The importance of the Craft Talk!

Every club has speakers…..some good, others we wish had ended up at the Lions Club in error. Vocational Service starts at home with our own clubs! How can we be examples to others if we don’t tune ourselves up first while at the same time…..nourishing our own roots as Rotarians? One of the best things I have taken away from Rotary meetings at other clubs……has been listening to members give craft talks. Giving a craft talk is an art……however being on the receiving end can and is one of the most enlightening things a Rotarian can experience.

Every club has a gold mine of members that can speak about the craft they participate in ……the history, changes, trends, advantages, problems and opportunities. Sharing this information with fellow members is very much the backbone of Rotary and where it started. When a member gives a craft talk…..a lot goes through the minds of the audience. After hearing a Craft Talk given at a club, here were some thoughts:

1) This was not a “dull” meeting that members showed up for, this was a vibrant engaging meeting that members were involved in. I’ll bet that everyone in that room thought about that meeting for many days afterward…..the content, the way it was said … but most importantly the depth and understanding of the vocation that the craft talk was explaining.

2) I for one started thinking …… this guy could be an incredible mentor for a young person that might want to both know about and/or move into the insurance industry. What an opportunity for a Rotarian to be able to really make a difference in a young life……and at the same time help to “breed” integrity in his field.

3) There is a such a difference between the typical
“Whom am I” that a lot of members give either when they are inducted into a club or asked to speak about themselves and the true craft talk.

Not only does the craft talk engage the other members… is imparting information that they would otherwise never be exposed to. The craft talk also puts the member presenting in a new professional light that the other members never saw shining on this member. Additionally skill sets that the presenter has in a particular field…may very well benefit the club in ways that the rest of the membership never even dreamed of to help on projects, club leadership, youth services etc. These skill sets never would have been discovered by the rest of the club, district etc. had the craft talk never taken place.

All new members need to be in gear and engaged from the moment they are inducted…..otherwise when the clutch is let out……they are in neutral, go nowhere, get bored and leave Rotary. What better method of getting members (long time and new) to expose their skill set than a craft talk. Off premise and occasional meetings that deviate from the normal club meeting schedule are a breath of fresh air…..and bring us back to where Rotary started 110 years ago……They certainly got it right then……maybe we can all re-visit our Rotary roots and learn a great deal.

Think about it…..

What’s Rotary?

What’s Rotary?

As the new Rotary year begins on July 1, I am really excited to be an Assistant Governor for my District and to be the Rotary Foundation Chair for my club during the Rotary Serving Humanity year. It is especially meaningful to be the Rotary Foundation Chair during this centennial year of the Rotary Foundation. Let’s Celebrate! It is a time to reflect on What’s Rotary?

The essence of Rotary is defined by 3 concepts: Friendship, Service, and Integrity. Rotary is a volunteer organization of 1.2 million business and professional leaders united world wide to provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace. About 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas conduct projects to address today’s challenges – including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and environmental concerns – while encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations.

Rotary International’s CODE OF POLICIES provides the following Mission Statement of Rotary International: Rotary provides service to others, promotes integrity, and advances world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. The Board of Rotary International has adopted “core values” as part of the strategic plan of Rotary International: Service, Fellowship, Diversity, Integrity, and Leadership.

As the worlds largest private provider of international scholarships, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International helps more than 1,000 students annually to study abroad and serve as cultural ambassadors. Rotary also partners with seven prestigious universities around the world, providing opportunities to earn a master’s degree in peace and conflict resolution.

PolioPlus is Rotary’s flagship program. By the time polio is eradicated, Rotary club members will have contributed US$850 million and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than two billion children in 122 countries. Rotary is a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Founded in Chicago in 1905 as the world’s first volunteer service organization, Rotary quickly expanded around the globe. Today, club members meet weekly to plan service projects, discuss community and international issues, and enjoy fellowship. Clubs are nonpolitical and open to every race, culture and creed.

Why am I a Rotarian?

Being a Rotarian provides a wonderful opportunity to make friends, to participate in a wide variety of humanitarian projects that benefit my local community and our world, and to network with community leaders and business people who demonstrate high ethical standards. Being a Rotarian has allowed me to know the satisfaction which comes from knowing that somewhere, someone needed my help, and that I took the time to do something. Meetings are surprisingly fun and on very diverse topics. Being a Rotarian helps me become a better person and makes the quality of my own life just a little richer and more meaningful. The following reasons “Why I am a Rotarian” are based on reasons presented by Richard D. King, Rotary International President 2001-02, which resonate with me.

1. Opportunity to Serve: As a service club, Rotary’s business is mankind and its product is service. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do good.

2. Friendship / Fellowship / Community: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.

3. Business Development: The second original reason for Rotary’s beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross-section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.

4. The Development of Ethics: Rotarians practice a ‘Four-Way Test’ that governs our ethical standards. The Four-Way Test for Rotarians reminds us that high ethical standards never go out of style. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and personal relationships.

5. Personal Growth and Development: Membership in Rotary ensures continuing growth and education in human relations and personal development.

6. Leadership Development: Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is guaranteed to strengthen anyone’s leadership skills. Leadership is all about learning how to motivate, influence and lead others and this happens in Rotary.

7. Continuing Education: Each week at Rotary, there is a program designed to keep members informed about what is going on in the community, nation and world. Each meeting provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers on a variety of timely topics.

8. Citizenship in the Community: Membership in a Rotary club helps develop better community citizens. The average Rotary club consists of some of the most active citizens of any community.

9. Citizenship in the World: Every Rotarian wears a pin that says “Rotary International.” There are few places on the globe that do not have a Rotary club. Every Rotarian (over 1.22 million) is welcome – even encouraged – to attend any of the 35,000 clubs in over 200 nations and geographical regions. This encourages new friendships in both local and world communities.

10. Prestige: Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include executives, managers, and professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.

