The world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth.
The name “Rotary” derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices. President Brian said his main aims where to uphold the Rotary motto of “Service above Self” and to endeavour to raise the awareness of the Rotary movement both at District and International level.
Rotary’s popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organisation adopted the name Rotary International a year later.