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During the first Rotary club meeting on 23 February 1905 in Chicago, Paul Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Hiram Shorey, and Silvester Schiele met to talk about their personal experiences. Harris then unfolded his general plan for their club meetings.


This was the simple beginning of the world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago. It was created because of Harris’ wish to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members’ offices.

The first four Rotarians:

(left to right) Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul Harris.

Rotary Images


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