The Object of Rotary

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

1.   The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; 
(Club Service)

2.   High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society; 
(Vocational Service)

3.   The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business and community life; 
(Community Service)

4.   The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional people united in the ideal of service. 
(International Service)

The Four Way Test -- A yardstick for living

Since the 1940's, many Rotarians have been using as a criterion in their business, community and personal affairs a simple 24-word statement known as The 4-Way Test.  Recognised as an appropriate message in Vocational Service, it does not provide answers but asks four simple questions.

The 4-Way Test of the things we think, say or do is as follows:-

1.  Is it the TRUTH?

2.  Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3.  Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

4.  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


What's Rotary all about?

First, it's about Fellowship

Rotarians enjoy the company of other Rotarians.  We enjoy belonging to a movement which accepts like-minded people, and it is a grand thing to visit a club in any part of the world and know that you will be welcome whatever your colour, race, religion or political persuasion.

Churches are supposed to be good at this kind of thing too; but you can easily slip in and out of a church without so much as a word from anyone, except perhaps from the vicar at the door on the way out.  That is really sad.  It couldn't happen in a Rotary Club.  There is always a welcoming word, and always someone ready to put themselves out to make you feel at home. That's fellowship.  That's part of what Rotary is about.

Second, it's about Fun

You only need to enjoy a Rotary meal to see the sense of fun and happiness that abounds in clubs.  The banter across the tables and the lightness with which we sometimes conduct our serious business is borne of the happiness which is beneath the fun side of Rotary.  We are happy doing what we do.

Third, it's about Caring 

The idea of caring and unselfish service is at the heart of Rotary, with its motto "Service above Self".  So when someone asks me what Rotary is all about, I tell them it's all about Fun, Fellowship and Caring Service.  I don't think you could have a better trio than that.


That's what Rotary is all about


adapted from an anonymous text, March 1998, by
Malcolm Webb   Governor,  District 1270,  1998 - 99
Past member of the Rotary Club of Wortley, South Yorkshire, England