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History of Rotary

Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.

The Rotary Foundation is one of the “Greatest Charities in the World”, with 1.4 million staff members in 35,000 Rotary clubs throughout 200 countries, all working as volunteers. It spends 1,000,000 dollars a day on communities throughout the world.

The Rotary organisation started with the vision of one man — Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member. Within five years, clubs had formed across the country, from San Francisco to New York.

In August 1910, Rotarians held their first convention in Chicago. The 16 clubs that existed at that time united to form the National Association of Rotary Clubs. In 1912, the name changed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs to reflect the addition of clubs in other countries. The name Rotary International was adopted in 1922. By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000 clubs and an estimated 108,000 members on six continents.

For further information about the Rotary, please visit the below links:
Rotary International

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland

Rotary District 1110 Wessex

History of Shaftesbury Rotary

Established 8th March 1963

Shaftesbury is part of a worldwide organisation and is guided by policy and procedure, but we are autonomous in our everyday activities. We choose when and where to meet, how we run our club and who we decide to support by involvement or finance.

As part of Rotary International, there is a structure which we work within and report when necessary. Shaftesbury Rotary is part of a local grouping which includes Blandford, Gillingham, Sturminster, Wimborne, Ferndown, Swanage/Purbeck and Wareham. This group will often work together, competing in sports and socialising.

There is a communication path from individual clubs or groups to our ‘District 1110‘, which deals directly with Rotary International Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) and has overall responsibilities for all UK Rotary Clubs. Finally, RIBI responds to Rotary International (RI) in the USA.


Click link above for details
May 19, 2024
Easter Fun Run, Park Walk, Sunday 7th April 2024
April 7, 2024
“I am a member of Shaftesbury Rotary for fun and friendship while at the same time feeling I am doing something worthwhile for our community.”
Rotary Member
“My family business moved from London to Shaftesbury and Rotary was the ideal connection to enable my wife and me to become part of the community.”
Rotary Member
“I did like the openness of how Rotary works, nothing secretive, and the information was clear and positive with no hidden surprises.”
Rotary Member
“The rotary club provides a unique and fun way to do good for your local community and also raises money for major charities.”
Rotary Member
“I particularly warmed to the understanding that Rotarians recognised the priority of family, business and then Rotary in that order”
Rotary Member
“This was a unique opportunity in a small town to join a worldwide club and enjoy the company of Rotarians from so many different backgrounds”
Rotary Member
New Phillip