Club History


 The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.

Rotary's popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.

By July 1925, Rotary had grown to more than 2,000 clubs and an estimated 108,000 members. The organization's distinguished reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other luminaries to its ranks — among them author Thomas Mann, diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, and composer Jean Sibelius.


The first four Rotarians: (from left) Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris Courtesy of Rotary Images



In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created The Four-Way Test, a code of ethics adopted by Rotary 11 years later. The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?



During World War II, many clubs were forced to disband, while others stepped up their service efforts to provide emergency relief to victims of the war. In 1942, looking ahead to the postwar era, Rotarians called for a conference to promote international educational and cultural exchanges. This event inspired the founding of UNESCO.

In 1945, 49 Rotary club members served in 29 delegations to the UN Charter Conference. Rotary still actively participates in UN conferences by sending observers to major meetings and covering the United Nations in its publications.

"Few there are who do not recognize the good work which is done by Rotary clubs throughout the free world," former Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain once declared.


As it approached the 21st century, Rotary worked to meet society’s changing needs, expanding its service efforts to address such pressing issues as environmental degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk.

In 1989, the organization voted to admit women into clubs worldwide. Today, women are an integral part of Rotary's membership.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Rotary clubs were formed or re-established throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The first Russian Rotary club was chartered in 1990, and the organization underwent a growth spurt for the next several years.

More than a century after Paul Harris and his colleagues chartered the club that eventually led to Rotary International, Rotarians continue to take pride in their history. In honor of that first club, Rotarians have preserved its original meeting place, Room 711 in Chicago’s Unity Building, by re-creating the office as it existed in 1905. For several years, the Paul Harris 711 Club maintained the room as a shrine for visiting Rotarians. In 1989, when the building was scheduled to be demolished, the club carefully dismantled the office and salvaged the interior, including doors and radiators. In 1993, the RI Board of Directors set aside a permanent home for the restored Room 711 on the 16th floor of RI World Headquarters in nearby Evanston.

Today, 1.2 million Rotarians belong to over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.



The Rotary Club of Blackwood has been contributing to the local community for 48 years. The club was charted on the 14 September 1970.


Over the years the club has contributed to local projects such as Meals on Wheels, the Blackwood Hospital, the Blackwood Community Recreation Centre, the Blackwood High School Performing Arts Centre, St John’s Ambulance and local CFS Units.


At a national level the club has provided funds for Victorian Bushfire Relief and continues to do so as funds become available. And at an international level the club supports Rotary Overseas Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) and the Shelter Box Project supplying emergency accommodation and supplies for disaster areas.



Chances are you see the Rotarians acting as marshals at the Blackwood Christmas Pageant. If you are interested in art you might be aware we hold an Art Show each year which allows local artists to put their work on display with a small percentage of any work sold going to Rotary to support their community work.

If you do not know much else about Rotary, then we are glad you have joined us at our club meeting and we will tell you all about it.

We meet every Tuesday at the Blackwood RSL Club, corner Brighton Road and Shepherds Hill Road from 6:00 pm for a 6:30 start to an 8:00 pm finish.


You will find our Rotarians ready to listen to your stories about living in Blackwood and about things that you might like to see the Rotary Club of Blackwood do in the community. Tell us if you like the Christmas Fair which last year raised $10,000 for local and international projects and if there is anything you would like to see included or done differently for the next fair in December this year.


Rotary’s interest and commitment to the environment are kept high on the list by Rotarian Bob Arnold who works tirelessly to bring volunteers to Calperum Station in Renmark which is part of the Riverland Biosphere Reserve. If you are interested in the environment and would like to help with the monitoring of this natural environment then please come along and speak to Bob at one of our meetings.

Several times a year we hold Community Forum meetings to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of local people, and to involve the community. In the month of February 2011 our guest speaker was Mr Brenton Ragless, Channel 9 weather presenter. We have also been privileged to have Police Commissioner Gary Burns, Iain Evans MP, Dean Jaensch, Chief Justice John Doyle AC QC… among other notable speakers.

Let us know if you want to contribute to the funds the club has raised to send to the Queensland flood appeal; or if you would like to play “Heads and Tails” with us at our meetings where we raise funds for people who need support in our communities from goods donated to us by the Advertiser. And if you know of someone who deserves recognition for their service to the community, you can nominate them for a “Community Service Award”.

People living and working together in communities matter. You just have to see what is happening in Queensland and Victoria to know this.

 Join us at the Rotary Club of Blackwood to become part of a group that is working for communities.

 Meetings at the Blackwood RSL, corner Brighton Ave and Shepherds Hill Road every Tuesday from 6:00 for a 6:30 pm start to an 8:00 pm finish. Enquiries to the Rotary Club of Blackwood, PO Box 20

Blackwood SA 5051 or email


You are most welcome to visit the club anytime and if you want to join us, Natalie will be happy to meet with you to answer any questions you may have about Rotary and the Rotary Club of Blackwood.