The first meeting of Rotary was on February 23, 1905 in Chicago withPaul Harris and threeothers. It was called Rotary because they had decided to rotate meeting places around their offices and their objective was business reciprocity and friendship
Rotary grew quicklyand by the time Arch Klumph proposed an endowment for doing good in the world at the 1917 Convention in Atlanta, there were 230 clubs in eightcountries, totalling 27,000 members.

The Rotary Wheel had gonethroughmany alterations of spokes. The April 1919 issue of The Rotarian had a wheel with 19 teethand the May edition showed 20. The design eventually adopted has six spokes, 24 teeth, and a keyway which locks a wheel to a hub, thus making it a “worker, not an idler”.
‘Peace’ first entered the Rotary vocabulary, as it were, in 1921/22. It was agreed at the convention in Scotland in 1921 and approved at Los Angeles convention in 1922 to add Peaceto the Objects of Rotary.

1932 -Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay –Rotarians worked with prisoners and their families

  • 1942 – London had one of the strongest clubs in the Rotary world; it was also temporary home to thousands of other Rotarians whom the winds of war had deposited in the city. These people, from 21 nations, called a conference to plan a world at peace. The outcome was a world body that would serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas in culture, education, and science, which became UNESCO.
  • 1945-Rotary was given adviser status at United Nations Charter Conference
  • 1947 – Bombay Rotarians went into ethnic neighbourhoods and held meetings when riots between

 Hindus and Muslims killed hundreds

1980 – border dispute between Argentina and Chile – RI President invited 45 Rotarian couples from the two countries to a Conference of Goodwill
o Since 1981 the Rotary Award for World Understanding and Peace – Awardees include: Pope John Paul II, Dr Albert Sabine, The World Organisation of the Scout Movement, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela and The Salvation Army

Rotary’s biggest ever project, to rid the world of polio, has been implemented in conflict zones by securing cease fires (Days of Tranquillity)to allow children to be immunised.

The Rotary Foundation had a rather slower start

  • Started by Arch Klumph in 1917 with $26.50
  • Total contributions in first 11 years – $5,700
  • First donation $500 in 1929 was to the International Society for Crippled Children
  • In 1937 a fund raising goal of $2 million was announced, but World War II dashed these hopes
  • In 1947, over $1.8 million was donated in memory of Paul Harris
  • A separate Fund has been established to fund future Peace scholarships.
  • The goal is to have $150 million by 2017 (The 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation)
  • As at February 2016. the total is $139 million, with half being outright gifts and the other half being future commitments based on Rotarians estate planning

Peace still on the agenda: –
In 1981 RI President proposed a University of Peace; In 1996 Trustee Chairman revived the idea by proposing a Rotary School of International Studies within an established University; finally a plan for Paul Harris Centres for International Studies was approved in 1999.

  • The Official title is Rotary Centres for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolutionoften shortened to Rotary Peace Centers
  • 100 prestigious schools in Universities across the world were considered.
  • Sixcentres, sevenuniversities, were selected.
  • In 2002, 70 scholars from 35 countries embarked on their studies
  • There have been several changes in the 14 years since. Centers at the University of California (Berkeley), Paris and Buenos Aires have closed and in 2012-13 Uppsala University was added to the list of Rotary Peace Centres. There are now sixcentres worldwide
  • Master’s degree in peace studies, conflict resolution, international relations or related areas are offered at 5 centers
  • Professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies is offered at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • There are around 100 Peace Fellows selected each year, including those studying for the diploma
  • The 2015-16 Rotary Peace Fellows are the Fourteenth Master’s degree class.


The Goals of the Peace program

  • To support and advance research, teaching, publication, and practical field experience on issues of peace, goodwill, causes of conflict, and world understanding
  • Inspire people to work for a culture of peace and tolerance while enhancing their capacity, knowledge, and skill to do so, in part by generating interaction between practitioners and academics
  • Provide advanced education opportunities for Rotary Peace Fellows in the area of peace and conflict resolution
  • Provide a means for The Rotary Foundation and Rotarians to increase their effectiveness in promoting greater tolerance and cooperation among peoples, leading to world understanding and peace

Arch Klumph Society members PDG Rob and Eileen Brown
Enhance Retirement and Build Peace
PDG Rob and Eileen Brown (Rotary Club of Towsontowne, Maryland) support Rotary’s mission of promoting peace through the Rotary Peace Centers. Rob has served as a member of the Rotary Peace Fellow selection committee as well as the Chulalongkorn Certificate Program selection committee.
Their commitment to Rotary and to the Peace Centers reinforced Rob and Eileen’s decision to establish the Robert S. and Eileen M. Brown Charitable Remainder Trust. Their trust has helped Rob and Eileen to achieve their goals of providing lasting support to the Rotary Peace Centers and joining the Arch Klumph Society while receiving payments for life.

Rob says, "Establishing the trust provided me the opportunity during my lifetime to help fund a program that is dear to me."
By trusting The Rotary Foundation to act as trustee, Rob is free to focus on his mission of creating a better world through Rotary. "Somewhere in my Rotary career I came to understand the need to make the world a safe place for the children and grandchildren of future generations. That is what Rotary is all about."

" Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only
be achieved by understanding."
Albert Einstein