What Is Rotary

About Rotary

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 34,000 Rotary clubs located in more than 200 countries.

Object of Rotary

In a nutshell Rotary can be summed up as an organization that works to:


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:
• The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
• 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;
• The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
• The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Rotary Calendar

1 July to 30 June the following year

Areas of Focus

The following are the areas of focus set by Rotary International for clubs around the world:

• Peace and conflict prevention/ resolution
• Disease prevention and treatment
• Water and Sanitation
• Maternal and child health
• Basic education and literacy
• Economic and community development


A Brief History of Rotary

The world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished 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.

Rotary’s popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need.
By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000 clubs and an estimated 108,000 members. The organization’s distinguished reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other prominent people.

The Four-Way Test

In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created The Four-Way Test, a code of ethics adopted by Rotary 11 years later. The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do:

Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOOD WILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all?

Rotary’s best-known motto is “Service above Self”

Avenues of Service

  • Club Service
  • Vocational Service
  • Community Service
  • International Service
  • Youth Service

Other Clubs

Interact: a service organization organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs for young adults aged 12-18. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries.

Rotaract: groups organized by Rotary clubs to promote leadership, professional development, and service among young adults aged 18-30. There are more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in 167 countries.

Rotary Community Corps (RCCs): groups of non-Rotary members who work to improve their communities. There are more than 7,500 RCCs in 80 countries, all organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs.

The Structure

Geographically clubs are divided into districts. In Malaysia, from Melaka in the south to Perlis in the north is district 3300.

Each district is represented by a District Governor.  Each district is divided into groups represented by an Assistant Governor.

In district 3300 there are 80+ clubs. Each club has a president and his or her board of directors to run the club.

The Logo


Membership of a Rotary Club

Members of a Rotary Club are part of a diverse group of professional leaders working to address various community and international service needs and to promote peace and understanding throughout the world. Rotary membership is by invitation of local clubs. If you would like to be considered for membership by a local Rotary Club please go to the “Contact Us” page on this website.

10 reasons why you should join Rotary:

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.

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.

Membership in Rotary continues one’s growth and education in human relations and personal 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 & collectively help others.

Membership in Rotary Club makes one a better community citizen. The average Rotary club consists of the most active citizens of any community.

Rotary keeps us informed about what is going on in the community, nation and world. Occasional guest speakers provide opportunities to listen to a variety of important and/or entertaining presentations.

7. FUN
Rotary is fun, a lot of fun. Each meeting is fun. The club projects are fun. Social activities are fun. The service is fun.

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.

Every Rotarian has 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 32,000 clubs in 200 nations and geographical regions. This means instant friends in both our own community and in the world community.

Because there are Rotary clubs everywhere, Rotarians in need of a doctor, lawyer, hotel, dentist, travel advice, etc., can find assistance through Rotary.