11. Travel: Traveling Rotarians can meet fellow Rotarians throughout the world. Opportunities like international conventions, participation in vocational training teams, and international grants provide the chance to see the Rotary world.

12. Public Speaking Skills: Many individuals who joined Rotary were uncomfortable about speaking in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication and the opportunity to practice and perfect these skills.

13. Development of Social Skills: Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one’s personality, social skills and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people.

14. Vocational Skills: Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about jobs or vocations. Rotary helps to make each individual a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.

15. Entertainment: Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that contribute to a diverse, yet professional business life. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.

16. Family Programs: Rotary provides one of the world’s largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; opportunities for spouse involvement; and a host of activities designed to help family members in growth and the development of family values.

17. Cultural Awareness: Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color and ethnic identity is represented among members of Rotary. Rotary is a cross section of the world’s most prominent citizens who are aware of their cultures and have developed a love of working with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.

18. Nice People: Rotarians are the nicest people on the face of the earth.

19. Fun: Rotary is a fun and exciting place to be.

20. Absence of an Official Creed: Rotary has no secret handshake, no official creed, no secret meetings or rituals. It is an open society of men and women who simply believe in helping others.

History of Rotary

As my year as President of the Rotary Club of Palm Springs ends and “Light Up Rotary” comes to an end, I have found it interesting to rediscover the history of Rotary.

Invited to dinner by a fellow attorney, Paul Harris is inspired to start an organization where men of different professions could gather in fellowship. He spends some five years considering this possibility.

1 Club

First gathering, on Thursday evening, 23 February 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. by attorney Paul P. Harris. Young Harris, fresh from a wild five years as a reporter, actor, cowboy, seaman, granite salesman, fruit picker and hotel clerk, five years building a successful law practice, then had an idea. It was regarding observations of success and respect which could come from organizing professional acquaintances. More years past. He had given this much thought by the time he and Silvester Schiele walked over to Gus Loehr’s office, in Room 711 that cold winter night in 1905, almost 9 years from his arrival in Chicago. Several weeks later, Schiele was elected the first president of Rotary when the meeting was held in his office. Harris suggested several names, one of them being “Rotary.”


Members agree to be on “first name” basis. Singing introduced by Harry L. Gurgles. Rotary “Wagon Wheel” emblem adopted, the first of many varieties of “wheel emblems” to be used by different clubs, until 1912, when a geared wheel History of the Rotary Wheelwas adopted, this to be follow by authorization of an official emblem (1924), a wheel of six spokes, twenty-four cogs, and a “keyway.”


First community service project: a “public comfort station” in Chicago near City Hall for men and women. Harris writes that he was pressured by both the saloon keepers and lady’s garment stores not to install such a convenience.


2 Clubs

San Fransisco Second club formed in San Francisco California, U.S.A. by businessman Homer Wood. Paul Harris had asked Chicago Rotarian, Manuel Munoz, who was being sent to San Francisco by his employer, to “spread the word” about Rotary. The timing was perfect. San Francisco businessmen needed a boost. It has been just two years since the devastating earthquake of 1906 which nearly destroyed the city.


7 Clubs

Homer WoodsHomer Wood then organized Oakland, California, USA #3, Seattle, Washington, USA #4 and Los Angeles, California, USA #5 by the end of 1909. Two days after Christmas, Seattle #4 organized Tacoma, Washington, USA #8. It was an answer to Paul Harris’s prayers. Rotary was an idea that could be taken to many cities.

1910 William Morrow San Francisco Rotarian William Stuart Morrow becomes an unlikely figure in Rotary history. His San Francisco business dissolves and he returns home to Dublin, Ireland and brings Rotary with him. He organizes several clubs in Ireland and the UK He has the full the endorsement of Paul Harris and Ches Perry, until he runs afoul of London Rotarians.


16 Clubs

Chesley PerryFirst Rotary convention was held in Chicago, 15-17 August, with sixteen clubs in Rotary. The National Association of Rotary Clubs was formed. Paul Harris was elected president of the Association and served two terms. Chesley R. Perry began 32 years of service as Secretary, then General Secretary of Rotary from 1910-1942.
1910 Rotary “principles” adopted in form of five objectives
1910 Rotary becomes “international” on 3 November 1910 with the “organization” of Rotary Club of Winnipeg, Canada. Winnipeg then was chartered as Club #35 on 13 April 1912 prior to the Duluth, Minnesota USA convention when Rotary become the International Association of Rotary Clubs.
1910 Jean ThomsonMr & Mrs Paul HarrisPaul becomes a founding member of the Prairie Club of Chicago. On one of the club’s early hikes a beautiful young woman from Edinburgh, Scotland points out a tear in his jacket and offers to fix it. Jean Thomson and Paul Harris were married several months later. In two years he bought her a large home and they named their home after a road in Edinburgh, “Comely Bank.” There they started their life long friendship garden.

31 Clubs

Convention in Portland. 15 new clubs had joined the ranks of NARC. Many others were organized and “doing” business as those in the United Kingdom were. The following is from Rotary International news andinfo/ presscenter/regnews/euromide/index.html “Rotary spread like wildfire across the Atlantic to Ireland, Great Britain, continental Europe, and the Middle East. Six years after Chicago lawyer Paul Harris formed the first Rotary club in 1905, Rotary admitted the Rotary Club of Dublin, Ireland, followed in 1912 by clubs in Belfast and London and Manchester, England. Harry Lauder was one among many Europeans who embraced Rotary in those early days. As one of the world’s most popular entertainers through the first half of the century, Lauder joined the Rotary Club of Glasgow in 1914. A year later he wrote, ‘Rotary is going to be the greatest and grandest cooperative institution ever founded.'”
1911 The National Rotarian magazine was born with General Secretary Ches Perry as the editor
1911 At the 1911 convention in Portland, the Rotary Club of Seattle proposes a platform that becomes the Rotary platform

Today’s platform is much the same.

