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February 1, 2005 > Local Rotarians Welcome Centennial Year

Local Rotarians Welcome Centennial Year

Fete Will Feature Two Past World Presidents

This year marks a special milestone for Rotary Clubs throughout the world. They will honor their roots beginning in 1905 when founder Paul Harris, an attorney in Chicago, organized meetings of civic-minded individuals that rotated between member offices. The group called itself the "Rotary Club of Chicago." Originally focused on fellowship, the club will begin to expand its purpose to include societal concerns.

The ideals of the club began to spread outside Chicago and a second Rotary club was formed in San Francisco in 1908. By 1910, 16 clubs had formed in the U.S. and a when a club was established in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, it made the Rotary an international organization. Soon the slogan, "Service, Not Self" surfaced and the concept spread across the Atlantic Ocean to Great Britain and Ireland.

The gearwheel was adopted as an official corporate seal in 1918 and later, in 1924, after "re-engineering," became the recognized symbol of Rotary throughout the world. Rotarians use a "4-Way Test" as an ethical compass. Created by Rotarian Herbert Taylor, it asks: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Between 1943 and 1945, Rotarians participated in the formation of the United Nations and were given "advisor" status. Rotary is also credited with "setting the stage for the formation of UNESCO" (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Currently, there are 31,936 Rotary Clubs worldwide in 166 countries with 1,220,000 members. The clubs will celebrate 100 years of service at an international convention this year in Chicago, June 18-22.

The Rotary clubs of District 5170, Area 3, will hold a centennial celebration at the Fremont Marriott Ballroom on Feb. 11. The event will include dinner, dancing, music and inspirational presentations by two former world Rotary International presidents, Clifford Dochterman, 1992-93 and Richard King, 2001-02. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Rotary BridgeWay Apartments. For more information, contact Marlene Weibel (510) 580-6502.

The Rotary Club of Niles was the first to organize in the Tri-Cities. Sponsored by Hayward Rotary, it was chartered on December 9, 1937 with Chuck Kraft as incoming president. The slogan for the club is "Kickin' it up a notch."

Area 3 clubs (and meeting places) include: Rotary Club of Warm Springs (The Courtyard Marriott), Fremont Sunrise Rotary Club (Original Pancake House), Fremont Rotary Club (Massimo's Restaurant), Niles Rotary Club (Washington Hospital West), Fremont/Union City/Newark Sunset Rotary (La Quinta Inn & Suites), Mission San Jose Rotary (Sisters of the Holy Family) and Newark Rotary Club (Beck's Steak and Seafood).

Major sponsors of this event include: Fremont Bank, Fremont Vista Retirement Homes, KB Homes, Washington Hospital Foundation, The Saddle Rack, Central Chevrolet, Morgan Stanley, Ireland San Filippo, LLP.

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