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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:

  • FIRST:
    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;

  • THIRD:
    The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;

    The advancement of inter- national understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.


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:

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 4-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 code of ethics 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 4-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:

  1. Is it the truth?

  2. Is it fair to all concerned?

  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendship?

  4. Will it beneficial to all?


In addition to the Four Way Test, District 3310 has adopted The Guide to remind Rotarians of their priorities when doing “Service Above Self” and their obligation to advance “The Object of Rotary”. Before doing the things we want to do, consider first, the precept of the guide.

Ask yourself these 4 questions and act upon them:

  • FIRST:
    Have I spent some time to self-examination?

    Have I spent quality time with my family?

  • THIRD:
    Have I given my best to my work?

    Have I given some time to someone near and far?

The first question prompts us to evaluate ourselves and our ability to serve.
The second reinforces our commitment to the family - our “Intimate Community of Life and Love”.
The third question requests us to commit ourselves to work excellence and the practice of high ethical standards.
The fourth question reminds us of our duty to Lend a Hand, rendering compassionate service and working for world

The Guide, in fact, encompasses the four parts of the Object of Rotary.


Paul Harris was born in Racine, Wisconsin, USA on 19 April 1868. He received the Bachelor of Physical Culture and LL.D. degrees from the University of Vermont and the LL.B. degree from the University of Iowa.

In 1896, he set up his law practice in Chicago and in 1900 formulated his plan for a club for businessmen that would promote friendship and fellowship. With three good friends, he formed the first club in 1905 and named it Rotary because its members met in rotation in their places of work. Memberships grew rapidly and when Paul Harris became the club’s third president he strove to extend Rotary to other cities.

The second club was founded in San Francisco in 1908 and by 1910 there were 16 clubs and they decided and formed the National Association of Rotary Clubs. After clubs were formed in Canada and Great Britain, the name was changed in 1912 to the International Association of Rotary, Paul Harris was the first president of both the National Association and Rotary International.

In 1911, at the second convention of the sixteen clubs then in existence, held in Portland, Oregon, USA, Rotarian Arthur Sheldon stated: “The Science of Business is the Science of Service”. “He Profits Most Who Serves Best”. Thus the early concept of “co-operation in business” gave way to the larger concept of service to others.

There were two further stages that evolved. One was an additional motto, “Service Above Self”. The other was the acceptance of one object of Rotary, one word, SERVICE, through four main avenues of activities:

  • The development of fellowship (Club Service);

  • The maintenance of high ethical standards in business and professions (Vocational Service);

  • The promotion of community-betterment (Community and Youth Service);

  • The advancement of international understanding

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