“He Profits Most Who Serves Best” is also part of that platform


50 Clubs meet in Duluth with delegates from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and the organization becomes “The International Association of Rotary Clubs.” London joins the same year as the 50th club. 5,000 members. Paul Harris is named President emeritus.


First districts (then called divisions) are established, 8 in U.S.A., 2 in Canada, one in Britain and Ireland.

By year’s end there were 54 Clubs


89 Clubs
During 18-21 August of 1913, 930 Rotarians gathered in Buffalo, NY, USA for the fourth convention. The charter process catches up with six UK clubs. See Ireland-UK & Archives

Rotary contributes $25,000 active relief funds to help flood victims in Ohio/Indiana


100th Club
The 100th club of the International Association of Rotary Clubs is formed on 1 March in Phoenix, AZ, USA. However, on that particular Sunday, and only that one day in March, there was not one qualified application but six. There is no record of how #100, of the six (#100 – 105) was determined from that selection.

1914 Convention

123 Clubs

15,000 Rotarians
22-26 June and 1,288 Rotarians make the long journey to Houston, TX, USA. Rotarian Henry Brunier of San Francisco and his wife “Ann” boarded a special train for the convention. Since Ann was the only woman on the train for most of the trip, the other Rotarians began calling her “Rotary Ann”. In Houston the Bruniers met Guy and Ann Gundaker of Philadelphia. Soon the name “Rotary Ann” belonged to Guy’s wife as well. The term “Rotary Ann” lasted until the late 1980’s. Gundaker was RIP 1923-24.
1914 War – British Clubs involved in relief work e.g., housing Belgian refugees
1915 The term “Governor” is established for districts. Columbus, GA., U.S.A. is Charter #200
1916 El Club Rotario de la Habana, capital of Cuba. First club in a non-English speaking country.

Arch KlumphIn 1917, Arch C. Klumph, Rotary’s sixth president, proposed to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the creation of an “endowment fund for Rotary . . . for the purpose of doing good in the world in charitable, educational, and other avenues of community service.” A few months later, the endowment received its first contribution of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Also at the 1917 convention: Klumph insisted that the District Governors know the International Constitution and be acquainted with Rotary history.
1917 Club #300 Huntington, Ind., U.S.A.
1918 Club #400 Fort Scott, Kans., U.S.A. 40,000 members world-wide.
1918 One of the less well known Rotary Clubs and, indeed, one that was never chartered was the ALLIED ROTARY CLUB OF FRANCE. Before he left the United States for Europe in the later days of world war one, Ancil Brown, the secretary of the Indianapolis RC and auditor for the YMCA, was authorized by the Board of the IARC to arrange regular meetings for Rotarians stationed in Paris or its vicinity.
1919 First Rotary Club in Asia is chartered in Manila.

Cornelia HarrisPaul Harris’s mother, Cornelia Bryan Harris dies in Denver, Colorado. Paul had spent very little time with his parents who never seemed to be able to keep their family together. It was Paul’s grandfather whose quiet generosity maintained his parents. Paul’s father, George, never very successful in life, is vigilant as his wife’s caretaker at the end of her life.

Club #500 Fremont, Nebr., U.S.A.

1921 Club #1000 York, England. Rotarians James W. Davidson, of Calgary, and J. Layton Ralston of Halifax, appointed as commissioners to organize clubs in Australia and New Zealand.
The International Association of Rotary Clubs is shortened to Rotary International.

While not affiliated directly with Rotary, The Inner Wheel organization commenced in England in 1924 with members being the wives of Rotarians. Their emblem is the Wheel inside the (Rotary) wheel.

1925 Club #2000 Ketchikan, Alaska D5010
1926 George HarrisAt the age of 84, George Harris, Paul’s father dies in Denver, Colorado. Having finally inherited his mother’s estate he could continue his life’s practice of inventions and schemes that never succeeded. Paul Harris wrote that he cherished one fond memory of how his father cared for his mother in her final years. We as Rotarians, should be thankful to Paul’s grandfather, Howard Harris and his grandmother, Pamela Harris without whom there is no doubt Paul’s genius would not have found its “Road to Rotary.”
1928 Paul Harris AutobiographyPaul Harris’s signature is all that is seen on the cover of his 1928 autobiography “The Founder of Rotary,” with a forward by RI General Secretary Chesley R. Perry. Portions of this rare book are displayed here for Rotarians to read.

1928 Paul Harris journalHarris’s tour of Europe is described in his personal journal


Herbert Taylor Rotary four way test4-Way Test was formulated by Chicago Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor who, in the summer of 1932 had a serious business problem. How he solved it is a legend of Rotary. In 1968 Taylor wrote: “I leaned over my desk, rested my head in my hands, and prayed. After a few moments, I looked up and reached for a white paper card. Then I wrote down the twenty-four words that had come to me: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will Rotary four way billboard and better friendships? Will if be beneficial to all concerned?” The “Four Way Test” was adopted by Rotary International in January of 1943

1932 Paul Harris diary Paul Harris’s unpublished diary of his journey to Europe in 1932, during which time he planted “Friendship Trees” in many European cities.

Hear Paul Here! In 1933, Rotary International held its 24th convention in Paul Harris “on the air” speaks to non-Rotarians, who he says may be “Rotarians in their hearts.” Boston, MA, USA, from 26-30 June with 8,430 in attendance. Rotary’s president was from Albuquerque, NM. General Secretary was Chesley Perry. Paul Harris remained active as president emeritus. During the convention, a radio broadcast was arranged heard “around the world” and addressed to “non-Rotarians.” Perry introduced Harris who told his audience “of the air” that if they have “Love of ‘men’ in their heart,” then they are potential Rotarians! Now you can listen to a recording of this famous broadcast.

1935 Paul and Jean Harris travel to Hawaii, Japan, China, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand and Canada attending conferences, planting “Friendship Trees,” and Paul writes a statement of international philosophy from Parramatta, Australia.
1935 Paul Harris writes his second autobiography, “This Rotarian Age,” this time mostly about the evolution of Rotary in the first 30 years of the organization.
1936 Club #4,000 Hanover, PA., U.S.A.
1939 Club #5,000 Rockmart, GA, U.S.A.

