February 23, 2020 marks the 115th anniversary of the world’s first Rotary meeting. On that date in 1905, four individuals, each of a different background and different vocation met for dinner in the spirit of friendship and fellowship.
No one knows exactly what went on at that meeting, but within 2 years, Rotary began to change the world by becoming the world’s first service club.
Today there are between 1.2 million and 1.3 million Rotarians, organized into more than 35,000 clubs covering 6 continents and most of the world’s countries. It is almost unbelievable how much Rotary has accomplished in the last 115 years in Rotary’s 6 areas of focus – promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, child and maternal health, education, and local economic development. It is equally unbelievable how much further there is go.
In respect to the original four members, it is possible that Margaret Mead’s famous quote applies more to them than anyone: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”