all Rotary Clubs bear this name with their place of business added.

When Paul Harris died on January 27, 1947, 6,000 clubs had already been established around the world. Today, after more than 100 years, it has grown to clubs in more than 200 countries or geographic areas with a total of 1.4 million members

Rotary Activiteiten

Leden worden aangespoord zich bezig te houden met vijf hoofdactiviteiten, avenues of service:

  • Community Service, het ondersteunen van goede doelen.

  • Club Service, het functioneren van de eigen club.

  • International Service, de relaties met gelijkgestemden internationaal.

  • Vocational Service, de toepassing van ethische principes binnen de eigen beroepsgroep.

  • new generation service, het via de jeugdprogramma's van Rotary jonge mensen kansen te bieden zich te ontplooien.

Community service is het belangrijkste doel van Rotary terwijl de andere vier belangrijke randvoorwaarden zijn om dit mogelijk te maken.


Rotary International kent een actieve LGBT+ community die zie zich inzet voor een inclusieve maatschappij.

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