1941 March 3, 1941 Rotary Club of Palm Springs chartered by Paul Harris who visited Palm Springs in the winter and helped to start the club


“Ches” Perry retires as the first secretary of the National Association of Rotary and then Rotary International after serving over three decades. See tribute in The Rotarian

Seven Rotarians conferred honorary membership on General Douglas Macarthur, in a dark tunnel amongst wounded soldiers, prior to the fall of Corregidor.
1943 January, 1943 Adoption of the Four Way Test, written by Chicago Rotarian Herb Taylor: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will if be beneficial to all concerned?”


Rotary and the UNROTARY AND THE UNITED NATIONS: Forty-nine Rotarians help draft the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. Many of the delegates from around the world were also members of Rotary clubs. During his presidency, Dwight Eisenhower once said that Rotary was only second to the UN in its work for world peace and understanding.
1946 Paul Harris biographyAdventures in Service was first published in the last year of Paul Harris’s life, 1946. It continued to be updated and printed for many years. For The “History of Rotary” Project it constitutes a summary of our project in that it reflects the history and Rotary orientation of the “Paul Harris” years.

January 27 1947

Paul Harris After a many years of ill health, Rotary founder Paul Harris dies. Paul Harris was prominent in other civic and professional work. He served as the first chairman of the board of the National Easter Seal Society of Crippled Children and Adults in the USA and of the International Society for Crippled Children. He was a member of the board of managers of the Chicago Bar Association and its representative at the International Congress of Law at the Hague. He received the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boys Scouts of America for distinguished service to youth, and was decorated by the governments of Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France and Peru.


Jean Harris

Paul’s widow, Jean Thomson Harris, suffers a nervous breakdown. Then, alone and childless, sold “Comely Bank” and lived in a Chicago hotel. Until 1955, she was involved in charity and philanthropy.

Also, in 1947 the first 18 Rotary Foundation scholarships were granted.

Paul Harris biography”My Road to Rotary,” the third book and second autobiography, written by Paul P. Harris is published. The first edition included 14 pages of highlights from 1905 – 1948. These were written for the publisher A. Kroch and Son, by Rotary International under the direction of Rotary’s second General Secretary, Philip Lovejoy.

In this book you’ll hear Paul tell how Rotary came to be. How he became the person who had the vision to create this great movement. It is the only way to understand the values of Rotary from the man who taught them.

1955 Rotary’s Golden Jubilee is celebrated on 23 February with much fanfare in Chicago. Then on May 29 through June 2, the 46th Convention again celebrates the 50th year of Rotary and features a last appearance by Rotary’s “First Lady.” Following the 50th anniversary convention (1955), held in Chicago, Jean Thomson Harris returned to Edinburgh.

1960 Chesney Perry Chesley Reynolds Perry, secretary of Rotary 1910-1942 dies 21 February 1960. Called the “Builder of Rotary” by founder Paul Harris.


First Interact club was formed by Melbourne, Florida U.S.A. Rotary Club. In August of 1962, Jean Harris attends a small reception for the 50th anniversary of RC of Edinburgh. RI president elect Carl P. Miller was in attendance. RC of Edinburgh kept in close touch with Mrs. Harris until her death. The club maintains signs and remembrances to this day.

Jean Harris, dies in Edinburgh, Scotland

Rotary Foundation launches Matching Grants and Group Study Exchange programs


Paul Harris biography”Paul Harris will forever be remembered as the founder of Rotary International.

This account of his life, the first to be published, makes fascinating reading and marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Rotary, which today has nearly one million members in more than 150 countries.” James P. Walsh

Polio Plus Rotary announces PolioPlus program to immunize all the children of the world against polio
1987 US Supreme Court rules women can join be members of Rotary

Council on Legislation changes the constitution and MOP to include women


Moscow Rotary Club Rotary Club of Moscow charted first ever club in then Soviet Union


Preserve Planet Earth Preserve Planet Earth program inspires some 2,000 Rotary-sponsored environmental projects

A re-birth of Paul and Jean Harris’s “Friendship Tree” good-will trips of the 30’s and forty’s results in the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees under the leadership of another “Paul” PRIP Paulo Costa, 1990-1991 Brazil (d2000)


Western Hemisphere declared polio-free
1997 Rotary returns to China, in Hong Kong
1999 Rotary Centres for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution established
2000 (The “History of Rotary” Project) Website is organized 26 October 2000 by club #43 in Pueblo, Colorado USA

First provisional Rotary Club in Mainland China since WWII in Shanghai.


30,000th Rotary club chartered The “History of Rotary” Project establishes

Rotary returns to mainland China in Shanghai and Beijing
2003 The “History of Rotary” Project adds the “First Club” of each Rotary country to the project.

Following the convention in Brisbane, the Centennial Bell begins its journey to all of the “First 100 Clubs” of Rotary to conclude that tour at Chicago for the convention in 2005.

2005 23 February 2005: The Rotary Club of Chicago and Rotary International celebrate the centennial of the first meeting of four men whose gathering became a world wide movement. Rotary International convened the Centennial Convention 19-22 June 2005 in Chicago, Illinois, the birthplace of Rotary.


Rotary opens extension to China and Cuba (source Rotary International) Only four countries remain polio-endemic: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Polio cases worldwide have dropped by 99 percent since 1985.


The Rotary Foundation celebrates the millionth Paul Harris Fellow by recognizing 34 individuals – one from each Rotary zone. The donors receive plaques and certificates honoring their contributions.


Rotary officially launches its effort to match a US$100 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio.

In 2009, Rotary receives another grant of $255 million from the Gates Foundation and launches Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge to match a portion of the grants and further support efforts to End Polio Now.


Rotary celebrates the 100th RI Convention in Birmingham, England. The event welcomes guest speakers Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow, and renowned primatologist and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall.


