Purpose of these notes:

  • Give you an overview of Rotary;
  • Let you know what you may expect of your membership;
  • Let you know what our Club will expect of you as a member; and
  • Answer your questions about Rotary in general and our Club in particular

What is Rotary?

Rotary International is an international 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 Object of Rotary

The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a worthwhile enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster the following:

  • The development of friendship as an opportunity for service
  • High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of their occupation as an opportunity to serve society
  • The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to their personal, business and community life
  • The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional people united in the ideal of service

The Four Way Test

Rotarians undertake to observe a simple code of ethics:

  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Rotary History and Scope

  • The first Rotary Club was organized in Chicago in 1905 by Paul P. Harris. This Club met in rotation at the offices of its members, hence the name “Rotary Club” evolved.
  • There are now more than 46,000 Rotary Clubs in over 200 countries with a total membership of over 1.4 million men and women. In addition, there are over 10,000 Rotaract Clubs, over 14,000 Interact Clubs and over 11,000 Rotary Community Corps.
  • To facilitate administration of this vast organization, which is known as Rotary International, the world is divided into Rotary Districts.
  • Our Club is in District 3450 (Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia & The Peoples Republic of China – Guangdong Province), which comprises of over 100 Clubs with total membership of about 1,700 Rotarians, plus Rotaract Clubs and Interact Clubs.

Rotary Organization

Rotary International is governed by a President and Board of Directors elected from among Rotarians all over the world. Annually, each District elects a District Governor and each Club elects its President and Board of Directors.
A Rotary Club is governed by its President and Board of Directors. The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, appoints committees based upon the following four avenues of service:

  • Community Service
  • International Service
  • Vocational Service
  • Club Service

The terms of office of all office bearers run for one year from 1 July to 30 June

Each Rotarian is expected to participate in at least one of these avenues of service.

The Four Avenues of Service

(i) Community Service

Improvement of the quality of life with the community, including:

  • Community development
  • Community projects
  • Community grants
  • Environmental protection

(ii) International Service

Promotion of humanitarian efforts to advance understanding, goodwill, peace and quality of life throughout the world, including:

  • International Youth Projects
  • World Fellowship Activities
  • Rotary Foundation
  • World Community Service

(iii) Vocational Service

Promotion of the ideal of service, including:

  • Adherence to and promotion of the highest ethical standards in all occupations
  • Recognition of the worthiness to society of all useful occupations
  • Contribution of one’s vocational talents to solving problems and meeting the needs of society
  • Career development

(iv) Club Service

Work to strengthen fellowship and ensure the effective functioning and administration of the Club, including:

  • Meeting and accounts administration
  • Planning annual programme
  • Membership development
  • Attendance
  • Classification
  • Rotary information
  • Fellowship activities
  • Public relations
  • Club newsletter

The Rotary Foundation

The object of the Foundation is to further understanding and friendly relations among the world’s people by funding humanitarian and educational programmes including:

  • District simplified grants towards service or humanitarian activities benefiting local or international communities
  • Individual grants for travel of individual Rotarians participating in humanitarian projects overseas
  • Matching grants for Rotary projects carried out by Clubs jointly with Clubs in other countries
  • PolioPlus Immunization Programme to eradicate polio from the world
  • Ambassadorial Scholarships to enable students to serve as ambassadors of goodwill while studying abroad
  • Rotary World Peace Scholarships to individuals to study masters programmes at Rotary Centres for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution
  • Group Study Exchange visits of business and professional men and women between districts in different countries
  • Grants for university teachers to serve in developing countries

Rotary Publications

Rotary International publishes a monthly newsletter called “The Rotarian”. It is well worth reading and contains the following:

  • News of Rotary around the world
  • Interesting articles by outstanding writers on a variety of important subjects.

Our District 3450 publishes a monthly newsletter and maintains a useful website

Your Selection as a Rotarian

  • A member of this Rotary Club sponsored your membership
  • Our Club verified your occupation and agreed that:
    • you hold an important position in your organization
    • you are an outstanding leader in your vocation
    • the classification being extended to you was open
  • Our Club verified your personal reputation, in both business and the community
  • Our Board of Directors approved your proposed Rotary membership

Your Privileges as a Rotarian

  • The privilege of friendship with leaders:
    • in our community
    • in other professions
    • in neighboring cities
    • around the world
  • The privilege of serving your community;
  • The privilege of developing international goodwill and understanding;
  • The privilege of helping build higher ethical standards within your vocation.

Your Obligations as a Rotarian


To be a Rotarian, you will be expected to give your time and talents to the following:

  • Club meetings
  • Club social functions – Around 4 to 6 annually
  • Club and District activities – Usually 2 per year
  • Community service – Time commitment will depend on you


100% attendance is urged and honored in Rotary.

This goal can be achieved by attending each weekly meeting of our Club or by making up for any missed meetings by attending another relevant Rotary meeting or event within 14 days before or after a missed meeting of our Club.

Attendance rules

  • You should be in attendance at least 60% of a meeting to receive credit.
  • You should attend, or make up, at least 50% of the regular meetings of the Club.
  • You should attend at least 30% of the regular meetings of the Club.
  • Failure to attend or make up four consecutive meetings without Board approval can theoretically result in termination of membership, but usually some leeway is given.
  • Attendance percentages are calculated for each month and for the twelve months ending June 30.

Make Ups

The time for making up a missed meeting is any time during the two weeks prior to, or two weeks after, a missed meeting.
Make up can be made by:

  • Attending at least 60% of the regular meetings of another club or provisional club
  • Attending, at the direction of the club, a regular meeting of a Rotaract or Interact club or provisional Rotaract or Interact
  • Attending a Convention of Rotary International, or selected other international, regional or district conferences or assemblies
  • Attending a fellowship activity of your Club
  • Attending an interactive Rotary internet meeting

Last updated on 29 December 2021