The world’s first service club was founded on 23 February 1905 when lawyer Paul Harris and three friends met in a small office in downtown Chicago. These men wanted to rekindle in the turn-of-the-century city the spirit of friendliness they had known in their home towns. Word of the club soon spread and others were invited to join. They named their new club “Rotary” to describe the practice of meeting in rotation at the members’ various places of business. The aims were simple and were built around serving their community. In 1910, the National Association of Rotary Clubs was organised with 16 member clubs. In the following year, Rotary became an international organization with the formation of a Rotary Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Today Rotary International has over 1.2 million members in 35,000 clubs around the world.
In 1937, Rotary came to Orangeville with the formation of the Rotary Club of Orangeville. The club has been here without interruption ever since. A second club, the Rotary Club of Orangeville Highlands offers Rotarians the opportunity to meet weekly over breakfast. Rotarians are men and women from all walks of life and our club proudly includes business people, farmers, trades-people, professionals, bankers, retired folks, educators and more. Most of us live in Orangeville and the rest are nearby in the surrounding townships. We are all united in our commitment to serve our local community and the broader world community.
Our contributions to Dufferin County include the Fendley Park Splashpad, Rotary Park, Rotary Skateboard Park, the hospital gazebo, development of the north trail at Island Lake, the Natural Playground, the Make Orangeville Shine clean-up day in May, significant funding of the hospital, and donations to a wide range of community organizations.
Through Rotary International we contribute to development projects around the world. The program to eradicate polio everywhere, Polio Plus, is especially important to our club.
This year we celebrate eighty three years of “service above self”, of being a part of our community and of club fellowship. We also remember the dedicated Rotarians who came before us and laid the solid foundation which enables us to continue serving.
Serving our community: That’s what Rotary does.
Want to Join RCO?
Are you ready to serve? Thank you for your interest!
Membership in any Rotary Club is by invitation only, and individuals must be sponsored or proposed for membership into a club. Often, a person being considered for membership is invited by a club member, or “sponsor,” to attend one or more club meetings to learn more about our club. If you would like a member to reach out to you, please contact us and introduce yourself.
New members are welcome!