The centennial of Rotary in Canada, and Rotary’s claim as an international organization. 2010 COL approves a Fifth Avenue of Service, eClubs become permanent, support recommended for Comely Bank, and more.

The contents of this project have been researched, collected, compiled and written by hundreds of Rotarians from around the world to preserve the history and underlying philosophies of Rotary. This is a “club service” project of Rotary districts, clubs and other Rotary organizations and enjoys the support of individual Rotarians, clubs, districts and zones all over the globe.


Rotary During the Holidays!

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
~ Buddha

During the holiday season, we hear from individuals, communities, and Rotary club members … who want to show and share with others. Embracing The Spirit of the Holiday Season with Your Rotary Family is uplifting and has been a real fun part of being the President for this Rotary year. The Rotary Club of Palm Springs is having many holiday activities this year to showcase and share with our members and the community.

At our last meeting we collected over $600 in food for the Well In Desert which helps to feed the homeless in our community. Year to date, our club has collected over $1,000 in food from club members for this important commmunity service.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving was the Thanksgiving social for members which is a pot luck style dinner. After the dinner was the exciting ‘White Elephant Gift Exchange’ game. The fellowship and fun with members, family and friends is a great way to begin the holiday season.

On December 2, our members, together with the Interact Club that we sponsor at the High School, put the lights on three Christmas trees in downtown Palm Springs. The following day, December 3, “Light Up Rotary” Day was held with the lighting of three Christmas trees in the middle of downtown to showcase Rotary to our community. A banner with the Light Up Rotary Logo and Rotary Club of Palm Springs is on display through out the holiday season. The Men’s Chorus performed songs for the holiday season. Following the event, the NBC news station reported, “The Palm Springs Rotary Club and PS Resorts partnered to bring a little holiday cheer to Village Green in Downtown Palm Springs. The tree lighting honors the charitable spirit of the Rotary Club, who has given more than $1 million dollars to charitable causes in the community.”

The Christmas trees are inspired by Rotary International’s theme “Light Up Rotary” and is being held as our club’s Rotary Day for our community. Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Club of Palm Springs, which was chartered in 1941, is comprised of leaders in the community who have joined together to perform many hours of community service to support local projects that favorably impact our community. These include projects such as a “Prom” for residents of Angel View Crippled Children Foundation, Elementary Christmas Book Giveaway, urgent care medical assistance for students with financial need, and leadership training and programs for elementary and high school students to name a few of their local charitable activities.

At our meeting on December 3, we had a Holiday Giving Tree for the clients of the local senior center. So many of our seniors rely on the Meals on Wheels program which we support, and so many of our seniors are alone and would like to have some Christmas cheer. We have the “Giving Tree” at our meeting with little wish notes from 25 seniors who could use a little cheer. Many will ask for sweaters, robes, socks and other necessities. We ask members to pick up a note from the tree, buy the gift requested, gift wrap it and return it to our next meeting with the senior’s name on it. The gifts are taken to the Senior Center for distribution. Being a Holiday Angel, helps to bring some holiday cheer into the seniors’ lives. Rotarians feel really good buying and wrapping a little gift and having a senior who they may never meet, enjoy the holidays.

On December 10 is the Christmas Book Giveaway. Two new books will be given to each student at one of the elementary schools. Over $15,000 in books for every student!

Also, on December 10 is the Holiday Auction. The goal is to raise $6,000 to help support the club’s community service projects. This is the primary club fundraiser for the year.

And the Holiday activities conclude on December 17. The lunch meeting will have a performance of holiday music from the High School choir.

The fast pace of modern life can make it hard to find the time to really appreciate the holidays. That’s why it is so important to get your holiday just right; the Rotary Club of Palm Springs will “Light Up Rotary”!

Wow!! And we’re off …

Under the District 5330 theme for 2014-2015, “Service with Passion” every member of The Rotary Club of Palm Springs has been encouraged to work hard to achieve this goal while at the same time, to do their part to “Light Up Rotary” as charged by Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang. Every member has been charged to stay true to the principles of Rotary while also remembering our club’s core values of fun, strong fellowship and impactful and sustainable service. These values have made us the great club that we are today and will continue to be our guiding light as seek to “Light Up” the new members of the club and shine even brighter than before.

While not Rotary specific, on a personal level it was especially meaningful to me to receive the 2014 Presidential Call To Service Lifetime Achievement Award. The President’s Call To Service Award provides national recognition for demonstrating a commitment to volunteerism. Having my community, friends, family and my alma matar congratulate me on this recognition will always be something that I cherish and remember.

The first meeting of this Rotary year was at a new venue. Since the restaurant search was the first task for this year, it is great to see that members have responded favorably to the decision. All attendees were presented with this year’s Rotary theme pin – “Light Up Rotary”.

The Club Assembly provided our attendees with a good look at what will be a very exciting 2014-2015 Rotary year. At the Club Assembly, the District’s focus on education, and Rotary’s emphasis on fellowship and fun was shared. Our local emphasis will include these important components of success, as well as a strong commitment to community service. A handout was distributed that describes the various committees and responsibilities that will make this year a success and a serve as a great reference guide.

The following goals were presented for this year:

**We will implement “Vocational Minutes” throughout the year, affording members the opportunity to share their background with fellow Rotarians. And we will continue with successful “Change the Clock, Change the Batteries” program.

**Informative and interesting guest speakers are planned, and suggestions from all members is solicited. Interact, EarlyAct, PRYDE, and RYLA will be supported. And of course the club will host the incredible Angel View Prom.

**Our club will maintain: an accurate club roster, photography at our meetings and events, increase membership, maintain a positive public image, include a spiritual thought in our meetings, provide sunshine to our members by recognizing birthdays and sending cards in times of sickness, have a Thanksgiving gathering, a Holiday Auction and Christmas Luncheon, Light Up Rotary Day, Past Presidents’ Recognition, and the Demotion Dinner.

