East Maitland Rotary - International
Service Above Self

Events Calendar

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Latest Events

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International programs

Rotary’s ultimate goal of world understanding and peace has a better chance of working by a broad range of programs such as humanitarian, intercultural and educational as well as activities designed to improve human conditions. Nine structured programs and nine service opportunities help clubs and districts achieve their service goals in their own communities and in communities abroad, fostering fellowship and goodwill in the process.

Rotary International Recognition and Awards.

Since 1981, Rotary International has honoured individuals and groups with the Rotary Award for World Understanding. It’s purpose is to honor non-rotarians whose life or work demonstrates the Rotary ideal of service, especially in the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and peace. Recipients have included past U.S President Jimmy Carter, former UN General Secretary Javier Perez de Cuellar, Pope John Paul II and the then President of Czechoslovakia. Since 1993, the award has carried with it a $100,000 grant from The Rotary Foundation for a charitible project or projects that are in harmony with the foundation’s mission of world understanding.

The Rotary International Award of Honor is conferred on outstanding world leaders in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to improving the condition of mankind. This award started in 1990-1991 and has been received by past recipients like Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher of the U.K, Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany, President George Bush of the U.S.A., President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union and King Karl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Rotary International World Headquarters

The headquarters of Rotary International has always been in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Originally, it was in Chicago itself, then they moved in 1954 to suburban Evanston. The new building met the needs of the Rotary Secretariat until the 1980’s where they added new programs like the Polio-plus activities, and the growth of the Rotary Foundation, but this led to RI Headquarters moving to a modern 18-story office building in downtown Evanston in 1987. The steel and glass structure was built in 1977 and provides 37,160 square meters of office and usable space and includes a 190-seat auditorium, a 300-seat cafeteria, large car parking garage and functional office space for the 400 employees of the building. It also contains an executive suite and offices for the RI board. It is also known as One Rotary Center.

International Conventions

Every May or June, a worldwide convention is held by Rotary International to “stimulate, inspire and inform all Rotarians at an international level. ”The convention may not be held in the same country for more than two consecutive years and is to conduct the business of the association.

The RI board determines a general location and invites cities to make proposals. These events usually have 20,000 to 35,000 Rotarians who attend.

International Assembly

Each year an assembly is held during February or March to prepare all of the district governors-nominee from around the world to see what office they will assume on July 1. For more than a week the incoming generals join a host of experienced Rotarian leaders for training and motivational sessions.

Whilst at the assembly, they will meet the RI President, who will serve during their year as governors, where they will learn the RI theme which they will build their district’s conference.

The first assembly was held in Chicago, Illinois.U.S.A., in 1919. They have moved a few times since but they have always had a sign above the plenary hall saying ”Enter to learn…go forth to serve.”

World Understanding Month

February is designated World Understanding Month, which also includes the anniversary of the first meeting of Rotary held on 23 February 1905, now World Understanding and Peace Day.

During this month, the RI board asks all Rotary clubs to plan programs for their weekly meetings and undertake special activities to emphasize ”understanding and goodwill as essential for world peace.”

Many clubs arrange international speakers, invite Youth Exchange students, international scholars form schools and universities, plan programs featuring former Group Study Exchange team members, arrange discussions on global issues, present entertainment with an international cultural or artistic theme and schedule others programs with an international emphasis.

It is a good month to initiate a Rotary Friendship Exchange, a 3-H project or encourage support for Polio-Plus and other Rotary Foundation Programs.


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