What is Rotary? The world’s oldest service organization, Rotary is made up of business and professional leaders whose goal is to serve the community and promote high ethical standards.
Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.
Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.
For more information, visit Rotary International’s site here.
Our Local Club
The Rotary Club of Farmville was founded in 1938. Its meeting time and date was established as a 12:00 noon lunch meeting every Thursday.
Interestingly, we are only three clubs removed from the original club. Chicago sponsored Washington, DC which sponsored Richmond which sponsored Farmville.
The Club originally met in the Hotel Weyanoke. It met there for decades until the hotel closed. Then it met for decades at Cedar Brook restaurant until it closed. Next, the club met at Charley’s Waterfront Café. We now meet at the Community Center on the campus of The Woodland, Inc.
In 2017 the club established a Satellite Club, the first in our District to do so. We’ve dubbed it the Happy Hour Club, and it meets at Three Roads Brewery on Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. This is attractive to folks who want to join Rotary but can’t attend during the day. It is also less expensive so it is more accessible to people who are early in their careers.
Rotaract and Interact Clubs
Over the years we’ve had Rotaract Clubs (for college students) and Interact Clubs (for high schoolers). In fact, there was a time the Rotary Club of Farmville was the only club in our District to have both at the same time.
Currently we have an active Rotaract Club at Hampden-Sydney College and an Interact Club at Fuqua School that hold their own meetings and perform many hours of community service.
20 Reasons to Join Rotary
- Friendship: In an increasingly complex world, Rotary provides one of the most basic human needs: the need for friendship and fellowship. It is one of two reasons why Rotary began in 1905.
- Business Development: The second original reason for Rotary’s beginning is business development. Everyone needs to network. Rotary consists of a cross section of every business community. Its members come from all walks of life. Rotarians help each other and collectively help others.
- Personal Growth and Development: Membership in Rotary continues one’s growth and education in human relations and personal development.
- Leadership Development: Rotary is an organization of leaders and successful people. Serving in Rotary positions is like a college education. Leadership: learning how to motivate, influence and lead leaders.
- Citizenship in the Community: Membership in a Rotary club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.
- Continuing Education: Each week at Rotary there is a program designed to keep one informed about what is going on in the community, nation, and world. Each meeting provides an opportunity to listen to different speakers and a variety of timely topics.
- Fun: Rotary is fun, a lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. Serving others is fun.
- Public Speaking Skills: Many individuals who joined Rotary were afraid to speak in public. Rotary develops confidence and skill in public communication and the opportunity to practice and perfect these skills.
- Citizenship in the World: Every Rotarian wears a pin that says “Rotary International.” There are few places on the globe that do not have a Rotary club. Every Rotarian is welcome — even encouraged — to attend any of the 33,000 clubs in over 200 nations and geographical regions. This means instant friends in both one’s own community and in the world community.
- Assistance when Traveling: Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, many a Rotarian in need of a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, advice, etc., while traveling has found assistance through Rotary.
- Entertainment: Every Rotary club and district has parties and activities that provide diversion in one’s business life. Rotary holds conferences, conventions, assemblies, and institutes that provide entertainment in addition to Rotary information, education, and service.
- The Development of Social Skills: Every week and at various events and functions, Rotary develops one’s personality, social skills and people skills. Rotary is for people who like people.
- Family Programs: Rotary provides one of the world’s largest youth exchange programs; high school and college clubs for future Rotarians; opportunities for spouse involvement; and a host of activities designed to help family members in growth and the development of family values.
- Vocational Skills: Every Rotarian is expected to take part in the growth and development of his or her own profession or vocation; to serve on committees and to teach youth about one’s job or vocation. Rotary helps to make one a better doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.
- The Development of Ethics: Rotarians practice the 4-Way Test that governs one’s ethical standards. Rotarians are expected to be ethical in business and person relationships.
- Cultural Awareness: Around the world, practically every religion, country, culture, race, creed, political persuasion, language, color, and ethnic identity is found in Rotary. It is a cross section of the world’s most prominent citizens from every background. Rotarians become aware of their cultures and learn to love and work with people everywhere. They become better citizens of their countries in the process.
- Prestige: Rotary members are prominent people: leaders of business, the professions, art, government, sports, military, religion, and all disciplines. Rotary is the oldest and most prestigious service club in the world. Its ranks include executives, managers, professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.
- Nice People: Rotarians above all are nice people – the nicest people on the face of the earth. They are important people who follow the policy of “it is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice.”
- The Absence of an” Official Creed”: Rotary has no secret handshake, no secret policy, no official creed, no secret meetings or rituals. It is an open society of men and women who simply believe in helping others.
- The Opportunity to Serve: Rotary is a service club. Its product is serving. Rotarians provide community service to both local and international communities. This is perhaps the best reason for becoming a Rotarian: the chance to do something for somebody else and to sense the self-fulfillment that comes in the process and return of that satisfaction to one’s own life. It is richly rewarding.
From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.
This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions.
Of the things we think, say or do:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?