**There will be a membership kickoff event that will be held later this summer. During this year the goal is to increase our membership with more like-minded professionals who want fellowship, networking and to positively impact our communities.

**The goal is to earn Every Rotarian Every Year, donating an average of $200 per person. Our club’s Paul Harris Fellows (signifying contribution to the Foundation of a minimum of $1,000) include four past district governors, 39 past presidents, 173 all-time members, 29 active members, 12 benefactors, 3 Bequest Society members, and 3 major donors. Our total membership donations as of May, 2014, stands at an incredible $586,036.20!

**Our club will continue to support international service and vocational service hosting a job shadow day for students.

Some of our achievements as “we are off” include:

**Three new members were inducted in July. Mentors have been established for each new member in addition to their sponsor.

**Turnout has been excellent.

**The latest Coins for Kids Committee donation was to purchase 80 school “uniform” T-shirts for Cahuilla Elementary School. These are for those students whose parents cannot afford to purchase these shirts.

**“Souper Wednesday,” was on the third Wednesday with members bringing canned goods or non-perishable foods to the Club meeting. The food is collected and given to “Well in the Desert” to help feed needy families in the Valley.

**Our club is helping to support the Palm Springs Public Library’s July school supply drive, which will benefit the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center.

**There has been encouragement at meetings for members to be sustaining members of the Rotary Foundation. A $100 annual gift, the benchmark for the initiative, comes out to roughly $2 a week. What can The Rotary Foundation do with your $2 a week ($100 annual gift)?

* Provide three cataract surgeries in India
* Buy 15 packets of teaching materials for a school in Costa Rica
* Feed a family in India or Pakistan for six months
* Bring clean water to 600 school kids in Africa

**This month we had excellent speakers. One guest was a 2010 Palm Springs High School graduate. He is a shining example of how our Rotary Club Foundation scholarships can make a huge difference in one’s life. Coming from an environment of gangs and personal tragedies, he dedicated himself to furthering his education. Our club foundation’s scholarships assisted him in being able to afford to attend two years at College of the Desert, where he excelled as a running back on the Roadrunners’ football team. He was then offered an athletic scholarship at the University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he will be a senior this year, majoring in criminal justice. Our club foundation presented him with a $1,000 scholarship, which will be used to assist with his housing, meals, and books.

**Also the other scholarship recipients were highlighted for club members that are receiving club foundation scholarships. Included is a student who will be entering University of California Berkeley this fall, and a student who is entering his junior year at University of California Irvine.

Being President of the Rotary Club of Palm Springs is a such a great experience and opportunity to be of service.

Rotary Year 2014-2015 begins July 1

Rotary is a worldwide organization whose members are professional or business people (men and women) who have a commitment to serve their own community and the broader international community. Rotary Clubs enjoy friendship and fellowship while working together for common goals. The Rotary Club of Palm Springs is committed to the application and development of the principles of Rotary fellowship and goodwill and to the ongoing support of the Palm Springs community. It is important for leadership and the Board of Directors to lead by example and that we ALL buy in to the ongoing principals of Rotary. Rotarians must support in addition to the local Club, the District and Rotary International by not only contributing but with our attendance at events at the District and club level.

In March I had the chance to attend the President’s Elect Training Session at Mid-South in Nashville. It was informative and motivational. There were great ideas, hospitality and sharing between the Presidents Elect in attendance. Following “PETS’ a survey of the members of the local club was completed to gain insights. And on May 20 a planning session with the club Board for the new Rotary year will be held. It is exciting to be planning for the new Rotary year. And it is exciting to be the incoming President of the club. The theme for the new year is “Light Up Rotary” and our club is in the process of developing how we will be able to implement this theme in our community.

The Rotary Club of Palm Springs was founded in 1941. Members of the club have donated in excess of $1 million to over 50 local charities and sponsored scholarships for students via the club’s local Foundation. Additionally, the club has raised more than $55,000 specifically to assist Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate Polio worldwide.

Members of the Rotary Club of Palm Springs are leaders in the community and their chosen professions such as education, publishing, tourism, hospitality, medicine, real estate, and business.

Incredible India! Rotary Vocational Training Team Experince

VANAKKAM! In India, it is common to see the greeting (“Namaste”) where the two hands (palms) are pressed together and held near the heart with the head gently bowed as one says, “Namaste” or the Tamil “Vanakkam”.

I recently returned from a trip to southern India. Rotary District 2980 is geographically positioned in the State Tamil Nadu. Helping India achieve its national priority of becoming 100% literate by 2018 is a goal that Rotary District 5330 (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties in California), and in particular the vocational training team that traveled to India, are helping to implement. The aim of this project is to establish a sustaining humanitarian capability for a future vocational training center for unskilled and unemployed of the rural based community.

This experience was: (1) a vocational exchange opportunity for professionals to travel to India to exchange information and business practices with similar professionals there; (2) to undertake a program designed to develop the team members’ professional and leadership skills and to build the capacity of the team members to address the needs of their communities in an increasingly global economy; and (3) for the experience to have a sustainable and measurable impact on the communities involved.

The trip included: (1) vocational visits to businesses and sites involved in the educational and literacy focus area of the exchange; (2) presentations to Rotary clubs in India; (3) formal university lectures and social events; (4) several hours per day of cultural and site visits and tours; and (5) a few hours of free time with hosting families.

” I feel very proud and fortunate to have been chosen as a member of the Rotary Club of Palm Springs, California, to represent district 5330 to India for a Vocational Training Team project for education and literacy. It was a 22 day trip of high intensity, great pleasure and happiness. We visited Rotary projects, temples, schools and universities. We stayed both in small guest houses and Rotarian’s homes. I gave five speeches on leadership at Indian universities and to a Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA). India is an incredible country of great passion, many contrasts and customs, and hospitable people. I experienced India’s culture and institutions, observed how their vocations are practiced, developed personal and professional relationships, and exchanged ideas. This experience allowed consideration of each others’ problems, aspirations, and community concerns. I have much gratitude to Rotary District 5330 and India Rotary District 2980 for allowing me to be part of this VTT experience. Thanks or Nanri as is said in Tamil!” — Thomas Smith

During this trip to India, I gained additional perspectives on what all Rotary club members have in common: (1) we take action; (2) as community volunteers, we reach out to neighbors in need; (3) we build, support, and organize; (4) we save lives; (5) we work locally and globally; and (6) we support Rotary’s efforts to help people in need worldwide.

Here are some of my reflections from the experience in India:

People Everywhere!
Horns Blowing!
Permanent Rushhour!

India Trip Jan. 28, 2014 through Feb. 18th, 2014 (22 days)

January 28th, departed LAX at 4:00 pm to Dubai. 16 hours. 2 hour layover, 3 hr. flight to Bangaluru (Bangalore)

Thursday, Arrived January 30 at 3:00 am, picked up by Sridhar and Sudharasan, and Babu, our driver for 3 weeks. We drove to Hosour and got dropped at the Hotel Sarovar Portico, slept for about 2 hours. We visited the Titan Watch Factory had a lunch and then went to a school run by the nuns of St. Joseph. We saw a Rotary project there; 50 computers were donated. We returned to the hotel and got ready for an evening meeting, dinner and fellowship. Many of the Rotarians had their wives there; and eight clubs were present. We exchanged flags and it was bedtime around 11:00.

Friday, rise and shine 5:45, went to the outdoor market very early with Sudharasan. Sights and smells were incredible, coconut juice wake-up drink. We ate some food and got packed up and into the van for a drive to Jayam College. We stopped at the Granite Rotary for a short meeting, exchanged flags, ate lunch and proceeded to the Hogenakkal Falls; it was beautiful and a lot of fun. We floated around on the river in round boats. We proceeded on to the college. There was a videographer filming, students clapping and bands playing. What a welcome! I gave a speech on leadership. Many students asked for autographs and it was really a moving experience. Spent one night at the college hosted by the Jayam College Chairman. They don’t use sheets on the beds, just a bedspread and pillows with decorative covers.

Saturday, Feb. 1. We got up and left the college and drove to Dharmapuri to the Deaf and Mute school. The children did a cultural program for us that was amazing. The music was loud, the children were silent. They danced, did a fashion show, and some very funny skits. What a wonderful job Rotary does supporting this school. We also went by another place where the Rotary was sponsoring vision testing. After lunch it on to Salem; we went to a wedding reception of one of the Rotarians. There were over 1,000 people at the reception.

Sunday, Feb 2. I went to a Hindu temple with my host who President Elect of his Club in Salem, back to their home for breakfast and I packed up. We went to the “Farm” of Hitesh for lunch and a RYLA group joined us and I gave a speech to the RYLA group of Teamwork. Around 4:00 we got back into the van and drove up a hairpin turn roadway that went to Yercaud.

Monday, Feb. 3. We spent 2 nights in Rtn. Ajith’s lodge. Rtn. Joy was our guide in Yercaud. We went to breakfast at Ajith’s. He also owns the small school and the Rotary hall. He is a very good cook. First we went to the facility run by Sister Louis. She is an Irish nun who came to India when she was 19 and has been there for 63 years. She ministers to the aged and is very dear. We had the great pleasure of touring a wonderful school that the teacher taught through art, music and dance. We spent the day visiting areas around Yercaud. We went to one very wonderful school and taught the children the Teapot song. They didn’t get it. We had a luncheon at a resort hotel and then drove over to the coffee plantation of Rajes. We were all very impressed by the operation and the workers were weighing the coffee while we were there. We also went to “Heaven’s Ledge”, it is a magnificent granite extrusion with a view that, on a clear evening, would equal any of the world’s great vistas. We made it back in time for another Rotary meeting.

Tuesday, Feb. 4. We left Yercaud and started to Chidambaram. (Rtn. Ramki) We visited the TSM College of Technology and I gave another speech on Leadership. The students were very interested and asked many questions. (Kallakurichi) Almost all students in Indian colleges are studying either engineering, technology or medicine. Their parents are very goal oriented as are the students. We left there and went to a Rice Mill and then moved quickly down the road to Chidambaram. We stopped on the way at the DG’s home for high tea, (Vridhachalam) back in the van, now rushing down the roads. We got to Chidambaram at about 8:30 for another Rotary meeting. We did our group presentation, ate some food and went to our assigned rooms. All night the horns honked.

Wed. Feb. 5. We stayed in Chidambaram. We went to the famous temple called Pichavaram. It is many acres in size with four large temples at each of the cardinal directions. Our Rotarian friends were Rtns. Ramki, Mahaboob Hussain, and Dr. Siva. We went to an agricultural college, had lunch and drove down to the famous Mangrove Forest on the coastal delta. It was 1,000s of acres of natural occurring mangrove that are only native in two areas of Asia. We had a wonderful boat ride. We got back to our rooms and had a late dinner on the deck of the hotel. There were many fireworks going off because there are only certain times when it is an auspicious time to get married. There was a very loud parade, at least individual sets of fireworks and it was certainly a colorful evening.

Thurs. Feb. 6. Packed up the van. We had breakfast at Dr. Siva’s home across from the lodge. We got back in the van and started heading up to Pondicherry. “Pondi” is the French colony that is unique to the Indian nation. Many citizens are still very connected to France and French is spoken. Rtns. Manickam (“Moneycome”) and Neil Foster, my host and friend took me around in the afternoon. We shopped, visited the Ghandi statue, went out on a fishing boat in the Bay of Bengal, went to a forest, and visited friends. GREAT DAY!!! I rode motorcycles all day long! We ate dinner at a nice restaurant. We stayed for two nights with our wonderful hosts. Neil was such a terrific friend.

Friday, Feb. 7. We went to another temple festival at Auraville. It was really packed with people. We went up to the Mahabalipuram stone sculptures which are more granite extrusions (they’re all over India which was so geologically active because of the plate tectonics) These ancient sculptures were conceptualized by their proportions and what shape could be imagined. Before returning to Pondi we went to a sea shell museum.

Sat., Sun. Feb. 8 & 9. It’s time to pack up again. We drove to Nagapattinam and Velankanni. We visited an orphanage full of children and elders whose parents and children were victims of the tsunami in 2003. Rotarians helped to build, furnish and support the structure. We also had the great pleasure of visiting another college where RYLA was happening. We spoke with the young people who were so enthusiastic. They asked many questions and manyrushed to shake our hands. We visited a Basilica and walked on the beach. We attended a Rotary Family meeting, exchanged flags and enjoyed the entertainment of the children dancing. We stayed at hosts homes. We visited the ancient temple at Tirivarur and drove over to Kumbakonam. We enjoyed tea at the home of AG Ravichandran and his family entertained us. He was a wonderful host.

Sun. Feb. 9. Kumbakonam. We got our luggage into Dharmachandri’s lodge for one night. For the second night we stayed in the lodge of Baalaaji. Rtn. Amir Jan was our main host. We visited Amir Jan’s school. We had a Rotary meeting with 18 clubs present. We met Rtn. Vasikaran and his wife Dr. Chitra. We visited the Dharasuram Temple and the Sri Vidhyashram School. Rotarian Lakshmikanthan was very knowledgeable about the temple.

Mon. Feb. 10. We went to our second Rotary wedding and saw both the reception and the wedding the next day. We toured a very nice school that had many Rotary sponsored improvements; solar panels, computers, clean water, etc. We were able to relax just a bit on this evening. Meeting organized by Rotary Club of Kumbakonam and dinner hosted by all clubs of Zones 16 and 17.

Tues. Feb. 11. We spent the night in Korangadudurai at an Ashram guest house and attended the rededication of the temple. Visit to the Abidean Matriculation School, Papanasam, that has Matching Grant Projects.

Wed. Feb. 12. After breakfast we started driving to Thanjavur (Tanjore) We had lunch at a wonderful English Colonial style hotel with a view of the River. Tanjore means the place with five rivers. It is also the music center of Tamil Nadu. We visited a music college and heard many traditional instruments. Our host Rotarian was Dr. Gunasekaran and our Rotarians were Manimaran, Sengu, Venkat and Anbu. We attended a meeting by the Rotary Club of Taanjavur Midtown.

Thurs. Feb. 13. We visited the Majaraja’s Palace, art gallery and Saraswathy Mahal Library. In the afternoon we went to the Thanjavur Big Temple that has a 90 foot tall pyramid. I did another lecture on leadership at the Gnanam School of Business. WOW was it an impressive school and campus. We decided to take a detour to a Basilica that turned out to be quite the ride along the rural, small, crowded backroads. Babu, our driver, was masterful at getting us across a bridge that was narrow and had trucks and buses ‘logjammed’ on it. There were at least fifty different Indian men trying to direct traffic. We got back to Tanjore and had dinner at the Hotel Lakshmi with Rtn. Manimaran and Rtn. Babu.

Fri., Feb. 14. We visited the Yagappa School, met with students and listened to the Shenoy Music Concert hosted by South Zone Cultual Academy. We discussed the Indian School Education System with Rtn. Edward who is the Correspondent for Yagappa School. We went to an orphanage for lunch served by the nuns of St. Joseph. Later we visited a school for mentally challenged children which is sponsored by the Rotary of Thanjavur Palace City. Later we went to the opening of the book fair fundraiser and the a meeting of the Delta Club. We had dinner at 9:30 and back to our host’s homes.

Sat. Feb. 15. After a light breakfast we were back in the van for a 2 1/2 hour drive over to Salem. We stopped in Namakkam for coffee and a rest break and then went to the Sona College for a fun teenage cultural program and then I had a speech on leadership at the college. We had a very good open discussion with the students and faculty. The interaction was very good for all. We then went to our hosts homes and then a meeting of the Cosmos and Salem Castle clubs.

Sun. Feb. 16. We met at the Rotary Hall in Salem and J.P. and Samraj took us down to Namakkal for the day. We visited a Veterinary College and saw many chickens, cows, goats, bunnies, pigs, etc. They are trying to help India with sustainable food products. In the afternoon we visited the Sports Festival at the Kongunadu College of Engineering and Technology. We were led into every sporting event and honored. We were honored as chief guests and given plaques and framed photos. On the way back to Salem we went to another wedding reception, ate some food at the hotel and drove back to Salem.

Mon., Feb. 17. We packed up to leave India. We met at the Salem Rotary Hall and got loaded into the van Rtns. J.P. and Samraj were there to send us off, along with Hitesh and Suresh. The people whose company you have enjoyed for many days are saying good-bye, but in Tamil they don’t say good bye, only Parkalam, see you later. We drove to Hosour and were met again by Rtn. Sridhar. We had rooms so we could get a bit of rest and get our bags repacked for the trip home. In the evening the Rotarians of Hosour joined together for a Farewell Dinner. They got us a cake and we all spoke. We drove to Bangalore Airport where they dropped us off for our 4 a.m. flight on Emeriates Air for our flight to Dubai and then onto Los Angeles.

We gained the day back that we have lost on the way to India. It was a 48 hour long day and I was ready to get home. I will always appreciate the gift that this trip to India has been for me.


Rotary and the Holiday Season




At this special time of year, I wanted to offer the following 

Dear Almighy,

We are thankful for the opportunity of meeting together as 
 Rotarians: to enjoy our fellowship and reaffirm our commitment
 to honesty and high ethics in all we do.

We are thankful for the privilege of being Rotarians to exemplify
 Rotary ideal: to provide service to others, promote integrity,
 and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace.

We ask for Your continued blessings for us to make
 even greater contributions in serving our community, and
 be more prepared to implement Rotary's strategic priorities and 
 goals for the years to come.

Thank You.